Big plays by Romeo Johnson gives Richards huge 49-0 shutout over Argo

SHARE Big plays by Romeo Johnson gives Richards huge 49-0 shutout over Argo

Wherefore art thou Romeo?

Running into the end zone, of course.

Richards running back Romeo Johnson was a big-play machine Friday night against Argo. The 5-7 senior turned six carries into 174 yards and four touchdowns as the Bulldogs downed Argo 49-0 in a South Suburban Red mismatch in Oak Lawn.

“That’s my first time ever having a game like that,” Johnson said. “It was the O-line and my receivers helping me out.

“We just had our senior speeches, and I was really listening to some of our guys. I’m running mad because I want that ring. We want a state title.”

Johnson scored on runs of 6, 55, 77 and 13 yards for the returning Class 6A runner-up. All four of his touchdowns came during a five-minute window spanning the first and second quarters.

“He’s deceptively fast,” Richards coach Tony Sheehan said. “The last few weeks he’s been running the ball really well and running angry. That’s good to see moving into the playoffs.”

Richards (8-1, 6-0) is now winners of seven straight since a three-point loss to Geneva in Week 2. The Bulldogs’ victory knocks Argo (4-5, 3-3) from the playoffs and ends the 34-year head coaching career of Argo’s Jim Innis, who is now slated to retire.

“You just do the best you can,” said Innis, the head coach at Argo for the last 27 years. “We don’t always have the best athletes, but usually we’re pretty tough and give people a fight. We were just outclassed (Friday).”

Hasan Muhammad-Rogers, an Illinois State recruit, went 5-for-10 for 107 yards and two touchdowns in less than two quarters of play for Richards. Muhammad-Rogers hit Ryan Willett for a 26-yard TD to open the scoring and later added a 9-yard TD toss to Jared Moore.

“A lot of the kids on this team can do special things when they get the ball,” center Josh Hettiger said. “(Johnson), Joe Doyle, all three of our receivers — we’ve got a lot of talent, and they can take us far.”

Hettiger manned the line alongside Joe Korpitz, Joe Carpenter, Benson Sultan and Desmond Wilson.

As if it wasn’t hard enough containing Richards’ weapons, Argo found itself squarely behind the eight-ball after starting quarterback Corde O’Neal left the game midway through the first quarter after sustaining an injury on a kickoff return.

“We were banged up anyway — I think we dressed 28 guys — and once Corde went down it wasn’t pretty for us,” Innis said.

Jordan Jamerson added a third-quarter TD for Richards. Andrew Calderon converted all seven of his extra-point attempts.

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