Prep Rally

California QB Zack Johnson completely hurdles defender on TD run … that is then called back

We've seen high school running backs and quarterbacks hurdle defenders in the middle of a game before. Rarely have we featured a more impressive and natural hurdle than the one you see below, as turned in by Tracy (Cal.) Kimball High star Zack Johnson.

Unfortunately for Johnson and Kimball, his touchdown on the play didn't count, just like some past hurdling heroics that were called back for a penalty because of the apparently unsportsmanlike act of hurdling a defender (can't we get that rule changed, NHSA?)

In the midst of Kimball's 28-20 victory against Lathrop (Cal.) High, the senior QB found himself trapped in the backfield with nowhere to go. Rather than go down, the quarterback scrambled to his right, worked toward the sideline and then turned upfield.

A Lathrop defender was waiting for him, but Kimball had an answer for him, leaping directly over the defender and sprinting in along the edge for what appeared to be a key score.

As MaxPreps notes, Johnson's form on the hurdle was impeccable, with the quarterback clearing the human stop sign in front of him without so much as any hint of contact. Yet that wasn't enough for the touchdown to count. Whether Johnson realized that an offensive player is not allowed to leap over a defender is unknown. If he only made the leap because he was unaware, Prep Rally is glad for his prior ignorance.

After all, if he'd known that he couldn't hurdle legally he might have restrained himself, and that would have robbed all of us of one of the plays of the season.

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