Going into the long stretch of District 23-5A (Zone A) play, the Sugar Land (TX) football team was eager to get a win. And this past Saturday against rival Bush, it did not look like that was going to happen.
But after being down 14 points, the Cougars managed to score a touchdown offensively and defensively to tie the game. It was at that moment that the Kempner team stepped up its game. In overtime, the Cougar defense made and interception and the offense scored the go-ahead score to win the game 34-28.
“Oh man that last play. The only thing I am thinking is end zone, I got to get to the end zone,” Kempner running back Vedial Johnson said. “My team has called on me, I am the leader and I have to do it.”
And it was done. The 6-foot-1, 210-pound Johnson made it happen on the second offensive play, running it in for a 21-yard touchdown. With this win, Kempner is now 1-3 on the year.
By the end of the game, Johnson scored three total touchdowns and ran for 91 yards. While that may not seem like a lot, Johnson is the back who grinds it out. That guy who is usually the one who moves the chains on third downs.
“This was a tough game because I knew that Bush was going to key on me. I had to come out and get the tough yards, getting what I can,” Johnson said. “We wanted to make sure and focus. That is how we were able to win. This was not an individual thing, but about the team.”
And while the team is the primary focus for Johnson, there is no denying his abilities as an individual back. Last season, rotating with a number of other back, he rushed for 573 yards and four touchdowns.
That, along with off-season, brought some awareness nationally to a number of Division I programs who have shown interest in Johnson.
One of which has made him an offer.
“Colorado State has offered me, but I feel like some more are coming in,” Johnson said. “Right now, that is only one.”
In addition to the offer in hand, Johnson said that coaches from Boise State, Oregon, Kansas, Utah and Oregon State have all shown some level of interest as well.
He has not yet scheduled any visits to Colorado, or any other colleges. But one school has reached out to him with an opportunity to visit.
“Northwestern called me like two days ago asking when I was going to come for a visit,” Johnson said. “I will look at my schedule and see when I would be able to make it.”