“It feels real good,” Johnson said of keeping the streak alive. “Obviously we had to fight for it, but that’s the type of game you want to be playing in. A lot of people had to make plays for that and we just stepped up.”
Scoring his first touchdown of the game on an 11-yard run to cut the Mississippi lead to 14-10, Johnson did his best work when Alabama needed him the most. Trailing 28-10 late in the second quarter, the Madison Academy standout scored from seven yards out to cap a 64-yard drive and give Alabama the momentum heading into the break.
That continued coming out of halftime when Johnson scampered across from five yards to bring his team to within four at 28-24. Alabama would take the lead on the next drive with a touchdown pass to Auburn commitment Jalen Harris from Jacob Carroll, all set up by a 21-yard Johnson run.
Kerryon Johnson had an impressive career at Madison Academy, winning Gatorade Player of the Year in Alabama, 3A MVP in state title game, and MVP of Alabama-Mississippi Game.
Tied at 30 with just over a minute left, Alabama got the ball back on its own 30-yard line. Instead of throwing the ball however it was Johnson getting the call, and 21 yards later he was across midfield to put his team in scoring position. Carrying the ball one final time for nine yards, Johnson’s productivity throughout the day helped give his team a chance for the touchdown pass to win the game.
“It feels great,” Johnson said. “That is a high level of competition, but I really just felt right at home in that tough of a game. We all just had to step up and make plays.”
Making plays is something Johnson has done since he first stepped on the field for 3A Madison Academy. Helping his team to four consecutive state title games and three wins, he said this week was about earning respect and showing he could hold his own against the best of the best.
“Really I was just looking forward to being able to compete with those guys,” Johnson said. “I knew it was going to get me better and more experience for the next level. A lot of people say that 3A is different, and it is, but it shows that if you can play then you can play at any level.”
Along with Harris, Tyler Carr, Richard McBryde and Darrell Williams, Johnson was one of five Auburn commitments on the winning team this week. Using the opportunity to get closer with them and the rest of the guys on the team, Johnson added that it’s an experience he wouldn’t change for anything.
“It was a lot of fun,” Johnson said. “I got to spend a lot of time with them and they don’t really live close to me. I got to spend a lot of time with those guys and all the rest of them. You got to know them and see how they are on a daily basis. I really enjoyed it.”
With still the Under Armour All-American Game left before Johnson wraps up a stellar prep career, he said that he’s already looking forward to life at Auburn with Gus Malzahn and company. Getting the news on Friday night that Will Muschamp was going to be the new defensive coordinator for the Tigers, he said that only makes things brighter for the future on the Plains.
“That’s a really good hire,” Johnson said. “He’s a real good defensive coordinator. He’s a really good coach and better guy. I know that’s going to help us every day in practice having to go up against a really good defense coached by him.
“To win a title you need a good offense and a pretty good defense,” he added. “They say defense wins championships. Obviously with his hire it’s going to help us.”