NASHVILLE, Ga. –– Flash! Ah-ah! Savior of the Universe.
Berrien County Rebels’ running back Gerrick Johnson donned the name “Flash” for his speed and Friday, in their 61-43 win against the Atkinson County Rebels, he showed that the name claimed true.
Berrien’s Gerrick Johnson made his presence felt from kickoff.
Johnson scored on three separate occasions within the first half.
He began the game by returning a 92-yarder on the initial kickoff.
Atkinson responded when they rushed for ten yards for a touchdown.
Johnson then punched in a four-yard touchdown while carrying multiple Atkinson defenders with him to put the Berrien Rebels up 13-7.
His final score of the first half came in the second quarter where he carried the pigskin for nine yards with 9:48 to go.
Atkinson’s came back Berrien when quarterback Travonte Williams found Tyshun Jordan for a 62-yard touchdown to close the gap at 20-14 with 7:27 to go in the second quarter.
Johnson ended the first half with nine carries for 52 yards and 3 touchdowns (two rushing, one kick).
The Rebels passing attack was limited as they only attempted two passes, completing both.
“We’re a running football team,” Berrien County head coach Tim Alligood said. “We throw the ball when want instead of when we have to in order to control the game.”
One completion came when they placed offensive lineman, Jaden Wheeler at tight end.
Quarterback Ja’marquis Jonson found Wheeler for a ten-yard receiving touchdown.
Berrien led 27-14 entering the second half.
Different half. Same story.
Gerrick Johnson scored off a nine-yard run, which would be the first of his four second half scores, raising their lead to 20.
Atkinson’s Travonte Williams had something to say as he called his own number and scored on a 47-yard touchdown.
Getting the ball again, Gerrick Johnson showed his burst of speed once again as he took and handoff from Ja’marquis Johnson for a 63-yard touchdown.
Travonte Williams decided to do it himself again as he went the distance for a 57-yard touchdown of a scramble.
Berrien decided to stick to their formula as they once again put the ball in Gerrick Johnson’s hands as danced his way in for a sixth touchdown with 2 minutes left in the third quarter.
Atkinson decided to make use of those two minutes as they were playing catch-up.
Travonte Williams looked to receiver, Ty’Quez Rowles to bring the score to 48-35 as the third quarter expired.
At the beginning of the third quarter, Ja’Marquis Johnson went down with a minor leg injury.
Coach Tim Alligood looked to Gerrick Johnson to take over quarterback duties for the remainder of the game.
Johnson felt prepared for this moment as he had prior quarterback experience.
“It’s something I’ve been practicing all week. I played a little bit in middle school and sophomore year.”
Alligood then called for a quarterback keep, leading to Johnson scoring a Berrien County record, seven touchdowns.
Johnson was grateful as he posted a line of 19 carries for 142 yards, six rushing touchdowns, and one kick return score.
“I feel good right now, I wasn’t even expecting this to happen. God gave me the ability to do what I can do.”
Coach Alligood praised Johnson coming off his big performance.
“He’s an awesome kid, we always knew he had it in him.” Alligood said. “He played a lot of defense last year, but we began to see a flash on the other side of the ball and tonight was his coming out party.
Berrien: Hosts Bacon County on Sept. 6.
Atkinson County: Travels to Brantley County on Sept. 6.