Andy John­son, 65; for­mer Patriots run­ning back

Woonsocket Call - - REGION/OBITUARIES -

ATHENS, Ga. ( AP) — Andy John­son, who starred as Ge­or­gia’s quar­ter­back be­fore go­ing on to play run­ning back with the New Eng­land Patriots for nine sea­sons, has died after a long ill­ness. He was 65.

Ge­or­gia is­sued a state­ment say­ing John­son died early Wed­nes­day in Athens.

John­son took over as the Bull­dogs’ start­ing quar­ter­back in 1971 and led the team to an 11-1 record that in­cluded a Ga­tor Bowl vic­tory.

He set a South­east­ern Con­fer­ence sopho­more rush­ing record and fin­ished sec­ond in the league with 870 yards on the ground, along with 13 touch­downs.

John­son started two more sea­sons for the Bull­dogs and fin­ished his ca­reer with 1,799 rush­ing yards, the most by a quar­ter­back at that time.

A fifth-round pick by New Eng­land, John­son played 94 games — in­clud­ing 43 starts — be­fore fin­ish­ing his ca­reer with the USFL’s Bos­ton Break­ers. He rushed for a ca­reer high 699 yards with six touch­downs for the Patriots in 1976.

John­son is sur­vived by his wife Char­lotte and three chil­dren: Kristy, Brent and Brooke.

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