LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — There weren’t very many ways left for Danny Johnson to score this season — he’d already returned a punt and an interception for touchdowns, then added a touchdown catch and run in the two games leading up to Saturday.
But against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, Southern found a new way to get him involved: It let the former East Feliciana quarterback try out his throwing arm in a college game, and Johnson connected on a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Dennis Craig.
Southern handed the ball off to Johnson on what looked like a jet sweep. As the defense sucked in to stop the playmaker, he lobbed it over its head to Craig in the back of the end zone.
The first for Johnson was one of six Southern touchdown passes on the day.
“We’re just graduating him,” Southern coach Dawson Odums said. “We just keep building on his package. … Our playmakers had to be big.”
The play probably should not have been ruled a touchdown.
“We were fortunate to get seven there,” Odums said.
The Pine Bluff bench went berserk when a replay was shown on the videoboard at War Memorial Stadium, clearly showing Craig bobbling the catch as he went out of the back of the end zone.
“It was a judgment call by the official. They gave him a touchdown,” Pine Bluff coach Monte Coleman said.
Edward hits century mark
Herb Edwards picked up his fourth consecutive 100-yard rushing game Saturday, using his 18 carries to pick up 131 yards.
“He’s a patient runner,” Odums said. “Patience is one of those gifts you’ve got to have as a back. He’s getting through holes. They’re not big holes.”
What made this more impressive than the last three was the return of redshirt freshman Devon Benn to the running back rotation. Benn had a nice night as well, totaling 80 yards on 13 carries in his first action since the beginning of Edwards’ streak.
As has been the case lately, Edwards did the bulk of his damage on explosive runs. He ripped off six gains of 10 or more yards, with a long of 36.
Edwards has rushed for 550 yards and 3 touchdowns in his last four games.
Big day for Washington
Freshman wide receiver Jamar Washington turned in a career day against Arkansas-Pine Bluff, hauling in five catches for 113 yards and two touchdowns.
Before Washington’s big day, no Southern receiver had gone over 64 yards receiving in one game this season. Washington nearly matched that total on his first catch of the game.
Austin Howard found Washington streaking down the middle of the field with nobody near him in the first quarter. Howard hit Washington in stride, and the freshman receiver outran the defense on a 63-yard score.
Washington added a four-yard touchdown reception late in the first half.
He also served as Southern’s top return man for most of the game, returning three kicks for 62 yards to give him a team-high 175 all-purpose yards.
Johnson and fellow seniors Aaron Tiller and Howard represented Southern as captains Saturday. … Kicker Cesar Barajas missed a pair of extra points and a field goal, though the field goal attempt came from 47 yards. … Pine Bluff committed 13 penalties for 92 yards.