Buford’s Storm Johnson has big-play ability. The 6-foot-1, 202-pound junior running back has proven that time and again: 11.5 yards per carry this season, a 96-yard jaunt against Lovett, etc., etc, etc.
But playing for the defending Class AA state champions, Johnson hasn’t often needed to break a game wide open like he did Friday night in the Wolves’ 31-0 win over Decatur. So far this year, the Wolves’ closest game is a 21-point win over Mansfield Timberview (Texas) in the season opener. Often, Johnson’s night is done by halftime, and when it’s not, backfield mate Cody Getz is always there to deliver a knockout blow when needed.
But after a frustrating first half Friday, which resulted in just a 3-0 halftime lead over Decatur (1-3, 0-1 Region 6-AA), Buford coach Jess Simpson called Johnson’s number, and Johnson delivered.
The Wolves defense held down Decatur all night, limiting the Bulldogs to minus-24 yards of offense for the game. But four turnovers and seven penalties by Buford allowed Decatur to stay in the game for nearly two and a half quarters.
Getz gave the Wolves (4-0, 1-0) some breathing room with a 7-yard touchdown run that made the score 10-0 with less than nine minutes remaining in the third quarter. But it was Johnson that put the game out of reach with a 54-yard run a little more than a minute later and 38-yard run deep in the fourth quarter.
Johnson finished with 200 yards and two scores on 15 carries.
Johnson first showed flashes of potential last year, playing behind Demetris Murray (now a freshman at the University of South Florida). After rushing for 276 yards (7.6 per carry) and five touchdowns as a sophomore, Johnson has taken on a greater role in the offense this year. Through four games, he’s rushed for 562 yards and eight touchdowns while splitting carries with Getz (33 carries, 261 yards, seven touchdowns.