Prep Football: PG’s Ahkhari Johnson named Gazette’s Athlete of the Week after come-from-behind victory

Pleasant Grove quarterback Ahkhari Johnson scores on the opening drive off of a QB keeper against Shreveport Byrd on Friday, Sept. 1, 2023, in Texarkana, Texas. (Photo by Kevin Sutton/

TEXARKANA, Texas -- Pleasant Grove quarterback Ahkhari Johnson wasn't going to let an early deficit on Saturday afternoon hinder his better judgement.

Down 20-7, Johnson kept doing what he has done his entire high school career at Pleasant Grove: Find a way to win.

After all said and done, the University of Arkansas commit finished with 312 total yards and four touchdowns during the Hawks' 45-26 come-from-behind victory over Midland Christian in Prosper, Texas, to earn the Texarkana Gazette's choice for Athlete of the Week. He had 167 yards passing and two scores on 9-of-12 passing and rushed 14 times for 145 yards and two more touchdowns.

Pleasant Grove head football coach and Athletic Director Josh Gibson is the first to tell of Johnson's importance to the program both on and off the field.

"Ahkhari is one of the most impactful athletes I've ever coached," Gibson said. "He has a 3.92 GPA, has been awarded the Citizen of the Month Award (selected by teachers), and is one of the best athletes in (the) state on both sides of the ball."


He has piled on more than 750 yards and eight touchdowns through three games. Defensively, when he's not throwing and running for touchdowns, he's been a lockdown corner for the Hawks.

Johnson was the Gazette's Offensive Player of the Year in 2022, after having an incredible season where he finished with more than 2,500 all-purpose yards and 33 touchdowns. He threw for 1,710 yards, 21 touchdowns, only three interceptions and rushed for 856 yards and 12 scores on 117 attempts.

"We're excited for Ahkhari, but more importantly, we're thankful we've had him at Pleasant Grove for what will be four years," Gibson told the Gazette after Johnson announced his commitment to Arkansas. "He is a special person because he is humble. There's a reason he has been offered by top institutional programs. He has a high GPA, doesn't cuss, is a role model to the Texarkana community.

"He is an overall great person, a person who has an impact on the field and in the classroom. He has a bright future and we are blessed to have him and excited to see what his future holds."