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Johnson is all about winning, not numbers

Thibodaux High running back Donta Johnson runs the ball Friday against the Assumption Mustangs. (Photo by Comet File)

Thibodaux High running back Donta Johnson isn’t interested in his statistics.

The only thing Johnson cares about is winning, and that is what he and the Thibodaux Tigers want to do this season.

Johnson has been the catalyst in the Tigers offense over the first two games, and while he doesn’t look at his numbers, they can’t be ignored.

After helping the Tigers to a 32-20 victory over Zachary by rushing for 192 yards and two touchdowns, Johnson gained 182 yards and scored two more touchdowns in the Tigers’ 26-22 loss to Assumption last week.

Thibodaux (1-1 overall) trailed 26-6 late in the game against the Mustangs when Johnson took over by rushing for 100 yards and two scores in the fourth quarter.

Even though he is the straw that stirs the Tigers offense, Johnson is quick to point out that he has received a lot of help from his teammates.

“I haven’t looked at my stats, but I know I’ve made some big runs. I just try to finish every play, and I’ve been trying to help my team in any way I can,” Johnson, a junior, said. “Everything is good, and we’ve been sticking together trying to do everything right. We’ve been on the same page, telling each other who to block and that has taken the pressure off of me and (the other skill players).”

Besides his ability to run with the football, Johnson has become a triple-threat in the Tigers’ offense.

As Thibodaux’s “Wildcat” quarterback, Johnson has passed for 45 yards and has added four receptions for 26 yards while amassing 374 rushing yards and four touchdowns.

Johnson said that he likes the versatility of being the “Wildcat” quarterback, which gives him opportunities to make big plays.

“I do like running the ‘Wildcat’ because it is so easy to run. When the (defensive) line crashes down, I just take it up the gut,” Johnson said. “I think our running game is going to be good this week, and that should open up our passing game more.”

Thibodaux coach Chris Dugas said that using Johnson as the “Wildcat” quarterback has led to big plays by Johnson and his other skill players as well.

“It makes us tough to guard with him back there along with another good running back and our slot guys. It’s been working well, and he is picking up the reads, and he is also throwing the ball well,” Dugas said. “It puts a lot of pressure on our opponents to defend the whole field with him (at quarterback). We’ve got other guys like Jason (Richard) who can make plays on the sweeps, but (defenses) still have to defend him on the run and the pass.”

Johnson hopes his versatility will help the Tigers get a win in their District 7-5A opener against New Iberia on Friday.

Johnson said that last week’s loss to Assumption was a learning experience, and he expects the Tigers to give a better effort this week against the Yellow Jackets.

“Assumption used some blitzes at us that we weren’t ready for, so we want to do better and get off to a faster start (against New Iberia),” Johnson said. “We are working in the weight room getting bigger and faster. We just have to stay focused this week and execute our plays to get a win.”