O.P. Walker came out of the gates in a hurry, grabbing a 58-8 win over Clark (New Orleans) en route to a 3-0 start.
The last month? Not so good.
Their lone win since Sept. 10 came over Archbishop Rummel, where the Chargers got the 14-8 win over the Raiders. The six-point escape was sandwiched between a 28-14 loss at Hahnville and a 24-14 loss at Karr.
“We aren’t playing as perfectly as we would like to be, but things are getting done and we are winning some games,” said standout defensive tackle Anthony Johnson, who has anchored the team in the trenches for three straight seasons. “Sitting at 4-2 isn’t bad when you see that we have only three games left.
“The way I see it playing out, we are getting into the playoffs.”
Next up for the Chargers is a 4A District 10 contest against the Reed Olympians (New Orleans), followed by matchups with McDonough 35 and Easton in Pan American Stadium.
If the 6-foot-2, 296-pounder can match his play from the first six weeks, opposing offenses should be in for nightmares, once again.
“I am at 84 tackles on the year, and 8.5 of those are sacks,” Johnson said. “I’ve added two fumble recoveries and an interception. I feel stronger and more prepared than ever, so it’s all coming easy.”
Another name that football looks easy to: LSU defensive tackle Drake Nevis, who has recorded 33 tackles and five sacks through the opening six weeks.
Able to make it to the majority of LSU’s home games and take in all of their road contests on television, Johnson has become familiar with the work of the Tigers’ current dominant force in the middle – a role he hopes to occupy once Nevis graduates this season.
“Watching Drake do work is awesome, and it motivates me to bring that same intensity to the line when I step in next year,” Johnson said. “The one thing that always stands out is that Drake plays his game at a very high level, and that’s my approach this season. I don’t want to take plays off, because I won’t be able to get away with that in the SEC.
“I’m coming into next season with the goal to start my own legacy, kind of like Drake is doing now and Glenn Dorsey did before. I am going for the Heisman, because it’s something that has never been done before.”
Johnson is one of a handful of potential early-enrollees for LSU in the 2011 class, an opportunity to get a leg up on the competition that the New Orleans native doesn’t want to pass him by.
“To have that extra few months on everyone else is huge,” he said. “They are going to miss me around O.P., but it is what it is. This is a chance to be with the LSU team during the spring and be in great shape for the summer, and I have to jump on it. Coach (Les) Miles and his staff all think it’s the right move for me, especially since I have that ambition to get to the field right away. Everyone knows I am ready for it.”
As for his responsibilities on the recruiting front, Johnson has been spending time both in Tiger Stadium and on the phone lines. When he’s on the LSU campus, you can usually find the five-star chatting up fellow in-state prospects like Odell Beckham and Greg Robinson. When he’s back home in New Orleans, he’s spending nights talking with prospects like five-star Tim Jernigan, a fellow defensive tackle that has interest in the Tigers.
“I am basically doing a lot of things that the coaches can’t do,” Johnson said. “I have kind of taken that as my role going forward. Coach Miles and coach Frank (Wilson) want me as the leader of this class, so I have to step up for them at all times. I’m doing everything I can to keep LSU strong and at the top.”
Johnson, who is saving his official visit until January, said that he would be back in Baton Rouge for the Alabama game on Nov. 6.