Player of the Week: Mat Johnson

With four seconds left and the game tied 24-24 against Delaware, freshman kicker Mat Johnson converted a career-high 35-yard field goal as the clock ran out to give Husky football their first Atlantic-10 win this season.

The Northeastern News Player of the Week and A-10 Co-Rookie of the Week was 2-2 in field goal attempts, converting a 20-yarder in the first quarter, and 3-3 in PATs.

“As soon as I kicked it, I started to celebrate. I knew I made it,” Johnson said.

Johnson is no stranger to pressure or success. In his high school career he was 100 percent on field goal attempts, with a career best of 52 yards. He was named All-Conference first team player and selected to play in the Max Emfinger All-American High School Bowl game. He won the Chris Sailer Kicking Competition in Las Vegas, setting the competition record for field goal accuracy.

“Ever since I’ve been kicking I’ve been behind great kickers. I like the fact I get to fill big shoes; it gives me something to work for,” Johnson said.

Coming to Northeastern football as a true freshman, Johnson had the task of replacing one of the best in Husky football history, Miro Kesic. Kesic holds the NU record for scoring with 306 points in his four-year career. He was also the all-time leader for field goals made at 48, consecutive extra points with 57 and was the first Husky kicker to earn All-Atlantic-10 honors.

However, Johnson has proven himself as someone the team can rely on. He is 4-7 in field goal attempts on the season with a 10-10 PAT.

“My team has more trust in me now, but for me every kick is a new kick and you can’t think about the last kick and how great it was,” Johnson said.

The football team is 2-4 on the season with a 1-2 record in the A-10. With a week off, the Huskies come back in two weeks with their homecoming game against No. 1 New Hampshire. The rest of the teams they will face in the season are all A-10 teams.

“Our focus is on New Hampshire, and to concentrate on that game. We know they are good but we know we can win. We have to work toward that goal this week and practice hard,” Johnson said.

– Danielle Ossher, News Correspondent

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