BERKELEY HEIGHTS – The Gov. Livingston football team defeated Johnson 21-14 Thursday in the first game for both.
Johnson scored first on its second possession, which was a two-play, 12-yard drive following a 33-yard punt return by Max Carmino.
Johnson senior running back Sebastian Iakouchevitch was stopped for a two-yard loss on first down and then scored on a 14-yard run on second. Nicholas Serpe kicked the extra point to give the Crusaders a 7-0 lead with 4:45 left in the first quarter.
Iakouchevitch scored both Johnson touchdowns and led all rushers with 186 yards on 29 carries. He gained 53 yards on 15 carries in the first half.
GL tied the game in the third quarter at 7-7 when the Highlanders took the kickoff and then marched 69 yards in 10 plays, using nearly five minutes. James Snyder capped the drive with a three-yard touchdown run.
GL went ahead 13-7 in the fourth quarter, moving 41 yards in seven plays following a Noah Truncale defensive fumble recovery when Johnson misplayed a pitch. The Highlanders scored on a nine-yard run on second-and-eight. The extra point was not kicked, with an attempted run for two points thwarted by a John Cuccolo (No. 15) tackle.
Truncale also came up with an interception that halted Johnson’s previous possession.
Johnson took the lead back right after GL scored its second touchdown. The Crusaders marched 81 yards in eight plays, with Iakouchevitch scoring from 17 yards out on first-and-10. Serpe’s second extra point put Johnson up 14-13 with 6:57 remaining.
GL was held without a first down the next time it had the ball and quick-kicked it back to Johnson. After the Crusaders were then held without a first down themselves, Carmino produced a 41-yard punt to the GL nine-yard line with 3:04 left and the Highlanders down to just one timeout.
On first down Jake Faulkner caught a touchdown pass that covered 91 yards. James Snyder then ran in the two-point conversion to make it 21-14 GL.
Johnson advanced as far as its own 32, went backwards, and then reached its own 31 before its final drive stalled.