On a night his school honored his former coach, Kevin Johnson wanted to show everyone how much Paul Maechtle taught him.
The Southeast senior ran for a personal-best 247 yards and tied a school record with five touchdowns, leading the Seminoles to a 42-21 victory over Cardinal Mooney on Friday night at Paul Maechtle Field at John Kiker Memorial Stadium.
"I wanted to honor coach Maechtle tonight and felt the only way to do that was to play great," Johnson said.
Maechtle, now defensive coordinator for Mooney, received numerous ovations before the game when the field was named after him.
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"There is a lot we did right tonight as well as a lot we did wrong," Johnson said. "Our offensive line pulled together and opened up massive holes and it was impossible for me not to do great things with them.
Johnson gained 38 yards in a tight first half that ended in a 7-7 deadlock. He scored the Noles' first-half touchdown on a four-yard run, while Jaz Mongeon got a one-yard TD for Cardinal Mooney.
The Seminoles exploded for 27 points in the third quarter. Johnson got things started on the first play of the second half when he broke free for a 72-yard touchdown run. Cardinal Mooney came back and tied the game at 14 on a 13-yard touchdown pass from Tristan to Hillerich to Jack Koscho.
Then things got wild for the Seminoles.
Joey Giardina hit Tyler Stevenson for a school record 96-yard touchdown pass breaking the prior mark of 93 yards set in 2005, when Chris Hart connected with Faron Hornes
against Manatee in a late-game thriller.
After the big pass, Johnson took over. He broke free for a 25-yard touchdown run, then scored from seven yards out to give the Seminoles a 34-14 lead on the last play of the third quarter.
"Kevin is our workhorse. He never gets tired and runs like a man possessed," Southeast head coach John Warren said. "On that big touchdown pass, we felt they were thinking we run the ball and saw some things we liked. We knew if we got Tyler the ball no one was going to catch him."
But Johnson wasn't finished. He capped off his big night with a 68-yard run to paydirt to account for the final points with 11:08 left. On his final TD run, Johnson broke numerous tackles leaving Mooney players gasping for air and strewn all over the field.
"I don't know if they were tired. Maybe it was me and the rest of my teammates' determination to keep our win streak going and go back to district play with a win," Johnson said. "I wouldn't say that I stole the show from coach Maechtle. I did it all on his field from all the things that I learned from him. Everything he taught me I applied tonight."
Johnson also received accolades after the game for tying the school's touchdown record held by Dyral McMillan, Courtney Allen and Melvin Burston. All four of them hold the single-game scoring record with 30 points.
It was the third straight victory for Southeast (3-3) and first time it has reached the .500 mark
under second-year head coach John Warren, who lost 12 of 13 games before the winning streak.
Giardina fought off two interceptions to throw for 154 yards, completing 5-of-11 passes with a touchdown pass. Stevenson caught two passes for 122 yards.
Mongeon led Mooney with 130 yards rushing on 16 carries. Hellerich completed 13-of-25 passes for 163 yards.
"It feels real good to be .500 and (it) keeps giving us more confidence," Warren said. "The key for us tonight is we didn't get down at halftime when the scored was tied and we had some bad plays. We had a team down, we were able to finish."