LILBURN - Shiloh probably didn't need Ira Johnson to win Friday's Region 8-AAAAA game against winless Meadowcreek. But it was good to have him back.
Entering the game with just over four minutes to play in the first half, the senior quarterback threw a 41-yard touchdown pass to Robert Hodge, then opened the second half with a 46-yard TD run to seal the game as Shiloh beat Meadowcreek 35-6.
Johnson was suspended for last week's game against Berkmar, and sophomore quarterback Mark Wright ran the Generals' triple option offense well enough to earn the starting nod against Meadowcreek. Shiloh (2-5, 1-3 region) scored two TDs with Wright at quarterback, but a slight concussion following his second fumble in the first half brought Johnson into the game.
The time off didn't hinder Johnson, whose TD pass with 30 seconds to play in the half caught Meadowcreek's secondary napping.
"We had run the same pass play on the other side of the field the play before," Johnson said. "When I saw the safety walk up to the line on the next play, I knew we'd have single coverage again."
The TD pass followed a fake punt by the Mustangs with less than a minute to play in the first half from their own 43, and the Mustangs trailing only 14-6.
Johnson credited the Generals' big offensive line, and his receivers, for opening holes to make his 46-yard TD run possible.
"I just had to make one person miss, and there was excellent blocking by the wide receivers," Johnson said.
Anchored by tackles Evan Black and Kadeem Boyd, Shiloh amassed more than 300 yards rushing in the game. It controlled the ball from the beginning of the contest, taking the lead on the game's third play from scrimmage, a 63-yard run down the right sideline by running back Reuben Lacy. Fullback Chaz Johnson added two TD runs of two yards apiece and pounded the Mustangs' defense, rushing for 103 yards on 17 carries.
Knowing Meadowcreek (0-7, 0-4) would test the Shiloh defense with its passing game, featuring four- and five-wide receiver sets, Shiloh coach Nick Davis counted on his offense to control the game.
"We preached to our kids all week that our offense would be our best defense. We did that, and our defense did a good job. It did bend, but it didn't break," he said.
Despite Shiloh's dominance, the Generals fumbled four times, but Meadowcreek could not capitalize on those mistakes. Down 14-0 in the second period, Meadowcreek got its lone score on an 8-yard pass from quarterback Sean Frezell to Daronte Smith.
Frezell had a productive night, completing 20 of 36 passes, but for only 166 yards and with two costly interceptions.
The loss extended Meadowcreek's winless streak to 39 straight games, a Gwinnett County record.
Shiloh: Reuben Lacy 63 run (Ernst Brun kick) 10:29
Shiloh: Chaz Johnson 2 run (Brun kick) 8:03
Meadowcreek: Daronte Smith 8 pass from Sean Frezell (run failed)
Shiloh: Robert Hodge 41 pass from Ira Johnson (Brun kick) 0:30
Shiloh: Ira Johnson 46 run (Brun kick) 7:09
Shiloh: Chaz Johnson 2 run (Brun kick) 0:43