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Johnson County holds off Claxton
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    CLAXTON — The Claxton Tigers began their first home game of the 2007 season with a bang. However, the Tigers could not maintain momentum throughout the night, falling to the Trojans of Johnson County by a 12-0 margin.
    Claxton immediately seized control when Felles Grant produced a turnover on the opening kickoff. The short kick was corralled by a Johnson County returner just as Grant arrived on the scene. The vicious hit jarred the ball loose and the Tigers recovered on the Trojan 40.
    The ensuing drive fizzled, however, and Johnson County wasted no time in retaking the upper hand. On their first offensive possession, the Trojans looked to have stalled near midfield, but a 36-yard pass from Casey Wilds to Stanquez Carlyle on a fake punt set up a 6-yard plunge from fullback Jake Stephenson and a 6-0 Johnson County lead. On their next possession, another big play led to more points for the Trojans.  Tailback Ashton Thompson raced 43 yards around the right end and into the Claxton red zone. Stephenson cleaned up with another 6 yard scoring run to make it 12-0.
    In the second half, Claxton controlled the pace of the game, forcing two turnovers and winning time of possession. Unfortunately for the Tigers, the could never take advantage.
    After the game, Claxton head coach, Allen Cartwright recognized the Tigers’ failure to capitalize as a key point of the game.
    “When your defense gives you the ball, the offense has to punch it in and we just didn’t do it. We also had some key turnovers and failures to convert and that hurt.”
    Claxton threatened to make a game of it, driving inside the Trojan 10 with under  five minutes to play. They couldn’t convert though, and Johnson County was able to run out the clock. Despite the loss, coach Cartwright was encouraged by some of what he witnessed on the field.
    “I liked what I saw from our offensive line and we looked good at the line of scrimmage. In the second half, our defense came up with some big plays and kept them out of the end zone, so I liked some of what I saw out there.”
    With the loss, the Tigers drop to 0-2 on the season. Next week, Claxton stays in the friendly confines of The Grove as the take on Windsor Forest.