Johnson turns on jets, Northeastern blows by Solanco
Anu Johnson said he had no idea that he scored touchdowns on three straight carries.
That was only a portion of the evening for the Northeastern senior, as the Bobcats traveled to face Solanco on Saturday night.
“I didn’t know that,” Johnson said of his scores. “The O-line was great; the play calling was great."
Of course Johnson deserves some of the credit himself, as he finished with 242 yards on just 10 carries to go with four touchdowns as Northeastern routed the Golden Mules 47-7.
Northeastern, which scored on its first seven possessions of Saturday's contest, is now 3-0 on the season.
“These kids deserved that reward,” Bobcats coach Jon Scepanski said. “They worked hard. It’s the dedication and hard work these guys are willing to put in, and the coaching staff is doing a phenomenal job preparing them.”
With the Bobcats up 6-0, Johnson’s 4-yard run capped a nine-play, 62-yard drive. After a Mules three-and-out, it took just two plays for Johnson to burst up the middle for a 46-yard score.
Four plays after Solanco’s ensuing series, Johnson went 57 yards, putting Northeastern ahead 26-0. One play after Bobcats' quarterback Shannon Valenti was sacked for a loss, Johnson took off on an 82-yard scoring run, putting the mercy rule in effect less than three minutes into the second half.
“It kind of happens, I can’t explain it,” Johnson said of his ability to burst through the line for big gains. “I just see the end zone. I don’t get tired. It’s like putting food in front of a hungry dog.”
“He’s a very special kid,” Scepanski said. “He’s got the speed. He’s got the quickness. Like he said, our offensive line did an outstanding job. We really stressed on them this week they were going to be playing a very physical team.”
Valenti’s 2-yard run made it 33-0 at halftime. The senior ended the night for the Bobcats' starters with an 80-yard touchdown run. The Bobcats amassed 414 yards on the ground.
Taemar Willis got the night off to a great start for Northeastern when he fielded the opening kickoff and went through the mass untouched for a 90-yard return and a lead 14 seconds into the game.
“There’s no better way to start a game than a kickoff return. Our goal is to always score on the first drive and that starts with a kick return,” said Scepanski.
The coach then left Solanco's field, where he played in high school.
Ne – Taemar Willis 90 kickoff return (kick blocked), 11:46.
Ne – Anu Johnson 2 run (run failed), 3:01.
Ne – Johnson 46 run (Hayden Seifert kick), 11:52.
Ne – Johnson 57 run (Seifert kick), 8:27.
Ne – Shannon Valenti 2 run (Seifert kick), 1:03.
Ne – Johnson 82 run (Seifert kick), 9:12.
Ne – Valenti 80 run (Seifert kick), 3:44
Sol – Joel McGuire 2 run (Charlie Canby kick), 4:39.
Rushing – Ne, Johnson 10-242, Valenti 5-76, Coby Motley 1-30, Chris Whack 3-24, Willis 1-17, Daniel Thomas 2-8, Kyle Williams 3-8, Fred Mulbah 1-6, Jacob Dellinger 1-3. Sol, Alex Hindman 25-109, Nafis Moore 7-49, Ryan Yaletchko 8-25, McGuire 9-12, Nick Yannutz 1-8, Anthony Billings 1-7, Josh Weder 1-0.
Passing – Ne, Valenti 2-3-12-0. Sol, McGuire 1-6-20-0.
Receiving – Ne, Jonathan Butler 1-6, Kyler Cotroneo 1-6. Sol, Hindman 1-20.