McHENRY – Even if McHenry had dropped its season opener Saturday night, the world of senior fullback Jordan Johnson wouldn't have been that upset. That's because he's seen some parts of this country where life isn't so good.
Johnson arrived at McHenry a year ago. He came from a rough neighborhood in Chicago and arrived with a broken collarbone. He didn't play football last year.
In his first game as a Warriors player, Johnson scored two touchdowns running the football and another one catching the ball. Couple that with a pair of interceptions from another first-time starter, Gino Smith, and the Warriors chalked up a 30-18 nonconference win over visiting Larkin.
This team, blessed with great team speed, was hurt by a staggering 17 penalties.
With his new team trailing 12-7, Johnson scampered 10 yards, virtually untouched, as the Warriors regained the lead.
"My vision goes red when I get near the end zone,'' Johnson said. "It's the red zone for me. I just wanted to score."
Johnson seems to have found a nice place to hang out. He is enjoying his football adventure.
"I've come from Chicago,'' he said. "And this is the best group of guys that I've played with. It's just a better atmosphere here and a friendlier crowd."
McHenry took a 14-12 lead to halftime. Johnson's second score came from 6 yards out and came in the third quarter and gave his new team a 20-12 advantage.
When the fourth quarter kicked in, both team's offenses turned it up in a hurry.
Eight seconds into the final quarter, Johnson grabbed a 7-yard TD pass from quarterback Mike Briscoe. The game looked safe for the home team up 27-12. The visitors from Elgin weren't quite ready to surrender. It was all of 17 seconds later when Larkin's Kemmerin Blalark fired a 68-yard TD pass to Dante Bonds.
Larkin forced a McHenry punt and looked poised for a comeback. That's when Smith recorded his second interception of the night.
"This was my first career start,'' Smith said. "On that play, I took an angle to it and he threw it right to me."