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TAYLOR MADE

QB Johnson leads EU’s new-look offense into Bear Creek

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TAYLOR MADE

EU quarterback Dennis Johnson has taken control of East Union's new spread offense, and he has plenty of weapons to work with.

BRANDON PETERSEN/The Bulletin


POSTED September 17, 2009 12:11 a.m.
Daniel Taylor, East Union’s first-year offensive coordinator, knows a little about the quarterback position.

A former Lancer gunslinger who played his college ball at Delta and Texas A&M Kingsville, Taylor has experienced everything senior Dennis Johnson went through a year ago, and he knows what the quarterback is capable of in 2009.

In a Week 1 home loss to Beyer, Johnson threw the ball 32 times in Taylor’s spread offense, and the results were more than merely positive.

Johnson completed 22 throws for 275 yards and three touchdowns, good for a 126.42 quarterback rating.

“He did what we asked of him,” Taylor said of the performance. “He made the tough throws, and got the ball to the receivers when we needed it. It was a first game, so we had some mistakes, but we’re going to get those ironed out.”

The Lancers new-look scheme stresses ball control within the framework of a potent aerial attack. Although East Union possesses quick strike vertical potential, Johnson’s responsibility is to take what is given by the defense.

With weapons like Ricky Inderbitzin, T.J. Brown and Dylan Meneses to throw to, and Teejay Gordon out of the backfield, not many defenses boast enough athletic playmakers to stop everything EU can throw at them.

That makes Johnson’s job simple: Find the open man, and deliver a strike.

“I definitely feel comfortable, it’s a big difference from last year,” Johnson said. “Our receivers like the new offense, and I like it. It worked for us last week, we got quite a few yards.”

Last Friday, East Union’s Week 2 opponent, Bear Creek, fell to Tokay 54-6. Tiger tailback Patrick McCarthy ran for 192 yards and the Tokay passing attack was used sparingly.

Taylor said the Bruins’ secondary played off the line of scrimmage.

“(Bear Creek) has a lot of athletes and they have some speed,” he said. “They’re going to make you beat them underneath. We’re going to have to be disciplined, take what they give us, and not make any mental mistakes.”

Johnson said his receivers match up well against Bear Creek’s cornerbacks.

“Hopefully we can hurt them,” he said.

If last week was any indication, the Lancers have reason for optimism.

Johnson completed each of his final 10 passes including touchdown strikes of 38, 31 and 22 to Brown, all in the fourth quarter.

“(Johnson) is my best friend, I’ve known him since third grade,” Brown said after the contest. “Today we showed that our chemistry is strong, and I think you’re going to see a lot of that this year.”

During a critical third-down opportunity, Johnson couldn’t find anyone open on a designed roll-out. Steps from the sideline, the quarterback spotted Meneses fighting back toward the ball with single coverage shadowing his outside shoulder. Johnson fired the ball to Meneses’ inside shoulder and the sure-handed wideout dove to complete the first-down grab.

The play was a testament to Johnson’s improvisational skills, and his receiver’s willingness to work through a broken play, find space, and make a tough catch.

“We’re trying to score every time out,” Johnson said. “If I can make the right reads, if the running backs run hard, if the receivers catch the ball, we’re going to be successful.

“But I definitely have faith in (our weapons), you know, if the line does their job and I do mine, it’s a first down every play.”

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