PNG’s Johnson living up to the hype

Published 3:36 pm Friday, October 28, 2016

PORT NECHES — Roschon Johnson was in the seventh grade when he already knew what he wanted out of his football career. So, he had his goals typed up for him to always remember.

The first goal was to praise and worship God because “without him I can do nothing.”

He lists being the best student he can be before anything related to football, but it is the third goal that stands out.

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“To be PNG’s starting quarterback by my sophomore year,” Johnson noted.

Mission accomplished.

Johnson is not only the starting quarterback, he has already become one of the best players in District 22-5A on one of the league’s best teams.

He leads the district with 1,518 yards on 88-of-134 passing with 17 touchdowns and four interceptions. Johnson is seventh in 22-5A with 728 yards rushing on 121 carries with a league-high 18 touchdowns coming on the ground. Oh, and he is top five percent of his class, No. 20 to be exact, according to his family.

The physical part of the game comes naturally to Johnson. He started playing quarterback at 10 in the Port Neches-Groves Youth Football Association. It came after mainly playing running back and safety for the Port Arthur Cowboys.

Now, he is the starting quarterback for the Indians.

“The main thing I have learned this year is to be calm and patient,” Johnson said. “I have to let the game come to me and play off reaction. I am just trying to learn to stick to the game plan and continue to execute.”

PNG coach Brandon Faircloth has seen a lot of execution from Johnson since his first varsity start against Silsbee. He threw for 154 yards and rushed for 75 with three total touchdowns in the Indians’ 54-27 win.

“He is obviously great at extending the play and he is smart with the football,” Faircloth said. “He rarely makes bad decisions. He is also conservative with the football. He understands we can win with our defense and that helps him know where to go with the football.”

Faircloth knows where all this success is coming from.

“I know Roschon is always here,” Faircloth said. “When I left Sunday night, he was here by himself throwing. He always has a great week of practice and gets ready to play the game.”

The games are much different this season for Johnson as the starter. He was on the varsity team last year, but did not start as current Lamar freshman Adam Morse was under center.

“The hype around each game is way more than what I am used to playing with and the speed of the game steps up,” Johnson said. “Everyone is bigger, stronger and faster. It is an awesome feeling to come out each Friday with all the fans. I feel we have the best fan base around so every game is special, especially at home.”

Learning under Morse was also special for Johnson as a freshman. Morse left the Indians’ program as the holder of several school records.

“Playing under Adam helped me a lot as far as studying him and seeing how he handled everything,” Johnson said. “He always stayed calm under certain situations. I tried to take that and apply it to my game. The quarterbacks stick around each other, so we had a lot of chances to talk last year. Most of the time I just watched him and tried to learn under him.”

Morse said he knew Johnson had a special career in front of him.

“He always had a lot of potential, that is for sure,” Morse said. “I always tried to go over the details and little things with him. I always expected him to play well but I have to say I didn’t expect him to ball right off the bat like he has. He is proving being a sophomore doesn’t mean anything.”

Johnson added he tried not to think of himself as a sophomore. He knew his team needed more from him this season and his team is what is most important to him.

“It meant a lot to be named the starting quarterback going into the season,” Johnson said. “I knew I had to take responsibility and grow up fast. I couldn’t put myself in a position where I played like a sophomore. I had to play up to other abilities and man up to it.”

So what was the fourth goal Johnson typed out in seventh grade?

“To win a state championship in football.”

If Johnson does that, his fifth goal of being the greatest player in PNG history might just come true as well.

Gabriel Pruett: 721-2436. Twitter: @PaNewsGabe



  • When: 2 p.m. today
  • Where: Thomas Center, Beaumont
  • Radio: KCOL-FM 92.5
  • 22-5A records: PNG 5-1, Ozen 1-5
  • Series record: PNG leads 10-3; last meeting, PNG won 36-13 in 2015

About Gabriel Pruett

Gabriel Pruett has worked with both the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader since 2000. A majority of the time has been spent covering all aspects of Southeast Texas high school sports. Pruett's claim to fame is...being able to write his own biographical information for this website.

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