North Border's Jaxen Johnson sparks 9-man East over West at Shrine Bowl
Johnson ran for 45 yards, threw for 43 and accounted for both East touchdowns.
MAYVILLE, N.D. — North Border's Jaxen Johnson is the reigning 6-man player of the year in North Dakota.
It turns out he remembers how to play 9-man football, too.
Johnson, a 6-foot-4 quarterback with a college commitment to play linebacker at Minnesota State Moorhead, threw for 43 yards, ran for 45 yards and had a hand in both East team touchdowns in a 14-0 win over the West in the North Dakota 9-man Shrine Bowl on Saturday at Jerome Berg Field.
With 39 seconds left in the first half, Johnson capped a scoring drive with a 15-yard out pass to Johnny Gutzmer of Wyndmere-Lidgerwood for a touchdown. The defensive back on the play attempted to jump the route, mistimed the pass and Gutzmer scored easily to make it 6-0.
Johnson powered the East's scoring drive to start the fourth quarter, as well.
After a West fumble, the East took advantage of a short field with a drive starting on the 35.
Johnson picked up a fourth-and-3 with a 4-yard carry early in the drive and had runs of 7 and 13 yards right after the fourth-down conversion. On second-and-goal from the 2, Johnson used his big frame to bully his way into the end zone for a two-score lead.
Johnson hit Gutzmer for the 2-point conversion for the final margin.
The East dominated ball control, behind the play of Johnson and Clearbrook-Gonvick running back Aiden Churness, a Minnesota all-state pick. Churness ran 19 times for 83 yards.
The West's best chance to threaten the East lead followed thanks to a 14-play drive.
But on first-and-10 from the 13, West quarterback Tucker Schneider of Napoleon-Gackle-Streeter was intercepted in the end zone by Charlie Bowman of LaMoure-Litchville-Marion.
The East was able to milk the remaining clock.
The West was led by wide receiver Dylan Rud of New Salem-Almont, who had five grabs for 46 yards.
N.D. Shrine Game
East 14,West 0
E – Johnny Gutzmer 15 pass from Jaxen Johnson (run failed)
E – Johnson 2 run (Gutzmer pass from Johnson)
RUSHING – E: Aiden Churness 19-83, Jaxen Johnson 9-45; W: Easton Frey 7-25
PASSING – E: Johnson 3-4-0, 43 yards; W: Tucker Schneider 10-22-2, 66 yards
RECEIVING – E: Johnny Gutzmer 3-22, Chad Parisien Jr. 1-24; W: Dylan Rud 5-46