Willowbrook won a shootout and a spot in the record books.
Senior quarterback Brian Johnson threw for a state-record 660 yards and 7 touchdowns as the Warriors downed the host Lions 62-49 in a wild Friday night battle. Johnson's record-setting night came during a tight, seesaw battle to the very end.
"I'm pacing just to calm myself down," Willowbrook coach Nick Hildreth said after the game. "I told them they took a minimum of 7-10 years off my life going through that today. But the senior leadership was a big part of this win."
Johnson fed off of it.
"There was adrenaline everywhere," Johnson said. "I just couldn't get enough of it."
The Lions defense may beg to differ. The Warriors (1-1) jumped out to a quick 7-0 lead after Johnson went for 6-6 on the first drive. The Warriors then recovered an onside kick and scored again, making it 14-0. But the Lions evened it up at 14 by the end of the quarter. That's when Johnson and the Warriors took over.
The Warriors ripped off three touchdowns on three drives, scoring each one on gains of 67, 77, and 48 yards respectively. Johnson added his fifth touchdown pass to sophomore T.J. Geritano, giving the Warriors a 42-28 halftime edge and inching closer to the state passing record. Heading into the second half, Johnson was 25 of 32 for 443 yards.
"We all worked hard for this all week," Johnson said of the eye-popping halftime stats.
And they weren't finished.
The pesky Lions evened the game at 42, but Johnson, senior running back Jeremy Barnes and receivers Hayden Adams and Devin Childress kept the offensive momentum rolling. Johnson hit Adams with a 12-yard score to take a 49-42 lead. After yet another Lions score to tie it again, Barnes uncorked a 48-yard run following a dumpoff, and Johnson finished it off with a 2-yard run, vaulting the Warriors back into the lead. The pass to Barnes secured Johnson's place in history, giving him 601 yards for the game, besting the previous record by 13 yards.
On the next drive, Adams scampered 52-yards for another score, and Childress snared a 7-yard pass to end the passing attack at 660 yards.
But Johnson deflected his place in history and pointed to his teammates.
"This was all on my offensive line," Johnson said. "They were blocking the whole game, and they never let up. Our receivers were making great plays. Everybody just worked hard."