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Sonic Drive-In Player-of-the-Game for Sept. 18 – Makai Johnson (Newberry)

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The Sonic Drive-In Player-of-the-Game for Friday, September 18, was Makai Johnson of the Newberry football team.

Johnson accounted for three TDs as the Panthers built an early 15-0 lead and held on for a 28-21 win against visiting Union County (Lake Butler).

The senior quarterback scored on a fourth-and-goal run from a yard out to give Newberry a 6-0 lead with 7:00 to play in the opening quarter.

Then, after a three-and-out by Union County, Johnson completed two passes to senior Justen Crews that covered 42 yards, including a 12-yard scoring pass on third-and-goal to give the Panthers a 13-0 lead with just :20 left in the opening quarter.

“He stayed in the pocket and made some big throws,” said Newberry coach Ed Johnson. “He’s getting better. Hopefully this can be a spring board for the rest of the season.”

Johnson, who was coming off an ankle injury, found Crews again late on a 7-yard scoring pass to make it 28-15 with just 1:14 to play.

Union County, which rallied from a 15-0 halftime deficit, dropped to 1-1.

“I thought Newberry played well,” said Union County coach Andrew Thomas, whose Tigers will host Interlachen next Friday. “They made plays we hadn’t seen on film.”

Newberry (1-1) will host Pierson Taylor on Friday, Sept. 18.

Every game The Prep Zone will recognize a Player-of-the-Game. The recipient receives a $10 gift certificate courtesy of Sonic Drive-In of Gainesville & Ocala.

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