OKEMOS- The Okemos Chiefs shut out the Eastern Quakers, 36-0, Friday to move within one win of clinching a playoff spot.
The Chiefs ran wild, totaling 271 yards on 40 carries in the win, led by Chris Nelson’s 133. They only had to throw the ball twice all night.
“Our offensive line did a great job tonight,” said Okemos coach Jack Wallace. “And our backs ran hard. We just fundamentally ran some simple plays and executed really well.” Okemos came out of the tunnel running and never stopped.
In their first drive, the Chiefs covered 61 yards on five plays, all rushes. The drive was capped off by a 19-yard touchdown by Kome Johnson, who finished with 107 yards rushing and three touchdowns. He also contributed two sacks and a successful onside kick in the game.
“I just give it up to my lineman,” Johnson said. “They do a lot. They had a great game today.”
Following a quick three and out on the defensive side, the Chiefs got the ball back on their own 28-yard line. It took them all of two minutes to find the end zone again, as they used a short pass and five more rushes to score on a 10-yard run by Chris Nelson. The trend continued as the Chiefs scored a rushing touchdown on each of their first five drives, and were up 34-0 at halftime.
“Our game plan tonight was to be simple,” Wallace said. “Run simple plays and get up on them early, and we did. It took their life away.”
Though most of the second half involved backups getting playing time, the defense stayed stellar against the Quakers’ starters. Up until the final drive, the Chiefs had given up only three first downs all night.
The Quakers’ final drive was their most successful, as they got three first downs and took the ball to the Okemos 11-yard line. But when their fourth down effort came up short, the game was over and the Chiefs celebrated the shutout and their much needed victory.
Kome Johnson gave credit to his teammate and captain Christian Moore for his and the team’s style of play and success. “I was talking to Christian before the game and he just told me to run hard. Have faith in God and run hard.”
The Chiefs are now sitting at an overall record of 5-3 (4-2 in conference). With one game remaining, they must defeat the East Lansing Trojans (1-7, 1-5) to clinch a playoff spot, as six wins are needed to reach the postseason.
The must-win game for the Chiefs will take place Friday at 7 pm in Okemos.