Washington, Johnson, Farley, Green tabbed as week's best
It's amazing what a state of mind can do.
Sumter High junior defensive end Raymond Johnson started the season on the defensive front four, was moved to outside linebacker before going back to the line again.
Johnson had a huge game for the Gamecocks on Friday with 10 tackles, including four for a loss, and two quarterback sacks in their 38-0 victory over Stratford. For his efforts, Johnson has been named The Sumter Item Defensive Player of the Week.
Johnson was one of three Gamecocks chosen as players of the week. Wide receiver Colin Washington is the Offensive Player and center Max Farley earned Offensive Lineman honors. Robert E. Lee placekicker/punter Weston Green was selected as the Special Teams Player.
The quartet will be honored on Friday at 7:15 a.m. at the Sumter Touchdown Club's second meeting of the season at the Quality Inn on Broad Street. Jerry Moore, the former head coach of 3-time FCS national champion Appalachian State that beat Michigan at the "Big House," will be the featured speaker.
"I guess it was a state of mind that my coach told me because earlier this season I moved to outside linebacker and (my coach told me) 'Whatever you thinking out there, just let it go and play ball,'" Johnson said. "So I went out (Friday) and I played very aggressive and took advantage of what I saw, like the offensive line slacking on plays and stuff like that."
First-year SHS head football coach Mark Barnes has been preaching being physical in all three phases of the game and perhaps no better example of that came in the form of the Gamecocks' first shutout of the season, holding the Knights to just 76 total yards on defense, including 15 negative plays.
"If you play physical there should be no scheme that can stop you if you play physical," Johnson said. "I think if we listen to coach, pay attention and actually buy in to what he says, you can see what happens. It shows, and it showed this week."
Farley, who graded out at 84 percent with three knockdowns, helped pave the way for 276 yards rushing on offense as the entire O-line graded out with average of 81 percent.
"(Offensive line) Coach (Drew) Marlowe talks about beating the guy in front of you every single play for every second of the game," Farley said. "He preaches that every day and that's a mindset in itself to help us every play. To be able to do that, it's going to be a trickledown effect and you're going to end up winning."
The Gamecocks also had success in the passing game as Washington had another big night with six catches for 157 yards and two scores. It's the second consecutive game Washington has caught five or more passes and had 150 yards receiving.
"Every game I get more focused and this past week I came out and had the aggressiveness that I wanted, to be that person to step up to the plate for the offense," he said. "It's a hard thing to do, especially when you know there is a lot of pressure on you, but I had to step up to the plate for the team."
Washington said the Gamecocks have seen over the last two games what happens if they practice hard.
"(Coach Barnes tells us) you've got to be more physical, that's the key to winning games," Washington said. "You've got to be more physical and be more aggressive. If you come out and be more physical and more aggressive you'll have an overall better game."