High School Sports

Johansen looks to end string of heartbreakers

It's been a difficult first month of the season for Johansen High.

The Vikings are winless after four games, but it's not for lack of effort. They've been outscored by a total of 15 points, but each week, victory has slipped away:

A failed two-point conversion led to a last-minute, 22-20 season-opening loss to Sonora. ...

Three failed point-after attempts proved to be the difference in a 21-18 loss to Pitman. ...

Los Banos threw a TD pass on the final play of the game for a 28-26 victory two weeks ago. ...

The Vikings led 13-7 in the fourth quarter last week, before West rallied for a 21-13 victory.

With its conference opener a week away, the Vikings will try to earn their first win tonight when they host Tokay (0-4).

Lacking a passing game, the Vikings will count on running backs Michael Harrison (333 yards) and Devin Cannon (325) to keep their offense moving and exploit Tokay's lack of depth.

In other featured games:

Downey (3-1), debuting in The Bee's large-school poll this week at No. 5, visits Edison of Stockton (0-4) in its final Modesto Metro Conference tuneup.

Oakdale (3-1, 1-0), The Bee's No. 2-ranked large school, hosts Ceres (0-4, 0-1) for its homecoming in Valley Oak League action.

Modesto Christian (3-1), featuring sophomore quarterback Isaiah Burse, hosts unbeaten Mariposa (4-0). Burse, a transfer from Calvary Temple, is MC's leading rusher (201 yards) and passer (372 yards and three TDs).

Amador (3-1), which handed Hughson its first loss last week, brings a potent attack to Central Catholic (2-1-1). Matt Goggans, the district's No. 5 passer with 689 yards, has thrown six TDs.

It could be a run vs. pass battle when Hughson (3-1) hosts Bret Harte (3-1). The Huskies feature Aaron Stice, the district's No. 2 rusher with 685 yards, while Bret Harte has quarterback Ty Bradley (640 yards, nine touchdowns).

Bee staff writer Richard T. Estrada can be reached at restrada@modbee.com or 578-2300.