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Trinity Standard - Local News

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Groveton alumnus Johnson headed to Super Bowl
Trinity Standard -

By Chris Edwards

File this one under "local boy done good": Groveton native Lane Johnson is headed to the Super Bowl. After a 38-7 wallop of the Minnesota Vikings on Sun¬day, Johnson and his Philadelphia Eagles teammates are headed to the NFL's pinnacle contest on Sunday, Feb. 4, where they will face the New England Patriots at U.S. Bank Stadium in Min¬neapolis. Johnson, who graduated from Groveton High School in 2008, had a banner year with the Eagles. Despite having to miss a game due to a concussion he suffered when the Eagles played the Arizona Cardinals, he finished the regular season as a starting player in 15 games. Not only was Johnson part of a team able to finish the regular season with a 13-3 record, but his impressive work as part of Philadelphia's offensive line earned him a spot on the Associated Press's All-Pro team in the right tackle spot. Johnson's teammate Brandon Brooks also received an All- Pro honor when the team was named on December 19, 2017. Along with the All-Pro honor, Johnson was ranked fifth amongst all offensive tackles by Pro Football Focus. For Johnson, a Super Bowl appearance will be the cherry atop a career that has been forward motion for the most part. An avid athlete in his years at GHS, where he played football and ran track, Johnson earned All-State and All-District honors in football during his high school career. After a collegiate run where he played for both the Kilgore Rangers and the Oklahoma Sooners, he was signed to the Eagles organization in 2013 as a first-round draft pick, and fourth overall. According to a recent story published in the Groveton News pertaining to his All-Pro achievement, Johnson determined that the 2017 season would be his best and he delivered. "It's been by far my best season, my most consistent," Johnson said. "If you go down the list of the pass rushers I've had to go against this season, it's been multiple Pro Bowlers, highcaliber guys and it's been every week. There really hasn't been a week off. I knew that coming into the season that I would be challenged like no other season. If Johnson and his team¬mates pull off a win, it will be a historic event for the men in the midnight green jerseys. The Eagles have appeared in two winless Super Bowls, once in 1981 where they played the Oakland Raiders and again in 2004. Their last Super Bowl had them facing the Patriots. If they can break their 0-2 record in Super Bowl LII, the champion¬ship rings will represent a redemption for the loss handed them 14 years prior. Johnson has high hopes for a victory. Following Sunday's victory against the Vikings, he had a few choice words for the Patriots' QB Tom Brady. "Hey, Tom Brady. Pretty boy Tom Brady. He's the best quarterback of all time, so, nothing I'd like to do more than dethrone that guy." He added in his remarks that it would be justice for the narrow loss the Patriots dealt the Eagles in 2004. "For what they did to us in [the] 2004 [season], to get pay¬back, there would be nothing sweeter than that," Johnson said. "I remember watching that game when I was 14 years old. I was hoping the Eagles would win. Just coming up short, you could feel the pain, and you could also feel the passion of what this city wants. And we're here, so it's right at our fingertips." To add to the fanfare for Eagles fans, Johnson was quoted in August from training camp that he would provide fans with beer if they won the Super Bowl. In response, Bud Light agreed to pony up free beer for everyone in Philadelphia. As to how much beer or how Philly fans/ residents would obtain it, a Bud Light spokesperson told a CBS affiliate in the City of Brotherly Love "We will be sharing plans soon, but in the interest of not jinxing the team ahead of their upcoming games, we are not going to unveil any plans at this time."


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