So much for Lackey ditching its running game this season for lack of an experienced back. The two-time Maryland 3A runner-up found out in last Friday's 32-14 victory over Calvert that sophomore Mike Johnson is more than a capable replacement for graduated All-Met Morgan Green.
After being held for negative yardage on each of his first three carries, the 5-foot-7, 205-pound Johnson finished with 280 rushing yards and five touchdowns, falling just five yards and one score from Green's single-game school records. His 27-yard touchdown run on Lackey's first play from scrimmage of the second half broke a 7-7 tie.
Lackey (2-0) returned a solid passing game this season, led by senior quarterback Aaron Smith and wide receivers Greg Bowman and Dante Page. But Johnson, who rushed for 70 yards and a touchdown in his first varsity start last season, a 24-0 victory over Douglass in last year's 3A semifinals, proved last Friday that opponents have to give honest attention to the Chargers' ground game, too. Lackey will need that this week, as it hosts No. 8 Westlake (2-0).
"It certainly gives us a dimension to our offense that we didn't know would be there," Lackey Coach Scott Chadwick said. "I've had some pretty good tailbacks [Green, and former Bowie All-Met Barrington Edwards] the past four years, and that performance ranked right up with them."
-- Alan Goldenbach