HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL

Late rally lifts Vandegrift over SA Johnson

The Vipers to face Cibolo Steele in area round on Friday.

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For the second straight year, Vandegrift needed a fourth-quarter comeback against San Antonio Johnson in the first round of the playoffs. 

And for the second straight year, the Vipers got one. 

The Vipers scored 21 of the final 26 points, including two touchdown catches by Peyton Ausley with under three minutes left to be San Antonio Johnson 28-27 Friday night at Heroes Stadium in San Antonio. They are 6-0 in the first round of the playoffs. 

Vandegrift will take on Cibolo Steele at Canyon Cougar Stadium in New Braunfels Friday at 7:30 p.m. 

The Vipers used a fourth-quarter rally to beat the Jaguars last season, too. And it was matched up with Steele in the second round, where it lost 17-0.

Justin Moore finished with 232 yards, three touchdowns and one interception on 18 of 34 passing and Isaiah Smallwood had 26 carries for 124 yards and a touchdown. 

Justin Florence had 70 receiving yards on eight catches, Ryan Merrifield caught five passes for 50 yards and a score, and Ausley finished with 55 yards on three grabs, two of which went for touchdowns. 

Vandegrift scored early in the second half to cut the lead to 10 points. Johnson returned the kickoff for a touchdown, but it was called back for holding and the Jaguars settled for a field goal.

Moore threw an interception to start the fourth quarter and Johnson was held to another field goal. 

Moore found Ausley twice in the final three and a half minutes of the game, scoring on a 32-yard pass with 2:30 left and the game-winning 13-yard touchdown catch with 30 seconds left in the game.

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