Fort Dodge couldn't get out of its own way here Friday - or in Johnston's nearly enough.
A combination of self-inflicted wounds and defensive breakdowns doomed the Dodgers' Homecoming and Senior Night, as the Dragons posted a surprisingly-easy 37-0 Class 4A Division 2 victory.
Despite accumulating over 200 yards of offense and traveling well into Johnston territory four times in the first half alone, Fort Dodge (2-5 overall, 1-2 division) never did manage to dent the scoreboard. Meanwhile, Dragon senior quarterback Michael Kinning had the points flowing freely, as he threw five touchdown passes - often into busted coverage.
The end result was a lopsided loss at an inopportune time for head coach Matt Miller's squad.
''You know, we've been preaching consistency and talking about not having physical or mental breakdowns at critical moments in games,'' Miller said. ''The timing of our mistakes can't get much worse. We'll move the ball and get into position to do something positive, then shoot ourselves in the foot.
''To run 44 plays from scrimmage, have 11 first downs and (203) yards of offense before halftime and go into the locker room down 24-0 is just really hard to explain. Frustrating, disappointing, disheartening - you name it.''
Johnston - Cullen Maahs (49-yard pass from Michael Kinning), 0:36 left first. Ryan Harlow kick.
Johnston - Maahs (56-yard pass from Kinning), 8:54 left second. Harlow kick.
Johnston - Harlow (32-yard field goal), 5:02 left second.
Johnston - Maahs (23-yard pass from Kinning), 0:16 left second. Harlow kick.
Johnston - Matt Benson (46-yard pass from Kinning), 11:07 left third. Harlow kick.
Johnston - Trevor McCaulley (14-yard pass from Kinning), 9:33 left third. Kick failed.
RUSHING-Fort Dodge: Devon Kirby 17-49, Andrew Stover 7-(minus-1). Johnston: Kyle Timmerman 6-40, Jordan Weddington 8-30, Michael Kinning 3-10, Marcus Montgomery 1-4, Tate Williams 1-4.
PASSING-Fort Dodge: Andrew Stover 25-38-2-228. Johnston: Michael Kinning 21-28-0-346, Reid Sinnett 4-5-1-32.
RECEIVING-Fort Dodge: Tommy Halligan 11-104, Tyler Vaughn 6-49, Wesley Castro 4-41, Keegan Jones 2-16, Austin Halligan 1-11, Devon Kirby 1-7. Johnston: Cullen Maahs 5-136, Trevor McCauley 3-62, Brock Hoffman 7-59, Jordan Weddington 6-46, Matt Benson 1-46, Kyle Timmerman 2-18, Andrew Huess 1-11.
Kinning, a three-year starter, completed 21 of 28 passes for 346 yards in less than three quarters of action for Johnston (3-4, 2-1). Cullen Maahs hauled in three long touchdowns in the first half alone, including a back-breaking 23-yard score near the end of the second quarter that put the contest all but out of reach at 24-0.
Fort Dodge opened the game with a 15-play, 62-yard drive that resulted in a turnover on downs in the red zone. The Dodgers also suffered through a failed fourth-down play at the Dragon 44-yard line, a fumble at the Johnston 24 and an interception at the 11.
FDSH junior quarterback Andrew Stover completed 17 of 22 passes for 145 yards before the break, but Kinning was better, going 17 of 23 for 275 yards. Seven of Kinning's completions went for at least 20 yards.
Stover had 228 more yards in the losing effort, pushing his junior record to 1,299 through seven weeks - the fifth best single-season total in program history.
Senior Tommy Halligan had a career-high 11 catches for 104 yards despite playing on an injured ankle. Halligan is now seven catches away from the school reception record for a career, held by Alonzo Clayton (69 in 1991 and 1992).
Tyler Vaughn (fifth at 728 yards) and Halligan (seventh at 697) both moved up the program's all-time charts as well.
''Tommy Halligan played his guts out,'' Miller said. ''Tommy's hurt, but he's out there. Wes (Castro) is playing hurt. Adrean (Johnson) got hurt. He's working his tail off. Tyler's as steady and productive as they come.
''Until we get 11 guys on the same page though - and I'm talking offense and defense - we're not going to be an efficient football team, and we were far from an efficient football team (last night) when you look at the statistics. You just can't fall asleep at the wheel. I sound like a broken record saying that, but it rings true in Week 1 and it definitely rings true by Week 7.''
Fort Dodge heads to Ankeny on Friday to take on the top-ranked Hawks (7-0, 3-0). Game time is set for 7 p.m.