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Week 1 Player of the Week: Dylan Johnson – Sussex Tech

In Week 1 of the 2012 season Morris Sussex teams exploded onto the scene with an exorbitant amount of offensive output. In fact, eight separate players scored three touchdowns (Justin Goodwin – Madison, Donald Panciello – Roxbury, Carmine Verducci – Par Hills, Mike Buvis – Wallkill Valley, Uzoma Egbuchulam – Mountain Lakes, Nick Rafferty – Lenape Valley, J.J. Moore – Mount Olive and Kamau Dumas – Morristown). However, even with the massive amounts of yardage these guys displayed this past weekend, there was one unlikely suspect who out-gained all of them to earn Morris Sussex Football’s Week 1 Player of the Week – Dylan Johnson of Sussex Tech.

The 5’9”, 140lb senior runningback left everything on the field in a 39-12 victory over Snyder in which he zig-zagged for an amazing 346 yards on 28 carries and scored a whopping five touchdowns. Coming off a junior year where he only eight total TDs, Johnson is on his way to a record breaking season.  Morris Sussex Football caught up with Johnson and talked about his electrifying game, the Mustangs preseason expectations, his second year coach and what his plans for the future are.

Morris Sussex Football: Did you expect to have a 350 yard, five TD debut coming into this game?
Dylan Johnson: Actually, no I did not. I was predicting more along the lines of maybe 200 yards and 3 touchdowns.

MSF: Why do you think you had so much success in this game?
DJ: All the success in this game really came from the help of my offensive line and fullback Kyle Bergman. Without them and everyone working together as a team Saturday, we probably wouldn’t have come out with a “W”.

Dylan Johnson had the best individual stats in the state in Week 1 of the 2012 season with his 346 yards rushing and five touchdowns.

MSF: Before this game, you had only three wins in your first three years as a varsity starter. Does your team have big expectations for themselves this season?
DJ: What happened in the past doesn’t count in our minds. We started over fresh this year going into football camp as a team and everyone really came together this summer. Yes, the team has big expectations this season and we plan on winning many more games than any other Tech seasons combined.

MSF: Why do you think Sussex Tech doesn’t get as much press as some of the other teams in Sussex county?
DJ: Sussex Tech is known as the underdog in every sport. People think, “Oh ‘Tech’, they (stink)!” We’ll it’s not true. All of our teams are competitive and the press should really start coming around to see that. We are a high school like any other high school in the county. We shouldn’t be singled out!

MSF: Does this 39-12 win over Snyder send the kind of message that you want out to the rest of the Group 1, Section 1 teams?
DJ: Absolutely! I’ve been playing Tech football since my freshman year and this is the first time that I have the confidence that our team is by far more competitive than we’ve seen in the past.

MSF: How has the Coach Leach Era been different from previous years?
DJ: Coach Leach is like no other coach that I have experienced the game of football with. He’s a very unique man with lots of knowledge and experience of the game. He has a lot to offer to us, as in helping our football program grow. As everyone can see, he’s really given us a lot of time and effort last season to help us win our two first varsity games, but that’s not just it. We know as a team that we can depend on Coach Leach and the rest of the coaching staff as well.

MSF: Do you see this Sussex Tech team in the post season?
DJ: Yes. The team and I have enough confidence under our belts that we can win enough games to hopefully replace the “yearly consolation game” that we play to a playoff game.

MSF: Who else on your team do you expect to have a monster season?
DJ: My fullback Kyle Bergman. Not only does he open holes and block for me, but carries the ball as well. With his size, speed and overall ability, I see Bergman having a “monster” season as well.

MSF: Who are the unsung heroes of your team?
DJ: Every member of my team had a contributing effort for the week 1 win.

MSF: Who is the most serious on your team?
DJ: There are several players who are serious, but when it comes to game time – seniors Kyle Vanderhoof and Steve Rivera, junior, Kyle Bergman and I are the most serious.

MSF: Who can loosen everyone up in uptight situations?
DJ: If there’s a bad play we made, everyone on the field always pushes each other and picks one another up so that no one’s head is down. One of the first things we have learned with Coach Leach was teamwork. We work together.

MSF: Who is the biggest diva on your team and why?
DJ: We haven’t won enough games for anyone on the team to be “diva like”, but as the season goes on maybe you can ask me this question again.

MSF: What is your pregame meal?
DJ: I usually eat light. A bagel with cream cheese or butter is good enough for me.

MSF: What songs do you play before games to get you focused?
DJ: Heart of a Champion, The Motto, Faded, Remember the Name, The Fight’s about to Begin, some Linkin’ Park songs and many more along those lines.

MSF: Who is your role model?
DJ: My Aunt Diane. She always supports me in anything I do. She hasn’t missed one game and also helps out with the Sussex Tech Football Club and fundraising.

MSF: In ten years, where do you see yourself?
DJ: I plan on graduating high school and joining the U.S. Air Force. So far I’m fully qualified. But if I ever got the opportunity to play college ball I would take that in a heartbeat!

DJ: Thank you for choosing me as player of the week! I appreciate it. Don’t forget to keep up with Mustang football!
MSF: You deserved it bro! Save some TD’s for other guys on your team and best of luck the rest of the way!

Player of the Week is brought to you by Football University, and JointCare Plysical Therapy.
PUBLIC ANNOUNCEMENT: Be good to yourself.

George Muha has been covering high school sports since 2006. He feels high school scholar-athletes are the most important part of the community and highlighting their achievements on the field, in the classroom and within the community is his personal mission.



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