By Tommy Keeler Jr.
STEPHENS CITY -- Thunder and Lightning.
That's what Sherando teammates call the combination of Sherando running backs George Aston and LeeQuan Johnson. On Saturday night the pair wore down Handley's defense en route to a 42-7 Northwestern District victory over the Judges.
"That's my brother I love him to death," Johnson said of Aston. "Thunder and lighting that's what they call us all the time. I'm just blessed that he's here with with me, and I've learned a lot from him. I just hope that I can continue to learn from him and all the great things he does for this team."
Aston supplies the thunder and Johnson provides the lightning. Johnson finished with 186 yards on 19 carries. Aston had 14 carries for 78 yards.
Sherando took control of the game in the second half. The Warriors led 14-7 at the half, but put together a solid drive in their opening possession of the second half and didn't look back.
Sherando went 68 yards on 12 plays. Aston carried the ball three times, picking up a first down. Then an intentional grounding call on Sherando quarterback Reid Entsminger gave the Warriors a second-and-25 from the Handley 34. Entsminger then connected with Philip Hamilton, who fumbled the ball, but it was recovered by teammate Branden Litten at the Handley 42.
Six plays later, Entsminger scrambled around before connecting with Adam Whitacre in the corner of the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown pass and a 21-7 lead with 10:40 left in the third quarter.
Entsminger and Whitacre were also part of the halftime ceremony, in which Sherando's baseball team were given their state championship rings.
Sherando needed only one play on its next drive, which came after a Handley fumble. Johnson went through a hole up the middle and ran 40 yards for a touchdown to give the Warriors a 28-7 lead with 2:49 left in the third quarter.
"The hole was there and my line was giving me everything they had," Johnson said. "I just had to do my part and hit the hole as hard as I could."
Johnson added two more touchdowns in the second half to put the game out of reach.
Aston said he loves to watch Johnson have big games like he did Saturday night.
"It's so fun when I come in there bruising kids and just running them down, and then he comes in next drive and just breaks them," Aston said. "It's awesome seeing that. I'm just as hyped as he is when he's running the ball like "
Sherando was solid on defense throughout the game. The Warriors only blemish on defense was a 60-yard touchdown run by Handley's D.J. Frisby in the second quarter.
"We were so hyped up for this game. It's a district game, Handley is just a big rival," Aston said. "We just wanted to play our game -- physical football -- and that's what we did."
It was the second win of the week for the Warriors, who beat James Wood 41-6 on Monday. Now they have a week off, before playing at Skyline on Nov. 1.
"Honestly, I think our bye week is perfectly positioned to give us a little break next week, but were still going to have to get better," Aston said. "We need to just keep getting better and get some gameplans for some upcoming games. It should really help us leading up to the playoffs."
Contact Assistant Sports Editor Tommy Keeler at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or firstname.lastname@example.org Follow on Twitter @tkeelernvd