We had a chance to see several of the state's best football players all on one field last Friday when Oakland (Calif.) McClymonds traveled north to take on Los Angeles (Calif.) Dorsey. In a game filled with high Div I talent, the star of stars on this night was easily Dons running back Stafon Johnson.
Johnson, who looks all of 6-0, 210 pounds dominated on both sides of the ball to lead Dorsey to a 31-0 win. Playing just his second game of the year on the defensive side of the ball, Johnson ripped the ball out of the hands of a McClymonds running back and raced 65 yards for a touchdown to open up the scoring. Ironically, earlier in the game, Johnson caught a pass on Dorsey's first series of the game and went 65 yards (same distance as his defensive TD) for a score but the play was called back when it was ruled the Dons quarterback had crossed the line of scrimmage before he threw.
Johnson also rushed for 168 yards and two scores on just 14 scores and showed why he should be considered the top back in the West region. Johnson has great combination of speed, power and toughness. The first guy never brings him down, he seems to get stronger as the game goes on and he has enough of a burst to run away from defenders. Former Auburn star and current Tampa Bay Buccaneer running back Carnell Williams would be a good comparison as to who Johnson's running style reminds us of.
"This was a big game for us with a lot of hype," Johnson said after the game. "I'm just glad we came out strong and got the win. I wasn't really concerned about getting the shutout, I just wanted to win because they have some great players over there."
As for personal goals this season, Johnson said he wants to be remembered as the best running back that has ever played for Dorsey.
"That has been my goal since my freshman year and it's what drives me every day," Johnson said. "We've had some great backs here in the past, guys like Lamont Warren, Sharmon Shah, Beano Bryant but I want to be known as the best and to do that, we need to win a city title. I've taken on a leadership role this year and feel it's my job to guide the younger players and I can really see our team coming together."
Johnson started the year playing quarterback before moving to running back in the second half of the Dons game a week ago. In four games, the athlete has rushed for 675 yards and seven touchdowns on 75 carries. On the recruiting front, Johnson said his main and sole focus right now is on his football season.
"Honestly, I'm not even thinking about what schools to visit right now until after we're done playing," Johnson said. "I've even apologized to some coaches who have called and talked about a visit, I just can't think about it right now. My whole mindset is on our team winning a city title and once that is over, I'll focus more on recruiting."