JOHNSTON - Any chance of a second straight victory by the Fort Dodge football team quickly slipped away early here Friday evening.
The Dodgers (3-4 overall, 1-2 in Class 4A, Division 2) simply had no answers for Johnston, dropping a lopsided 55-15 decision to the Dragons.
"PWe weren't ready to play (last night), and we weren't ready to play (Thursday in practice), either," FDSH head coach Matt Miller said. "I warned our kids about what could happen if we didn't come out focused.
"Part of this (loss) falls on me. Sooner or later, though, every kid has to gain their own sense of responsibility."
On Senior Night, the Dragons (4-3, 3-0) gained control from the start by reaching the endzone on all six of their first-half possessions in building a 42-0 advantage at the break. Johnston, which has now won three straight, actually scored on nine of its 10 drives in the contest, racking up a season-high 492 yards of total offense.
Due to the 35-point differential rule, the clock ran continuously over the final two quarters.
Fort Dodge 0 0 15 0 - 15
Johnston 21 21 10 3 - 55
Johnston - Jared Seay (40-yard run), 11:00 left first. Pete Lashier kick.
Johnston - Jordan Weddington (1-yard run), 6:57 left first. Lashier kick,
Johnston - Seay (21-yard run), 2:54 left first. Lashier kick.
Johnston - Grant Collison (2-yard run), 11:55 left second. Lashier kick.
Johnston - Will Bjorholm (24-yard pass from Mike Mahanna), 9:19 left second. Tommy Zinselmeier kick.
Johnston - Weddington (1-yard run), 2:24 left second. Zinselmeier kick.
Johnston - Zinselmeier (33-yard field goal), 7:25 left third.
Fort Dodge - Spencer Barber (69-yard pass from Andrew Stover), 6:02 left third. Ethan Schwendemann kick.
Johnston - Jack Kapustka (75-yard pass from Reid Sinnett), 4:30 left third. Zinselmeier kick.
Fort Dodge - Ben Ahlers (9-yard pass from Stover), :39 left third. Stover run.
Johnston - Zinselmeier (28-yard field goal), 5:40 left fourth.
Rushing - Fort Dodge: Sam Cook 17-118, Andrew Stover 9-72, Christion Garnica 4-27, Keegan Myers 3-6, Austin Halligan 2-3. Johnston: Jordan Weddington 14-107, Jared Seay 2-61, Mark Johnson 1-14, Grant Collison 3-10, Levi White 2-8, Timothy Patrick 1-0, Mike Mahanna 2-(minus-8), Reid Sinnett 2-(minus-11).
Passing - Fort Dodge: Stover 6-21-2-123, Johnny Bice 1-3-0-20. Johnston: Mahanna 12-15-0-192, Sinnett 5-8-0-119.
Receiving - Fort Dodge: Spencer Barber 2-77, Halligan 2-30, Ben Ahlers 2-29, Brian Murman 1-7. Johnston: Jack Kapustka 2-82, Seay 5-59, Andrew Heuss 2-59, Will Bjorholm 2-37, Regen Siems 1-25, Johnson 2-19, Weddington 1-15, Nick Whittaker 1-9, Thomas Dusen 1-6.
"(The Dragons) are undoubtedly a good football team, but with the type of overall effort we gave, it's hard to compare them to anyone else we've faced," said Miller. "Johnston looked like the (Minnesota) Vikings in their purple uniforms. And at least part of (their performance) falls on our shoulders."
Tailback Sam Cook, a sophomore, provided a bright spot for the Dodgers with 118 yards on 17 carries. Cook, who entered Friday as the second leading rusher in 4A, has now accounted for 1,191 yards on the ground this year. He has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in six of FDSH's seven contests.
Senior quarterback Andrew Stover went 6 of 21 through the air for 123 yards, including two touchdowns and two picks. Stover broke up the Dragons' shutout bid with a 69-yard scoring strike to Spencer Barber midway through the third.
Stover later connected with Ben Ahlers on a nine-yard TD pass.
"Granted, we're beat up right now and sat out 10 of our varsity guys (Friday), but the next guy up has to be ready to step in and do their job," Miller said. "We just didn't do things fundamentally sound amd we weren't disciplined (FDSH was flagged 10 times for 66 yards). Having that many penalties in Week 7 is inexcusable."
Stover also rushed for a career-high 72 yards on nine attempts, including a long of 50. He added a two-point conversion run.
Defensively, FDSH received two sacks from Zach Lowery and another by Cook.
Jordan Weddington ran 14 times for 107 yards and a pair of scores for the home team, while Jared Seay delivered 61 yards and found paydirt twice on his only two totes.
Starting signal-caller Mike Mahanna of Johnston was 12-for-15 passing for 192 yards and a TD.
Looking to rebound, the Dodgers welcome Ankeny (2-5, 1-2) for a home assignment on Friday. The Hawks pounded Sioux City North last night, 45-7.