It was another standout campaign for Minnesota State-Mankato’s Cade Johnson who helped lead the impressive Mavericks to the Division II national championship game this past season.

Johnson – a Redwood Falls native and former Redwood Valley three-sport standout – was part of a Maverick team that went 14-1 overall, losing a thriller 48-40 to Western Florida in the championship game. In that game he led the team with eight tackles (six solo) and added an interception and two passes defensed. The Mavs fell behind 38-21 at the half, but they mounted a furious late comeback that fell just short inside the Western Florida red zone.

In Johnson’s three years of action, the redshirt junior has been part of a Maverick program that has gone 40-3 overall with two trips to the national semifinals and this season earning a spot in the title game.

This past season, he finished second on the team with 66 tackles, first with five interceptions (including 90 return yards), first in passes defensed with nine and also added 1 1/2 tackles-for-loss.

According to Minnesota State -Mankato defensive backs coach Lavell Jackson, “Cade has consistently been a phenomenal presence in the secondary. He is physical, smart, aggressive and is a guy who we can rely on in clutch times. He’s always around the football and really believes in consistently getting better at his craft.”

The Mavs dominated opponents in the regular season, scoring 81, 74, 73 and 62 points in four of their victories.

In the playoffs they defeated CSU-Pueblo 35-7, Texas A&M-Commerce 42-21 and Slippery Rock 58-15 before losing in the title game to Western Florida in McKinney, Texas.

In 2018, Johnson was third on the team in tackles with 66, had 4 12 tackles-for-loss, 1 1/2 sacks, an interception, two forced fumbles and was also named to the NSIC All-Academic team.

In 2017 he finished with 47 tackles, 3 1/2 tackles-for-loss, three passes defensed, one interception, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery.

Johnson is the son of Loren and Maureen Johnson and is majoring in finance with one season of eligibility remaining.

- Submitted photo