Scotlandville’s standout swimmer also on football and track team
“I think it’s a good thing to swim, especially if you are a minority. That’s what our summer is about. It’s an all-black swim team. It’s not that we won’t accept people of other races, because we will. We try to reach out to African-Americans to get them to swim.” Joseph Square, Scotlandville swimmer
Pointe Coupee Central is an explosive offensive team and one reason is senior quarterback Altonio Johnson.
Johnson, a 5-foot-9, 170-pound senior, has accounted for 29 touchdowns for a Cougars team averaging 49.4 points.
Class 1A PCC (3-2) has beaten two Class 4A teams. PCC topped Baker 49-26 and Tara 56-22. The Cougars open District 5-1A play Friday at False River (0-5).
The Cougars run a spread offense, and Johnson’s versatility is a key. Johnson started two games at quarterback last season, but mostly played running back (he was all-district) and slot receiver. He rushed for more than 400 yards and had 700 yards receiving and scored eight touchdowns.
“Altonio was a great player last year,” PCC coach Cleotha Johnigan Jr. said. “We needed him to run the ball and catch it. He learned to make the defense miss. You rarely see a player that is as versatile as he is. He’s a great safety, too. He’s battle tested and is really playing well.”
In his past two games, Johnson has passed for 797 yards. Johnson has completed 96 of 140 passes for 1,286 yards with 19 touchdowns and just four interceptions this season. He’s also rushed 39 times for 380 yards and scored nine TDs. Plus, he has a kickoff return for a TD.
“I really learned the offense over the summer, and we did well in seven-on-seven games,” Johnson said. “Our offensive line has worked hard and is playing well. We’ve got very good skill players. We’re really putting up a lot of points. We have a lot of speed and good playmakers.”
Johnson’s top two targets are senior split end Delfontay Powell and 6-3 junior Stephen Guidry. Guidry was second in the 200 meters (22.31 seconds) at the Class 1A state track meet in May. Powell has 36 catches for 564 yards and eight TDs. Guidry has 17 catches for 522 yards and seven TDs.
“Delfontay has great speed and really gets open,” Johnson said. “Stephen is our deep threat and uses his height well to get the ball.”
“Delfontay Powell is hard to defend and is sure-handed,” Johnigan said. “Stephen Guidry is a Division I caliber kid who can run by people and jump.”
Top running backs include Ernest Lemay (30 carries, 202 yards, two TDs) and Gary Bowser (24-161).
PCC was 8-3 last season, including 7-0 in District 5-1A, and advanced to the second round of the playoffs.
“This may be the most talented team we’ve had here in a while,” Johnigan said. “We have more team chemistry this year.”
PCC’s two losses have come to No. 8 Livonia of Class 3A and Ellender of Class 4A by scores of 52-28 and 56-50. Johnson threw four touchdown passes and rushed for three touchdowns versus Ellender.
“Playing the larger schools has gotten us ready for district and the playoffs,” Johnson said. “I still want to improve my accuracy. We’ve really worked hard as a team and have lofty goals. This offense is fun.”