Pirates Re-sign Toby Johnson – Presented by Phoenix Communications, Inc.
By: Mick Moninghoff
November 23, 2021
WORCESTER, MA – The Massachusetts Pirates, Champions of the Indoor Football League, have re-signed defensive lineman Toby Johnson. Johnson, a First-Team All-IFL Defensive selection, was one of the premier run stoppers in the league, playing a major role in helping the IFL’s number one defense to allow the fewest points per game at 31.6.
The 6’4” 325 lb. University of Georgia alum, finished the season with 57 tackles. His 10.5 tackles for a loss tied him for sixth in the IFL and his 3.5 sacks ranked him tenth. Johnson also has one pass broken up and one quarterback hurry.
Lining up at nose tackle, Johnson helped to shut down the run as opposing backs were held to just 3.1 yards per carry, fewest in the IFL and a league low of 4.1 yards per play. During the season Johnson forced three fumbles (tying him with teammate Santos Ramirez and one other for the most in the league) on a defense that caused 33 turnovers and was second in the IFL with 22 sacks.
The Morehead, MS native was consistent from the beginning of the season right through the Pirates 37-34 United Bowl overtime victory over the Arizona Rattlers. In that game Johnson had four tackles including one for a loss. In the 43-22 semifinal win over the Frisco Fighters, Johnson tipped a Jerrod Heard pass that was intercepted and returned for a touchdown by Harlan Miller.
During the regular season Johnson especially excelled against the Green Bay Blizzard. In Massachusetts’ 50-33 victory, Johnson recorded five tackles, a sack, two tackles for a loss and forced a fumble. In the Pirates loss at Green Bay, he had six tackles, 1.5 sacks and broke up a pass.
2022 will mark Johnson’s third season with the Pirates. Previously he played with the XFL’s New York Guardians in 2020. In 2015 Johnson began his professional football career as an undrafted free agent with the Tennessee Titans. That same season he also signed with Jacksonville Jaguars and the Chicago Bears. Ultimately, he signed with the Minnesota Vikings (2015-2016) where he recorded four tackles and a quarterback hit in two games. In 2017-2018 he signed with the Carolina Panthers and the Detroit Lions.
The 2021 United Bowl Champions; Massachusetts Pirates are members of the Indoor Football League (IFL). The Pirates play all home games at Phoenix Field at the DCU Center located at 50 Foster St. Worcester, MA, 01608. For more information on the Massachusetts Pirates please call (508)452-MASS (6277), email email@example.com or visit http://www.masspiratesfootball.com. For 2022 season, half-season, luxury, or group ticket packages please call 508-452-MASS (6277) or visit http://www.masspiratesfootball.com/tickets. Follow the Pirates on Facebook via Facebook.com/MAPirates, Instagram @mass.pirates, and Twitter @mass_pirates.