Everybody knows Rayvon Johnson can run the football, but last night an overflow crowd at George Roberts Field in Severna Park found out he can catch it too.
Johnson, last season's Anne Arundel County Player of the Year and Rhodes Trophy winner when he ran for 2,060 yards, gathered in a 26-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Mike Phaneuf with 34 seconds remaining to lift No. 5 Annapolis over No. 14 Severna Park, 21-17.
The game-winner came on the next play after Phaneuf had thrown an apparent 14-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Acker only to have it called back for holding with 40 seconds remaining.
It was a match-up of two unbeaten teams renewing the county's longest running rivalry of 40 years (41 games). The Fighting Panthers (6-0) evened the series at 19 wins each with three ties.
Johnson's touchdown, his 12th of the season, was the second in the final 1: 50 and third by both teams in a frantic fourth period. Annapolis overcame a 10-7 deficit on a 1-yard dive by Aaron Copeland and Jagman Chahal's extra-point kick to take a 14-10 lead with 8: 03 remaining.
A Phaneuf-to-Johnson 60-yard pass play set up that touchdown, but the Falcons would answer. Derek Dixon, who ran for a game-high 105 yards on 19 carries, recovered a fumble at the Severna Park 17 with 3: 41 remaining.
Falcons quarterback Chris Odom (11-for-21, 125 yards) then directed a 10-play, 83-yard drive, completing four passes along the way, including a 28-yard touchdown pass to Paul Gillette with 1: 50 left. Gillette's ensuing point-after kick made it 17-14 Severna Park.
The score was made possible by Odom's scrambling out of the pocket to complete a third-and-10 pass to Starke Mueller down the middle to the Annapolis 45 with 2: 45 left. The only problem with the go-ahead drive was that the Falcons didn't take enough time off the clock.
Annapolis proved it had too many big-play people, with Johnson at the head of the class.
"Rayvon said give me the ball," said Annapolis coach Roy Brown. "That's why he was the Player of the Year last year. Nobody was down after they took the lead, nobody's head was down and the kids kept saying we got two minutes left."
The game-winning touchdown concluded a four-play, 47-yard drive that was set up by a 35-yard kickoff return by Kevan Simms.
Johnson was held to less than 100 yards rushing for only the second time in his career by a defense led by David Wagner and Todd Soroka.
Johnson had a career-low 21 yards rushing for a half, but came back with 75 in the second half to finish with 96 yards on 21 carries.