Sea­son’s Salu­ta­tion

2015 ASWA All-State Foot­ball Teams Twenty one area foot­ball play­ers re­ceive ASWA All-State recog­ni­tion

Cherokee County Herald - - SPORTS - By Shan­non Fa­gan

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.

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