PASCAGOULA, MS (WLOX) - With their season on the line, and a win needed for a playoff berth, Resurrection's Jerry Johnson went to his head coach with a simple, direct statement.
"He told me before the game, he said Coach, this is the best I've felt all year," Resurrection head coach Scott Sisson said. "I said, you're going to get your chance."
The running back stayed true to his word. The senior delivered his best game of the season when the Eagles needed it most, rushing 24 times for 185 yards and an astounding five touchdowns, leading Resurrection to 55-34 win over East Marion, clinching the Eagles a berth in the Class 1A playoffs.
"Just the confidence," Johnson said about his breakout performance on Thursday. "The way my team built me up, the way the (offensive) line said they had me. My team just said they had me, and I'd do anything for them."
"Jerry caught everybody's eye," Sisson said. East Marion had a really good back in Jarveon Howard, he's the All-Region MVP. I think Jerry kind of took it upon himself to show him that he was just as good. We're really proud of his effort."
Dealing with an ankle injury for much of the season, Johnson had just four touchdowns entering Thursday's game. He had more than doubled that total by the end of the night.
"Man, it's been a struggle," Johnson said of dealing with the injury. "It's been hard. (I'm) just trying to do it for the team, anything I can do for the team. Just trying to win, man. Just trying to win"
With Resurrection getting several players, like Johnson, back from injury, the Eagles like their chances to make a run in the playoffs.
"It gives us plenty of confidence," Johnson said. "We feel like with everybody healthy, we can beat anybody. That's the way we feel. I know when we (have) each other's back, like we had each other's back when we played against East Marion, then we can win any playoff game."
The Eagles visit French Camp for their first-round playoff contest this Friday.