Second Baptist School has big night at Touchdown Club Awards; Johnson, Cordell earn Player of the Year nods
HOUSTON – Second Baptist School's amazing 2019 season hasn't gone unnoticed. The individual performances haven't either.
On Wednesday night, the Touchdown Club of Houston honored private school football's best of the best at its eighth annual awards dinner.
Second Baptist School's Joshua Johnson was named the TD Club of Houston's Private School Offensive Player of the Year, while Dylan Cordell was named the TD Club of Houston's Private School Lineman of the Year.
"The Touchdown Club of Houston does a great job bringing recognition to deserving student-athletes from private schools," Second Baptist School Athletic Director Mike Walker said. "I am extremely proud of the six finalists from our school. They are incredible football players, but also incredible young men. Thanks to Neil and the committee for the hard work they put into nominating award winners."
The Second Baptist School, which went 12-1 this season, had six representatives at the dinner as finalists.
"It was great," Second Baptist School Head Coach Terry Pirtle said. "This is the product of having a good team and good players."
Along with Cordell and Johnson, Nate Dyman and Jonathan Gooden were finalists for the Defensive Player of the Year.
"This is indicative of the type of young men at SBS," Second Baptist School Defensive Coordinator Keith Page said. "Guys that go out and do their job and focus on what is best for the team and not what's best for them individually."
David Nunez was up for Specialist of the Year and Jaylon Coleman, who finished with over 1,000 yards receiving and 19 touchdowns, was a finalist for Iron Man of the Year.
"Jaylon made one of the biggest transformations skill-wise these last two years," Pirtle said. "He transformed into a great route runner, catching the ball and making plays his senior year. In his sophomore year, his skills weren't as developed as they are now. That's what we want to see in our program: athletes who continually grow and develop, and he really developed this year. What a testimony to his hard work and dedication to the sport. He's a D1 talent either as a safety or wide receiver.
"David is a hard worker. He has done a tremendous job of punting and kicking the last two years for us."
Cordell just became the second Second Baptist School player to win the Lineman of the Year Award. The only other winner was Vic Curne in 2017.
"It was a great honor to represent my school by winning this award," Cordell said. "It shows that all the hard work put in during the summer and during the season paid off."
For Johnson, who set the Second Baptist School record for passing touchdowns in a single season with 38, becomes the first-ever Eagles player to win the Offensive Player of the Year Award.
Johnson joins company such as St. Pius X's Grant Gunnell (Arizona), Episcopal's Jaylen Waddle (Alabama) and St. Pius X's Kohl Stewart (Minnesota Twins) as winners.
"It means a lot. It just shows how important it is to put in the work because I believe if you do so, it pays off," Johnson said.
Just like last season, the Second Baptist School will see a familiar foe in the second round of the playoffs.
Last year it was Cypress Christian – this season it is St. Joseph, who the Eagles defeated back on October 11 coming back from a 12-0 first-quarter deficit to eventually win 30-12.
"We know who we're playing," Second Baptist School coach Terry Pirtle said. "Both teams are well aware of who's playing against them since you've already played this opponent once this year. It'll be interesting to see how many adjustments they make. It'll be interesting to see how our kids respond to already beating a team and coming back and trying to stay focused and motivated for that much like we had to do last year with Cypress Christian."
"I'm hoping they remember that and understand that the game starts at 0-0 and it's a new game."
Second Baptist School and St. Joseph are set for a 7 p.m. kickoff on Friday at Wharton's Eddie Joseph Stadium.
When the teams met earlier this year, Second Baptist School quarterback Josh Johnson finished 11 of 25 for 105 yards and had nine carries for 53 yards and two scores. Eli Smith had 12 carries for 30 yards and a score and Everett Skillern had 10 carries for 41 yards and a touchdown.
Fast-forward to current day, Second Baptist School is 11-0 and coming off a 43-29 victory over Brentwood Christian.
Despite winning by a pair of touchdowns, Pirtle said there are still things they need to clean up to get ready for a rematch with St. Joseph.
"There were three turnovers we had last week, which when you have a turnover you don't get to score on that drive and we still scored 42 points without our best receiver," Pirtle said. "In one aspect, we're really pleased to do that but also, we're at the point now where if we don't execute to our standards, we're upset about it. So, it was a good win but, in our minds, we could have played a lot better."
Jaylon Coleman, Second Baptist School's best receiver, was held out of last week's game but Pirtle said he should be back this week.
If the Second Baptist School wins on Friday, it could set up a rematch with district rival Lutheran South in the TAPPS Division II State Semifinals next week.