BHS quarterback riding hot streak

Published 5:00 am Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Jimmy Johns is riding a hot streak. Brookhaven’s juniorquarterback was a perfect 5-for-5 passing for 174 yards and 3touchdowns as the Panthers trounced Terry 48-0 in a lopsidedhomecoming victory on King Field.

Johns only played in the first half last Friday, directing thePanthers to a 40-0 halftime lead. That performance has earned himThe DAILY LEADER’S Offensive Player of the Week honors for theseventh week of the 2003 season. It’s the second time for him towin the award this year.

Johns (6-2, 215) has completed 53 of 91 passes for 836 yards and17 touchdowns this season. He has thrown only 2 interceptions.Johns has rushed for 346 yards.

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“This year I’m more of a student of the game,” said Johns. “I’mexcited on Friday nights but I’ve calmed down. I’m more patient. Iknow my offensive line will protect me.”

A quarterback’s best friend is his offensive line so Johns washappy to point out the unsung heroes, starting with center GrantMcDonnieal, guards Kenneth Fairman and Adam Ogden, tackles JamesBarker and Tyler Gatlin and tight end Michael Thrasher.

Looking back for a moment on the Terry game, Johns said,”Execution did it. We saw things we could take advantage of.”

On the first offensive play of the game, Johns hooked up withwide receiver Taurean Jones for a 68-yard strike. Brookhaven’sleading receiver, Jones has 13 catches for 216 yards and 3touchdowns on the season.

“I hit Taurean on a Go, a fade route,” Johns recalled. “Taureanhas really worked hard and improved this year.”

Against Terry, Johns also hit wide receiver John Wayne Havardand tight end Michael Thrasher with TD passes of 39 and 8 yardsrespectively. Havard has caught 8 passes for 282 yards and 5 TDs.Thrasher has 5 catches for 73 yards and 1 TD.

Wide receiver Bud Chatman has caught 11 passes for 156 for 4TDs.

“People focus on Bud but we have some other good receivers,”said Johns. “John Wayne has made some big catches for us.”

Johns said running backs Dominique Smith and Ronnie McNulty giveBrookhaven a potent running game which helps open up the passinglanes. “They do a good job running the football.”

BHS head coach Tucker Peavey said Johns has shown steadyimprovement this season. “Jimmy’s efficiency has become a lotbetter. That’s something we have been working on.”

Against McComb two weeks ago, Johns enjoyed a spectacular game,completing 13 of 16 passes for 210 yards and 4 touchdowns as thePanthers won 41-7. This Friday night’s home game against the SouthPike Eagles, sends the Panthers (6-1) against an unbeaten (7-0)squad.

“From what I’ve heard, they (Eagles) are the best thing sincesliced bread,” said Johns. “You can’t find too many faults on theirteam.”

According to Johns, it will take a superlative effort to beatSouth Pike. “I have to be on my Ps and Qs. Our defense needs a verygood game. We have the best defensive line around and our secondaryis getting better.”

A standout athlete in track, Johns was runner-up in the Class 4Astate discus competition last spring. He also throws the shot put,runs the hurdles and is part of the 1600-meter relay team.

Johns, the son of Charles and Patricia Butler, enjoys hisprivate time at home with family and friends. He likes to followOle Miss and the Denver Broncos. His favorite NFL player isTennessee Titans quarterback Steve McNair, a Mt. Olive native. Hisfavorite class is Biology II.