Not only did O.P. Walker (New Orleans) senior tackle Anthony Johnson
repeat as Class 4A Outstanding Defensive Player of the Year, but he capped a sensational career with his selection as the state's Mr. Football.
Both honors from the Louisiana Sports Writers Association came after a season in which Johnson amassed 129 total tackles, including 17½ quarterback sacks among his 48½ tackles for losses. He forced seven fumbles, intercepted a pass and recorded a safety.
"I don't think people truly understand just how passionate Anthony is about the game of football," O.P. Walker coach Emanuel Powell said. "I don't think people realize what a tremendous work ethic he has both on and off the field….Along with being tenacious on the field, he also has the smarts and wits to go with it."
Johnson also played on the offensive line for O.P. Walker, which earned a wildcard berth in the state playoffs and reached the semifinals for just the third time in school history. Johnson averaged 10 tackles per game for the Chargers, who lost to eventual state champion Franklinton.
"I thought I played really well, being a two-way starter in my senior year," said the 6-foot-3, 285-pound Johnson. "I really put forth the effort and dedicated myself to my team. I left it on the field...It's a very great award. I'm just so happy about it."
Johnson was a four-time All-District 10-4A selection and finished with 79 career sacks. He was just the third defender chosen as Mr. Football since the award was created 15 years ago. West Monroe linebackers Adam McConathy and Bradie James received the honor in 1997 and 1998, respectively.
Joining Johnson on the all-state team were Franklinton quarterback Terrance Magee
and Karr (New Orleans)
coach Jabbar Juluke.
Although Magee played quarterback, he made the all-state team at the athlete position. An LSU commitment, as well, Magee accounted for 4,004 yards and 54 touchdowns. Franklinton won 14 consecutive games after losing its season opener at Abilene, Texas. In tying the school record for victories, Franklinton won its first state title.
Magee completed 159 of 255 passes for 2,634 yards and 35 touchdowns with three interceptions. He also rushed for 161 times for 1,370 yards and 19 touchdowns.
Juluke guided Karr to its third District 10-4A crown in four years. Karr earned the No. 1 seed in the state playoffs and had a 13-game winning streak snapped in the championship game in falling to Franklinton in overtime, 34-28.