The East Union High Lancers celebrated homecoming Friday with a convincing 48-6 victory over Johansen.
That’s after they opened up looking flat in the first quarter.
“We came out sluggish,” East Union coach Willie Herrera said.
His Lancers (2-0) soon picked up their energy and tempo while finding the end zone four times in the second. JoJo Espinosa threw for three touchdowns, hitting Andrew Sena on a 64-yard bomb, Omar Sanchez on a 14-yard toss, and Raylan Carter on a 23-yard strike.
But it was Levi Huffman who broke the scoreless game with a 14-yard run up the gut, igniting the offensive fireworks.
He capped a 94-yard drive that came after the Lancers’ defense stopped Johansen (0-2) on fourth and short at the EU 6-yard line.
Espinosa, who went 8 out of 10 passing for 223 yards with four touchdowns, completed seven straight passes after throwing an interception.
Sena caught two passes for 102 yards while the ground game led by Alex Kukor, Isaiah Sholund, Tony Martinez, Huffman and Carter, racked up a combined 250 yards on 30 carries.
Herrera credited his offensive line for paving the way. He also praised his attacking defense for keeping the Vikings in check.
Sena and Brian Gibson both had an interception.
Leading 26-0 EU put the game out reach in the third quarter with Espinosa connecting with Matthew Pilkay on a 23-yard pass.
On the prior play, he found Sena on a 43-yard pass play to set up that score.
The Lancers added the finishing touches, with Martinez scoring from 20 yards out and Scott blasting one in from the Vikings 1.
“I give kudos to Johansen,” said Herrera, remembering that it wasn’t too long ago when his teams endured similar fates.
He still sees a few loose ends to clean up before the start of Valley Oak League play. The Lancers open with reigning co-champion Oakdale on Sept. 22.