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High schools: Midwest City has reloaded at running back

Qualan Johnson is scheduled to start as a senior this fall, but Midwest City also has junior Bryan Hartfield, who ran a 4.3 40 during a weekend combine.
by Jason Kersey Published: April 15, 2012

YUKON — Midwest City is replacing its highly successful head football coach, Steve Huff, and running back, James Flanders, in 2012.

For the former, the Bombers knocked it out of the park with former Tulsa Washington and Star Spencer coach Darrell Hall, who has won two state titles.

For the latter, Midwest City must find a way to replace James Flanders, an Oklahoman All-Stater and Tulsa signee who was the Big All-City Player of the Year after rushing for 2,456 yards and 44 touchdowns as a senior.

If Saturday's All-State Combine is any indication, the Bombers might be in good shape at running back.

Senior-to-be Qualan Johnson, who is expected to start next season, ran a 4.5 in the 40-yard dash and jumped 34-feet, 3 inches in his vertical jump.

Johnson said he's gotten some interest from Tulsa, Ivy League schools and TCU.

“My strength is running through the gaps,” Johnson said. “I'm not really a shaker; I'm more of a bruiser.”

Johnson rushed for 275 yards and three touchdowns last season, averaging about 8 yards per carry.

One of the three Flanders brothers — John, Timothy and James — has been Midwest City's starter in the backfield for the past six seasons.

“Those guys are a great group of guys,” Johnson said. “I want to live up to my name and live up to my school's tradition with running backs. I can't really live up to their expectations, but I can live up to mine.”

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by Jason Kersey
OU Sports Reporter
Jason Kersey became The Oklahoman's OU football beat writer in May 2012 after a year covering high school sports and OSU recruiting. Before joining the newspaper in November 2006 as a part-time results clerk, he covered high school football for...
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