SHOCK THE WORLD: CE King, Johnson find themselves on big stage
CE King QB Denim Johnson may look like a tenured vet running the Panthers' offense, but this is his first year playing varsity high school football.
Johnson’s story started at Atascocita High School where he played his freshman and sophomore season.
Before his junior year, Johnson transferred to C.E. King where he thought he would be the starting QB. Just before the first game, he was ruled ineligible by the UIL. It just so happened to be his birthday.
“Grinding and preparing for my junior year and hearing the news was definitely rough for me” Johnson said. “One thing I can say is that it taught me a lot and made me a whole different person, because I knew my path was going to be a little more difficult.”
Good things happen to those who wait... The senior has made the most of his chance to play, throwing for 2,023 yards, 14 TDs and rushing for 447 yards and two TDs.
Now he finds himself on a huge stage, leading CE King to the Regional Final at NRG Stadium this Friday.
The Panthers are playoff-prepared having run the gauntlet of North Shore, Atascocita and Summer Creek in district and Allen in the preseason.
“It was hard for sure," he said. "You know everyone wants to come into the season, go undefeated and win district, but things didn’t work that way. We didn’t let that stop us from wanting to achieve that goal that we set during offseason... during the hot summer days. We looked at the playoffs as if it was a new season and a fresh start, and right now we’re 3-0 and it feels good.”
The Panthers are the definitely the underdogs going against the nine-time State Champ Katy, but this is why the games are played.
“We want to shock the world," he said. "We know what we are in for and we are just taking it day-by-day in practice. We are focusing on what is in front of us and not the side noise. It's all about focus and heart. If we want to beat them, we have to do our jobs and respond back well to adversity.”