For the last four years, Maize quarterback Avery Johnson has terrorized Kansas high school football teams all over the state.
With his KSHSAA career finished and his college career at Kansas State about to begin, the Wichita native who is rated as one of the top high school quarterback recruits in the class of 2023 is showcasing his skills on a national level now.
Johnson’s running ability was the talk of the U.S. Army Bowl, an elite all-star game played on Saturday at the Dallas Cowboys’ practice facility in Frisco, Texas, after he scored a dazzling, 40-yard rushing touchdown in the opening minutes of a 23-14 win for Johnson’s team.
On a play that probably gave AV-CTL teams nightmare flashbacks to this fall, Johnson faked a shotgun handoff to his running back and then darted around the defense’s contain and through the heart of the defense, splitting two would-be arm tacklers and then out-running three more defenders to the end zone for the game’s opening score.
The highlight-reel play only added to the experience for Johnson, who was sporting the last name “Dent” on his uniform for the U.S. Army Bowl in honor of his grandfather, Larry, who is a United States Army veteran.
It is the first of two high school All-Star games that Johnson will play in, as the next is Jan. 3, 2023 in the Under Armour Next All-America Game played in Orlando, Fla.
Johnson was recently honored as a two-time Top 11 pick by The Eagle after leading Maize to a second straight Class 5A state championship appearance and finishing with 2,768 passing yards, 817 rushing yards and 44 total touchdowns.
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