Tigers, Rams dot All-re­gion

The Covington News - - SPORTS - BRYAN FAZIO bfazio@cov­news.com

The first year of Re­gion 2-AAAAAA pro­duced sev­eral big mo­ments through­out the 2012 sea­son, and the run­ner up to the cham­pion of the state’s high­est clas­si­fi­ca­tion.

This week, the league also pro­duced its first All-Re­gion team. The first sec­ond and hon­or­able men­tion teams may have been dom­i­nated by Love­joy play­ers, with the Wild­cats pro­duc­ing the re­gion’s Of­fen­sive Player of the Year, De­fen­sive Player of the Year, Ath­lete of the Year and Coach of the Year, but Al­covy and New­ton were also well hon­ored.

New­ton placed the sec­ond most play­ers on the All-Re­gion team with its 11 nominations, sec­ond to Love­joy’s 24 and Al­covy had the sec­ond most fir­stand sec­ond-team mem­bers with eight, next to Love­joy’s 21.

“Love­joy def­i­nitely had an out­stand­ing sea­son,” New­ton coach Cortez Allen said. “They are the best over­all team but we felt like a lot of kids from a lot of the other schools in the re­gion def­i­nitely de­served some spots on first and sec­ond teams.”

Cor­nell White was the only Al­covy player on the first team, be­ing nom­i­nated as a run­ning back. It was the third straight year he was named an All-Re­gion player, the first time as an ath­lete, last year as quar­ter­back and this year as a run­ning back. He joined Trae Bon­ner of Luella and New­ton’s James Harde­man as the top backs in 2-AAAAAA this year.

White fin­ished with two touch­downs and 630 yards on 158 car­ries, while also spend­ing some time at quar­ter­back for the Tigers.

Harde­man fin­ished with 1,035 yards and five touch­downs on 194 car­ries and was the re­gion’s sec­ond-most prolific run­ning back be­hind Love­joy’s Travis Custis, who was named Of­fen­sive Player of the Year.

Harde­man was named the Rams’ start­ing run­ning back for New­ton’s third game of the sea­son, and be­came their go-to of­fen­sive weapon from that point on.

“It’s been no se­cret that James saved our sea­son with him coming in and be­ing able to run the ball ef­fec­tively like he did,” Allen said. “He was able to get our of­fen­sive jump­started.”

Join­ing Harde­man on the first-team of­fense for New­ton was Nuka Yobo on the of­fen­sive line. The 6’4”, 265-pound sopho­more was the only nonLove­joy player named as one of the five first-team of­fen­sive line­man, and

is one of just two sopho­mores named to the first team.

“He’s well de­served,” Allen said. “It’s pretty im­pres­sive too to hear those guys talk about Love­joy’s front five and a cou­ple other kids who are se­niors on the of­fen­sive line that made All-Re­gion team and for him to be the only non-Love­joy kid on the of­fen­sive line was pretty huge. He did an out­stand­ing job.”

New­ton placed two play­ers on the de­fen­sive side of the All-Re­gion first-team, in se­niors Nick White and Kings­ley Ejike.

Ejike also re­ceived nominations for De­fen­sive Player of the Year, but was edged out by Love­joy’s Nathaniel Nor­wood.

The de­fen­sive end fin­ished with 15 sacks, two quar­ter­back hur­ries, two fum­ble re­cov­er­ies and 82 tack­les, in­clud­ing 21 ½ for loss for the Rams.

“One of my con­ver­sa­tions with a lot of col­lege coaches is that Kings­ley has some of the best ball get-offs for a high school kid that I’ve ever seen,” Allen said. “To get off the ball is crit­i­cal on both sides of the ball, and he’s prob­a­bly the best that I’ve ever coached at that po­si­tion.”

White started the sea­son out by telling Allen and his staff he broke his arm, and was in a cast for the whole sea­son, leav­ing just one arm com­pletely healed. That didn’t stop New­ton’s top de­fen­sive back from tal­ly­ing stats such as four in­ter­cep­tions, 11 pass-de­fenses, one fum­ble caused and re­cov­ered and 61 tack­les.

“Nick had an out­stand­ing sea­son with six in­ter­cep­tions and a cou­ple re­turned for touch­downs,” Allen said. “He did a heck of a job be­ing a com­plete cor­ner for us.”

White’s de­fen­sive mates Treyvon Richard­son and Joe Rock­ett also re­ceived post­sea­son hon­ors from Re­gion 2-AAAAAA coaches, earn­ing their way onto the sec­ond-team de­fense.

Rock­ett had 54 tack­les, one sack, one fum­ble re­cov­ery and two pass breakups at line­backer for New­ton. Richard­son helped an­chor the de­fen­sive line from the nose tackle po­si­tion with 38 tack­les, in­clud­ing 5 ½ for loss and four sacks.

Vin­nie Jen­gelly was the Rams’ lone sec­ond-team of­fen­sive player on the of­fen­sive line.

Al­covy placed three play­ers on the se­condteam of­fense, in­clud­ing line­men David Rash and Cur­tiss Ben­ton.

The Tigers also placed an ath­lete on the sec­ond team in Ant­won Glover, who had nine catches for 140 yards and two touch­downs and three car­ries for 21 yards.

The Tigers also had a good show­ing on the sec- ond team in line­man Ryan Adams, line­backer Okon God­win, de­fen­sive back Mar­cus Wil­liams and kicker Rysan Richard­son.

Adams had 66 tack­les with a team-high 10 sacks and nine tack­les for loss. God­win had 74 tack­les, in­clud­ing 54 solo tack­les, 11 tack­les for loss, four sacks and four forced fum­bles. Wil­liams fin­ished with 41 tack­les, three in­ter­cep­tions, three fum­bles re­cov­ered and two de­fen­sive touch­downs.

Richard­son was 6 of 10 on field goals with a 44-yarder and made all 17 of his ex­tra point at­tempts this sea­son.

New­ton’s Devonte Cart- er, AJ Palomino, An­thony Durham and Ke­mani Pittman all made the Al­lRe­gion hon­or­able men­tion team, along with four Tigers.

Al­covy placed Joaquin Ross, Leroy Robin­son, Tris­ten Payne and Jaylin Penny on the All-Re­gion team, that was oth­er­wise dom­i­nated by Love­joy.

“Look at the year they had; they have a lot of se­niors. I think the kids got the award for Love­joy de­finetly de­serve it,” Al­covy coach Kirk Hoff­man said. “I came away from the meet­ing dis­ap­pointed that some of our kids didn’t make it but very ex­cited that we had eight.”

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