Johnson, Cougars hold off Leon for first victory, 14-10
By St. Clair Murraine Outlook staff writer
Just imagine how much better Samodre Johnson will be coming out of the backfield by the midway point of the high school football season.
Still recovering from a knee injury, Johnson’s 21-yard touchdown run proved to be all the Godby Cougars needed in a 14-10 victory over Leon High School. The victory at Cox Stadium this past Friday was the first in three games for the Cougars, while Leon lost for the first time in as many games.
Although it’s still early in the season, the Cougars raised plenty of questions as to how competitive they could be this year. Especially after Johnson sustained the injury and the team suffered two straight losses.
But Johnson seemed to be healing, rushing for 118 yards after three quarters. He’s determined to get better, too.
“I had to fight through it,” he said. “I kept cramping and I’m coming off an injury that’s kind of bothering me.
Still it seemed nothing could stop Johnson.
“My guard was pulling and he is the type of guy I always see so I just burst it,” He said.
Leon’s defense didn’t give up a point for the second half. In part, the defense had too much pressure on Godby’s quarterback Kevin Shuler, who limped through three quarters with a sprained left ankle.
However, he was able to manage the game sufficiently.
“I can’t let stuff like that get in my way,” he said. “Coach Lanter told me at halftime that I don’t have to win the game; just do what we ask you and play ball.
“I just came out and played ball. I couldn’t leave it here and give up on my team like that.”
Midway through the fourth quarter, Leon caught a break when, on third down, the Lions benefitted with a roughing the passer whistle. The 15-yard penalty put them on the Cougars’ 30-yard-line, then Tim Eutsay took it in with 5:14 left. The PAT by Jack Driggers would be all they’d get the rest of the way, leaving Lanter praising his defense.
“I feel like we’ve got a good defense,” Lanter said. “We can play. We can run around, we can make tackles and we are physical.”