Devils’ trio, EK’s Beckett named to first team
COLUMBUS — Division VII state semifinalist Danville had eight players earn places on the Division VII All-Ohio football team, in a vote which was released with the Division VI team by the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association on Sunday.
The Blue Devils, who were finally eliminated from the playoffs last Friday by Cuyahoga Heights, 38-8, were led on the Division VII teams by three First-Team seniors, QB Skyler Durbin, WR Brice Berger and DL Marshall Stull.
Durbin led the Blue Devils to a 12-2 overall record, the Region 27 championship and the state semifinals with 2,331 regular-season yards on 158-of-250 passing, and threw 22 TDs to only three interceptions. He also ran the ball 138 times for 814 yards, which also led the team, and scored 42 points. On defense, he had 43.5 tackles and two interceptions.
Berger was one of Durbin’s favorite targets, hauling in 35 catches for 671 yards and 56 points. He was also Danville’s leading tackler with 87, and had seven sacks.
Stull, who had already been named the Central District Defensive Player of the Year, was a big reason the Blue Devil defense gave up single-digit point totals five times, with two touchdowns or fewer in nine of their 14 games. He was second on the team with 73 tackles, and tied for first with nine sacks.
Danville’s Corbin Hazen, a junior receiver, was named to the Second Team, and Tyler Villella, a senior linebacker from Cardington, was chosen to the Second Team defense.
Hazen tied for the team lead with 53 catches, and led the team with 802 receiving yards. He also scored 42 points. On defense, Hazen posted 59 tackles and three interceptions.
Villella led all Mount Vernon News-area players with 117.5 tackles, and got to the quarterback for seven sacks, a team high.
Cardington sophomore RB Mason Goers was named to the Third Team. Despite missing a game, Goers rushed for 1,422 yards on 152 carries, and scored 96 points.
Four Danville players earned Honorable Mention, senior Tyler Mickley and juniors Dylan Wilson, Reese Dorsey and Chris Greenawalt, as well as Cardington senior Daniel Kill.
Just as he had done in the Central District, Northmor head coach Scott Armrose picked up the state Division VI Coach of the Year award, tied with Rusty Richards of Nelsonville-York. Armrose lifted the team from a 1-9 record last season to one game behind both Danville and Highland in the Knox-Morrow Athletic Conference and to the program’s very first playoff appearance this season, before the Golden Knights fell the in the final seconds of the Regional quarterfinals to Fort Frye, 6-0.
Armrose’s decision to make senior Demetrius Johnson his quarterback was a key in Northmor’s improvement, as Johnson earned First Team state honors after his Central District Offensive Player of the Year accolades earlier. After gaining 451 yards on 49 carries a year ago, Armrose put the team in Johnson’s hands, or legs, and he exploded for 2,475 yards on 211 carries, an average of 11.7 yard per carry, and 234 points. He also completed 34 of 76 passes for 445 yards and four TDs.
Joining Johnson on the First Team was East Knox junior receiver Ethan Beckett. Beckett grabbed 40 catches for 726 yards and 42 points, and was also a force on defense with 45.5 tackles and 7.5 sacks. He was also the area’s top punter with a 37.8 average.
One of those who broke open holes for Johnson to run through, Northmor senior lineman Austin Wheeler, was selected to the Second Team, and East Knox QB Kadden Lester was chosen to the Third Team. Just a sophomore, Lester completed 132 of 238 passes for 2,106 yards and 19 TDs in his first year as a starter. He also scored 31 points, and as a defender had a pair of interceptions.
East Knox junior Kasson Krownapple and sophomore Caleb Gallwitz were named Honorable Mention, as were Centerburg senior Mark LeChard and Northmor sophomore Blake Miller.