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Johnson engineers Starkville past Louisville


Austin Bishop, Special to The Dispatch



LOUISVILLE --┬áThere is no doubt who the engineer is going to be on the Starkville High School football train this year. 


Senior quarterback Jaquez Johnson rushed for a game-high 136 yards on 12 carries and connected on a 27-yard touchdown pass on a beautifully executed fade route to Gabe Myles in the corner of the end zone Friday night to fuel a dominating 34-0 win against Louisville. 


"Like I said all along, as he goes, we are going to go," Starkville High first-year head coach Jamie Mitchell said of Johnson. "He did it running and throwing. He is going to be a guy who leads this football team everywhere we go." 


Johnson left Louisville coach M.C. Miller impressed as well. 


"That quarterback is tough," Miller said. "He threw the ball better than he did last week. He put some passes right in there, and he''s a tough runner." 


In fact, when Starkville High needed tough yardage on third down, Mitchell didn''t hesitate to call Johnson''s number. 


But while the senior quarterback led the charge, he wasn''t the only Yellow Jacket getting the job done. 


Starkville High rushed for 388 yards on 44 attempts. It also held Louisville to 102 yards total offense, with a large chunk of those coming after the game had been decided. 


"We played very well on both sides of the ball," Mitchell said. "Offensively, I thought we did a great job of spreading the ball around. A lot of different people touched the ball and played well. 


"I have to take my hat off to the defense. That is two weeks in a row we have played great. We gave up a late score in each half last week (in a 14-7 loss to Noxubee County) and we had a shutout this week. I''m very, very pleased." 


While Mitchell was pleased and relieved to pick up his first win at Starkville High, he also knows the road ahead is going to be tough for his team. 


"We have to go to Meridian (Sept. 3) and West Point (Sept. 10)," Mitchell said. "I challenge anybody to find a schedule as tough as ours, and that''s including South Panola. We play some of the best there is." 


Starkville scored on its first three possessions, mounting drives of 10, 11, and 12 plays to take a 21-0 halftime lead. 


The Yellow Jackets'' first score came when Johnson followed the ball into the end zone at the end of a 21-yard run and teammate Eddie Brown recovered it for a touchdown. 


In the second quarter, Johnson hit Myles on a 27-yard touchdown and Jakarta Agnew scored on a 4-yard run. Daniel Fumo was good on all three extra point attempts. 


After a near-hour lightning delay at halftime that saw both stands clear, Starkville scored on its second possession of the third quarter when Johnson ran the ball in from 12 yards. The final touchdown came on a 9-yard run by Agnew in the fourth quarter. 


Garrett Smith rushed for 135 yards on 13 carries for Starkville, while Agnew had 45 yards on 10 attempts. 


Louisville received bad news after the game, when it was revealed freshman starting quarterback Wyatt Roberts had suffered a fracture just above his left wrist and likely will be out three to four weeks. 


"I guess we will just have to work more with C.J. (Bates) this week and get him ready to play more," Miller said. "We will just have to keep working hard and moving forward." 




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