Illinois High School Football News

Waleed Johnson scores 4 TDs; Plano overpowers Westmont

PLANO – Playing each other for the sixth time in 10 years, Plano made it six straight victories over Westmont with a 54-0 victory Friday, Sept. 9.

The Reapers (2-1) were so efficient on offense that they were ahead 42-0 at one point while running only six plays on offense, combined with a fumble recovery in the end zone for a score and a punt return.

Strange happenings in Plano, indeed.

“It was just a team thing with everybody doing the right thing,” said Plano junior running back Waleed Johnson, who rushed for three touchdowns and caught another for a 65-yard score. “Everybody was doing their job, and if everybody is doing their job as a unit we can get things done.”

Waleed Johnson was alluding to AJ Johnson recovering a fumble on Plano’s opening possession for the quick score, as well as Thomas Harding snatching up one and eluding the Sentinels on punt return for a touchdown, Armando Martinez throwing the ball his way for a score, and the Reapers defense pressure a negative-yard punt that setup a 10-yard touchdown run by Waleed Johnson.

His other rushing touchdowns included a 39-yard score, while his first saw him power his way and outmaneuver defenders while scampering 47 yards.

Plano running back Waleed Johnson (6) runs a single play on offense against Westmont, for a touchdown, signaled by teammate Thomas Harding (3) during a varsity football game at Plano High School on Friday, Sept. 9, 2022.

“When I first had the ball, I had to shake a tackle and then I just had to break one more,” Johnson said. “Coach [Rick] Ponx always talks about one plant and go and I just [saw] green grass and just ran as hard as I [could].”

Westmont (2-1) turned the ball over twice to open the game and never had a real chance.

“It was a humbling experience because we won two games and thought we were just this big team,” Westmont coach Tarshma Jackson said. “But, we only have four seniors, one junior and five sophomores, and the rest are freshmen.”

Darius Stevenson Jr. was Westmont’s go-to guy on offense. Although he ran hard, the Reapers kept him in check, keeping his gains modest and getting to him in the backfield at times.

“The main thing is this was a high level of competition,” Jackson said. “We came out here and we just got better as a team, because we’ve had to go back to basics because many of our guys have never played football (until this year).”

Sophomore Tristan Meszaros joined in the scoring festivities for the Reapers with a 23-yard run with 4:34 remaining in the third quarter.

Junior Andrew Cox completed the scoring with a 43-yard run with 7:58 left in the game, which was the first between the teams since 2017.

“We came out and got a defensive touchdown to start and that gave us momentum going into the rest of the game,” Waleed Johnson said. “We got that start and never stopped.”