By MADISON BROWDER
The Page Patriots don’t need an excuse to lean on running back Bubba Johnson. However, the torrential downpour that lasted throughout their game against Columbia Central Friday was an added incentive.
Johnson carried the ball 26 times for 138 yards to help lead the Patriots to a 21-12 win.
“It all goes to my offensive line,” Johnson said. “Coaches put them in the right place and I tell them if they do their job, I’ll do mine. And that’s how we succeed.”
Johnson has racked up 1,271 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns on 203 carries this year.
Senior Jacob Van Landingham accounted for 54 of the Patriots 248 total yards in the game. He also was credited with 3.5 tackles.
“Bubba is a special kid,” Page head coach Charles Rathbone said. “But Jacob came in and helped finish the job and on that last drive ran the ball hard, as well. Gotta give it to the offensive line and those guys playing hard. Miserable conditions and we made mistakes, but ultimately we were able to pull it out in the end.”
Page (7-3) will visit Gallatin as Region 5-5A’s No. 3 seed in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs on Nov. 3.
“We haven’t seen them, so we don’t know what to expect,” Rathbone said. “It’s football country up there, a great atmosphere and we’re excited to go up there and play. Hopefully, we don’t get rain like [tonight.]”
Page sophomore quarterback Cade Walker completed 6 of 14 passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns. Junior Luke Bowers had an interception and a blocked punt.
Columbia Central scored immediately when Dez Brooks returned the opening kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown. The ensuing extra point was no good.
Page answered late in the first quarter when Walker connected with Quaid Lamont for a 58 yard touchdown, pushing the Patriots ahead 7-6.
Van Landingham put Page on the board again with a quarterback sneak midway through the second quarter.
The Patriots went up 21-6 heading into halftime on a 7-yard touchdown run by Walker.
Columbia Central got the only score in the second half when Dane Sykes completed a 53-yard pass to TJ Bailey in the third quarter.