“Alex is a better blocker than a runner,” Indest said about the senior who has 2,805 rushing yards. “He is the best blocking running back I have seen in more than 20 years of coaching.

“Each game, we have a time where he flattens guys. A lot of it is talent, but it’s also his intensity.”

That combination has helped propel the Bears (13-1) into the Class 5A championship game that completes this weekend’s Louisiana High School Athletic Association/State Farm Prep Classic.

Seventh-seeded Carencro plays No. 5 seed West Monroe (12-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans.

“All year long on both sides of the ball, we have been fairly penalty-free,” Indest said. “We have not turned the ball over. Penalties and turnovers kill drives.

“We don’t do well in second-and-10 and second-and-15. Staying away from those things has helped us.”

Indest said one of the factors that has contributed to Johnson’s success is an improved line.

Johnson said his vision as a runner has improved since last season.

“On the field sometimes, I couldn’t trust my vision when I was looking for a hole (last year),” Johnson said. “That has been better.”

Players also needed to adjust to some of the subtle differences between an I-formation offense and the Wing-T.

“In the Wing-T, it’s not your typical I-formation,” Indest said.

“You are not starting 7 yards deep, you are four and one-half yards deep. It was different for him. He (Johnson) had to feel it himself and have it become second nature. He had to get a better feel for the cuts and the holes.”

Carencro quarterback Jalen Nixon has also provided a threat for the Bears in the backfield with 959 rushing yards and 19 scores on the ground.

“The threat of Alex makes it nice for Jalen and vice-versa,” Indest said.

The Bears are bringing those offensive threats to the Superdome in Indest’s second season at the school. Carencro was the Class 5A runner-up in 1996 and won the 5A title in 1992.

Johnson is excited about a single opportunity that he and his teammates have: to be state champions.

“Everybody wants to go to the Dome,” Johnson said. “We can play at Carencro or West Monroe. I just want to play for a championship.”

Indest said that enthusiasm has been a part of Johnson’s demeanor all season.

“Alex is the perfect example of someone who leads by example,” Indest said. “He practices hurt.

“He loves practicing more than any kid I have seen. He is full throttle.”

Johnson is enjoying the chance to play another game and to keep working on certain skills — such as blocking techniques.

“Being able to practice to play another game, it fires me up,” Johnson said.