ST. PETERSBURG — Northeast senior Shaquan Johnson ran through and around the visitors from Gibbs as he helped the Vikings' find their groove early and often en route to a 35-8 victory on Friday night.
The Vikings (2-0) got off to a quick start, handing the ball off to Johnson seven straight times as the running back accumulated 47 yards on Northeast's first possession and eventually punched it in from a yard out.
"Last year we played this team and they beat us 38-3 and they embarrassed us," coach Jeremy Frioud said. "And we took that personal and we came out tonight and didn't let them get any of the school-yard plays in because Gibbs plays that school-yard offense since they have so many athletes. But our kids played fundamentally sound tonight."
Gibbs (0-1) struggled offensively in the first quarter as sophomore Trafton Williams fumbled the ball on the first series. On the ensuing possession, the Gladiators failed to provide any kind of protection for senior Mar'quan Harris as the quarterback was sacked twice by Bethal Miles for a combined loss of 17 yards.
The Gladiators then tried to punt, with the snap sailing high over the punter's head, which put the Vikings right back into the red zone. Johnson scored on the very next play, taking the handoff for a 17-yard score.
In the second half, Gibbs failed to find any sort of rhythm with the Vikings forcing a total of four fumbles on the night.
Johnson went on to score two more times in the second half and finished the night with 195 yards on 24 carries. Sophomore quarterback Keon Gulley scored the Vikings' other touchdown, running it in from 6 yards out.
"Shaquan Johnson is the example of what you want in a high school football player," Frioud said. "Johnson is as good as he is because of the work that he's put in. He's cut no corners from his freshman year until now. He's one of the hardest workers on this team and in the weight room."