2015 ASWA All-State Football Teams Twenty one area football players receive ASWA All-State recognition
Back during high school football’s preseason, two of the area’s top-ranked teams were the Cedar Bluff Tigers and the Piedmont Bulldogs.
By season’s end, those two teams proved worthy of their rankings – and then some.
Cedar Bluff (13-2) finished as Class 1A state runner-up for just the second time in school history, while Piedmont (14-1) earned its second Class 3A state championship in six seasons.
It should come as no surprise both teams were well represented on the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s All-State Football Teams. Those teams were released late Saturday evening.
In all, The Cherokee County Herald’s coverage area had 21 players earn all-state honors.
Cedar Bluff had a total of six players receive recognition, led by first-team selections Ivory Starr and D’Andre Autry.
Starr, a freshman running back, accumulated 2,594 yards on 306 carries and scored 30 touchdowns. He is only the third running back in school history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a season.
Autry, a senior offensive lineman, was one of Starr’s lead blockers. He graded out at 94percent with 62 pancake blocks and allowed only one sack all season.
The Tigers had four players honored with second-team selections: junior quarterback Josh Decker, senior wide receiver Jamie Abernathy, freshman linebacker Ross Johnson and sophomore defensive back Isaiha Jones.
Decker completed 116-of-195 pass attempts for 1,858 yards and 25 touchdowns. He also rushed for 552 yards and 21 scores on 117 carries.
Abernathy was Decker’s top receiver with 37 catches for 758 yards and eight touchdowns.
Johnson posted 138 tackles, including nine for lost yardage, to go along with five caused fumbles, three pass breakups and an interception.
Jones tallied 72 tackles, including one for lost yardage and recovered four fumbles (one for a touchdown). He also had six pass breakups and four interceptions.
Piedmont had seven selections and an honorable mention on the Class 3A teams. Junior quarterback Taylor Hayes, senior running back Darnell Jackson, senior wide receiver/defensive back Bayley Blanchard, senior linebacker Neonta Alexander and junior defensive end Chase Bobbitt all earned first-team honors.
Junior offensive lineman Mason Langley and sophomore defensive back Cardavion Myers were second-team selections. Junior offensive lineman Krae Keener claimed an honorable mention.
Hayes was an all-state linebacker his freshman and sophomore seasons and switched almost exclusively to quarterback this year. He threw for 1,760 yards and 19 touchdowns and led the team in rushing with 1,560 yards and 18 scores.
Jackson toted the ball 152 times for 1,429 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also caught 14 passes for 162 yards.
Blanchard was chosen as one of four first-team athletes. He led the Bulldogs in receiving with 37 catches for 867 yards and 13 touchdowns. On defense, Blanchard posted 46 total tackles with six pass breakups and five interceptions.