Freak of the Week: Eastside's Holden Johnson wins football top performer in landslide

Ainslie Lee
The Gainesville Sun
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It's time to vote for high school football's best player from Week 1 in our Freak of the Week poll. 

Each week, the Gainesville Sun curates the Freak of the Week poll that highlights top performers from Gainesville-area football teams. The poll will be released on Monday and voting will be open through Thursday morning at 10 a.m.

Readers may vote once per hour and are encouraged to share the poll on social media. 

In Week 1, whether on Thursday, Friday or Saturday, high school football players from around the area wasted no time in putting their talents on display.

Week 1 scores:High school football: Gainesville area scores and storylines from Week 1 of 2022 season

The area's best:Super 11: Gainesville Sun picks area's best high school football players for 2022 season

Who was the best of the rest?:Vote for Athlete of the Week in Gainesville Sun poll

But it was Eastside's senior quarterback, Holden Johnson, who stuck out among the rest and was voted Freak of the Week for Week 1. 

Holden Johnson, Eastside

Eastside High School quarterback Holden Johnson (12) stiff arms a defender as he runs with the ball before tossing a touchdown during a game against Keystone Heights High School at Citizens Field in Gainesville FL. Sept. 1, 2022.

Holden Johnson, a senior at Eastside, helped the Rams snap a 10-year streak in which they hadn't won their season opener. 

In Eastside's 48-21 win over P.K. Yonge on Friday morning, Johnson piloted the Rams offense, which posted the most points it has since a 53-0 win over Belleview in 2018. 

Johnson finished the game with 140 passing yards and three passing touchdowns. 

Other nominations and final results

Dakota Fisher, Chiefland

Dakota Fisher, a junior at Chiefland, helped the Indians pick up a season-opening 47-7 win over Crescent City on Friday night. 

In his performance, Fisher proved the reason he's listed as an athlete, rather than a specific position on the field. Reason being, he can do it all. 

Against Crescent City, Fisher rushed for 159 yards on 11 carries — good for 14.5 yards per carry — and a rushing touchdown. Fisher also hauled in a pair of interceptions and ended the night with 250 all-purpose yards. 

Connor Hastings, Bell

Connor Hastings, a senior at Bell, quickly returned to last season's post as the Bulldogs' playmaker. 

In Bell's 20-7 win over Trenton on Friday night, Hastings made an impact in just about every facet of the game. 

Hastings finished the night with a 78-yard passing touchdown, 32 rushing yards with a touchdown, 10 tackles and two interceptions. 

2022 season previews for all 22 teams:Gainesville area high school football: What you need to know for the football season

Creed Whittemore, Buchholz

Creed Whittemore, a senior at Buchholz, weathered poor field conditions and led the Bobcats to a big 31-14 win over Lake City Columbia on Thursday night. 

Forced to pivot away from Buchholz's tendency to pass the ball, Whittemore was forced to use his legs, which paid off as he recorded a pair of rushing touchdowns — one from 66 yards out. Whittemore also tossed a 40-yard touchdown pass in the win. 

WHO DID WE MISS? Coaches and athletic directors are encouraged to nominate student-athletes for Freak of the Week. Please send names and statistics to alee@gannett.com by Sunday evening to be considered. 

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