Johnson fires 6 touchdowns, ECU wins 42-21

ADA – Junior quarterback Marcus Johnson tied his own school record with six touchdown passes as East Central rolled to a 42-21 Lone Star Conference North football victory over Southwestern Oklahoma State Saturday night during homecoming festivities at Norris Field.

Johnson completed 30-of-45 passes for 292 yards as ECU improved to 3-6 overall and 2-1 in the LSC North.

He had scoring passes of 19 yards to Justin Heimer, 5 to Darnell Barnes (a usual defensive lineman who lined up in the fullback spot), 8 to Larry Carter, 18 to Ryan McGuire and two scoring aerials to Jerold Loveless for 13 and 10 yards.

Johnson is now just 37 yards away from breaking his own single-season record for passing yards. He threw for a record 2,508 yards during the 2007 campaign and is now at 2,472 yards with two games to play.

The Tigers compiled 371 yards of offense in the game while the Bulldogs ended up with 283.

Loveless topped all ECU receivers with six catches for 76 yards and the two touchdowns while Keewan King added five receptions for 53 yards. McGuire, a tight end, also caught four passes for 53 yards and the one TD.

The Tigers netted 79 rushing yards on 27 attempts as Larry Carter had 11 carries for 49 of those yards.

SWOSU quarterback Steve Day was 22-of-46 passing for 193 yards while Luke Lundy netted 64 yards on 17 carries and scored on runs of 9 and 2 yards.

Ovie Esalomi added a 6-yard scoring run late in the game to help pull the Bulldogs within the 21-point margin.

Bulldog receiver Kyle Wimberly caught a game-leading 10 passes for 83 yards.

SWOSU fell to 2-7 and 1-3.

The win was the largest margin of victory by the Tigers over an LSC North opponent since a 42-12 decision over Northeastern State in the final game of the 2002 season.

The Bulldogs jumped out to a 7-0 advantage on Lundy’s 9-yard scoring run with 8:53 to go in the opening quarter.

ECU finally responded on the second play of the second quarter as Johnson hooked up with Heimer on a 19-yard scoring pass with 14:47 to go before the break. The scoring play capped a nine-play, 66-yard drive.

After a fumble recovery by the Tigers’ Kevin Avey, the Tigers moved 55 yards in 10 plays as Johnson tossed a unlikely scoring pass to the defensive lineman Barnes, who was lined up in the fullback slot. Dozier’s kick upped the count to 14-7 with 7:56 left before halftime.

ECU then took a 21-7 lead into the break as Johnson fired an 8-yard scoring pass to Carter to conclude an eight-play, 65-yard series with 23 seconds left. Dozier’s kick pushed the advantage to 14.

The Bulldogs made it interesting on Lundy’s 2-yard run with 8:53 to go in the third as Chad McIntosh converted the PAT to cut the deficit to 21-14.

However, the Tigers scored on their first three possessions of the fourth quarter to put it out of reach.

Johnson connected with Loveless on a 13-yard scoring pass with 12:58 to go.

After a pass interception by Maurice Lanclos, ECU had to go just 27 yards in only three plays as Johnson zipped an 18-yard scoring pass to McGuire with 10:52 remaining.

Then after a Bulldog drive died at their own 45, the Tigers took six plays to score as Johnson hooked up with Loveless again, this time on a 10-yarder with 7:53 remaining.

Tiger cornerback Gerrett Burl was in on 11 tackles, including nine solo efforts, a stop for a lost yard and two pass breakups. Defensive end Homer Joiner recorded a quarterback sack, had another tackle for lost yards and forced a fumble.

ECU continues LSC North play at Central Oklahoma next Saturday at 2 p.m.

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