Johnson, Lake Forest open with 41-0 rout of Polytech

Lake Forest’s Isaiah Johnson rushes against Polytech. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

WOODSIDE — Isaiah Johnson bounced off a couple of Polytech defenders before his momentum started to bring him to the ground.

But Johnson dug his left hand into the dirt and kept plowing forward for a few more yards to the end zone.

It was the fourth touchdown of the night for the Lake Forest High junior fullback, and it was a scene which played out several times over the course of the game.

Johnson’s hard running paced the Spartans to a 41-0 victory at Polytech on the opening night of the Delaware high school football season Thursday. He finished with 107 yards on 15 carries.

“I couldn’t have done it without my linemen,” Johnson said. “That’ the key thing right there. It starts with them. I can’t do my job without them. They make the hole, and I just do my thing, get the yards, get the touchdowns and put the points on the board.”

Lake Forest’s Curtis Spencer recovers a Polytech fumble in the first quarter.

Johnson’s longest touchdown rush was his final one, from 13 yards out. He also scored from three yards, seven yards and 10 yards.
He had to fight off contact on all four.

“He’s a very unselfish player,” said Lake Forest coach Freddie Johnson. “He just works hard. When we put the ball in his hands, we know he’s going to keep those feet moving. He’ll put that hand down, that’s a drill we work on and he used that tonight. It’s awesome having him run the ball for us.”

Lake Forest capitalized on five Polytech fumbles — three of which were recovered by Spartan senior linebacker Dylan Auen.
One of Auen’s fumble recoveries led to Lake Forest’s first touchdown. He jumped on a botched snap to give the Spartans the ball inside the Polytech 30-yard line.

Jalen Morris then recorded the first points of the new season as he caught a nine-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Damian Galindez with 4:10 left in the first quarter. Auen recovered another fumble that the Spartans turned into points on Isaiah Johnson’s first touchdown of the night for a 14-0 lead with 2:27 remaining in the first.

Lake Forest’s Dylan Auen rushes against Polytech’s Cameron Mack.

Lake Forest’s 14-0 lead stayed that way until halftime. The Spartans then earned four touchdowns in the third quarter.

“We played sloppy football in the first half and you know what, that’s kind of expected in the first game,” said Freddie Johnson. “But we cleaned it up at halftime.”

The Spartan defensive line played a huge part in forcing those five fumbles. That unit also helped limit Polytech to negative 19 yards rushing in the first half.

“We have about six kids that we rotate in there and they’re all 200 pounds and 6-foot,” Johnson said. “We haven’t had that here in a very long time, big athletic kids like that.”

Polytech’s new head coach Robert Mason reacts as his offense fumbles the ball in the first quarter against Lake Forest.

Michael Brown added the other touchdown for Lake Forest on a four-yard rush.

It was the first time Lake Forest won a season opener since 2014.

“We needed this to start the season off,” Isaiah Johnson said. “We’re going to keep better.”

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