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HARRODSBURG — Unlike Ponce de Leon, Kendrick Johnson has found the secret to staying young.
And unlike poor Ponce, Johnson didn’t have to go searching for his magic elixir in Florida.
Johnson, the Hardin County Wolverines’ president and quarterback, ran for a touchdown and threw for four and a two-point conversion as the unbeaten and fourth-ranked Wolverines surged past the homestanding Central Kentucky Studs, 38-7 in Mid Continental Football League action Saturday night at the former Harrodsburg High School.
“I think I’ve found the fountain of youth somewhere. I had a good time tonight,” said Johnson, an 11-year semi-pro veteran. “I’m just trying to ball as long as I can.”
In the Wolverines’ previous game against the Eastern Kentucky Warriors, the 39-year-old Johnson completed all 10 of his passes for three touchdowns.
Against the Studs, he threw one scoring strike each to Antonio Dilworth (for 35 yards) and All-American Shaun Boykins (15) and two to former Elizabethtown standout Chris Williams (40, 15).
“We’re bringing him (Johnson) back from the dead. I’m running him more and we’re trimming him down,” joked Hardin County coach Larry Jobe, who moved to 7-0 overall and 1-0 in the 12-team MCFL in his first year with the Wolverines.
Jobe credited the Wolverines’ veteran offensive line of Rodney Tinker, Charlie Hopkins, Eric Cecil and Offensive Player of the Game Rodrick Tinker for Johnson’s torrid play.
“Most of them have been together for five years. They make it easy for him,” Jobe said.
The Wolverines led 12-0 after the first quarter on Johnson’s scoring strike to Dilworth and a nine-yard run by Michael Skees. Williams’ first touchdown came in the second quarter as the Wolverines owned an 18-point advantage over the first-year Studs (3-2, 0-1) at the half.
“And we should have been up a lot more. Our offense was sloppy,” said Jobe, whose team had three extra points blocked and a conversion pass dropped in the first half.
Boykins’ score extended the Wolverines’ lead to 24-0 entering the fourth quarter.
The Studs ended the Wolverines’ four-game defensive shutout streak with a lengthy scoring drive – aided by three Wolverine penalties – in the fourth quarter, but the Wolverines tacked on the final 14 points of the game on Johnson’s five-yard quarterback sneak, Williams’ second touchdown and a conversion pass from Johnson to former Louisville Fire member Cody Eubanks.
Williams, who also had an interception, earned Overall Player of the Game honors, while former Kentucky State quarterback Melvin Thomas, who intercepted one pass, was selected as Defensive Player of the Game.
Former Meade County standout Brandon Ditto had three sacks, while former Marshall University player Byron Tinker had two and former Morehead State player Dallas Robinson – one of the fastest semi-pro players in the country – had one.
Even though the Wolverines thrashed the Studs less than a month ago at West Hardin in a non-league game, several Studs members had some unflattering things to say about the Wolverines on the league’s public message board before Round Two.
Johnson said his team got its point across.
“I think so,” Johnson said with a laugh. “I talked to some of their players after the game and they were finally giving us our props.”
UP NEXT: The Wolverines play MCFL rival Kings (Cincinnati) Comets at 7 p.m. Saturday at LaRue County High School in Hodgenville.