ST. AMANT, LA (WAFB) - A defensive effort dedicated to the memory of a dad and the star of a series renewed for the first time since 1934 earned Sportsline Player of the Week awards for St. Amant's Johnny Johnson and U-High's John Gordon McKernan.
The Gators' defensive lineman and the Cubs' quarterback both picking up invitations to the Warrick Dunn 2017 Sportsline Player of the Year banquet.
Johnson's father, Johnny Johnson, Jr. passed away from cancer at the age of 46 on the Monday before St. Amant's game with West Jeff, but the junior defensive lineman decided to play and dedicate his performance to his dad's memory. Johnson had six tackles, including three sacks, and batted a pass into his own arms taking an interception for 50 yards and a touchdown.
"The emotion in 'The Pit' when he made that play is the kind of stuff that will be remembered for many years to come," said Gators head coach, David Oliver when he nominated #90. Johnson was also credited with three quarterback hurries, two assisted tackles, and a blocked PAT as the Gators won 42 - 6. St. Amant is off to a 3 - 0 start and has only allowed three touchdowns in three games.
McKernan led the 3A Cubs to a shocking win over 5A Catholic High, which had posted impressive wins over Parkview Baptist and Zachary to start the season. The junior quarterback completed 17 of his 20 passes for 232 yards and two touchdowns as U-High rolled to a 34 - 0 lead after three quarters. The Cubs shut down the passing game to run the clock in the fourth quarter and claim a 34 - 6 victory for a 3-0 start. McKernan's 57-yard TD pass to Doryan Harris as the first half ended staked U-High to a 27-nothing lead. It was the first football meeting for the schools in 83 years.
McKernan and Johnson will join Catholic's junior quarterback Cameron Dartez and senior running back Tyre Golmond from Denham Springs, who won this year's first two awards, when WAFB hosts the 11th annual Warrick Dunn awards banquet in January to name the top senior football player in the Baton Rouge area.