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All-LKC football team announced

Photo by Neal Smith Williamstown’s Josh Ingram lines up before the snap during a high school football game this fall.

PARKERSBURG — Highlighting the 41-member all-Little Kanawha Conference Class A first team, as selected by league coaches, Ritchie County junior Gus Morrison was honored as player of the year.

Morrison, who was thrust into a different role this season with the Rebels needing a tailback, actually had just two carries as a sophomore while going for 25 catches, 470 yards and nine scores as a starting wideout.

Not only did Morrison lead the Mountain State in scoring during the regular season, but he finished with a Mid-Ohio Valley-best 196 points on the strength of 28 total touchdowns. He averaged 9.2 yards per attempt and rushed for 1,104 stripes with 16 TDs. Of his 20 receptions, which covered 438 yards, the Rebel turned 11 of those into TDs. He also had a pick-6 as part of his five interceptions.

“Tre (Moss) was the tailback and Garrett Owens was a really, really solid fullback (last year),” said Ritchie County third-year boss Rick Haught, whose squad finished as state runner-up to St. Marys. “We were more run oriented and Ethan (Haught) threw the ball well as a freshman, but he didn’t have to throw as much like we needed him to this year. He and Gus always have kind of connected with one another and they played middle school together.

“I always did think Gus’s best position was finding a way to get the ball in space as a receiver. He can get separation from a defender. He can go up over top of you and catch the ball. He has great hands and can grab anything close to him and he’s just really talented in that aspect. This year I needed a tailback. As the year went I still tried to find ways to use him in that more wide receiver type roll.”

Morrison, who is 6-foot-4, is a cornerback on defense.

“Nobody throws to him very often,” added his coach. “Now that it’s all said and done, I thought Graden (McKinney) was a better corner than Gus and played people tighter, but people had a tendency to throw Graden’s way and not throw at Gus this year and he still had five picks.”

Ritchie County, St. Marys and LKC champion Doddridge County, which finished third in the final WVSSAC ratings, had six representatives apiece on the first team.

Haught, who led the MOV with 24 touchdown passes, hit on 85 of 153 attempts for 1,544 yards and just one interception. McKinney (21-471-5) and Bowie (26-399-7) were key receivers and finished with five and four interceptions, respectively. Dakota Wayne and Damien Trader, who had 77 tackles, were the Rebels’ other two selections. Wayne not only rushed for 601 yards, but he had 84 stops and seven sacks.

Leading the way for Jodi Mote’s Blue Devils, who were awarded the state trophy after Ritchie County was unable to play due to the COVID-19 state color map, was signal-caller Brennan Boron. The senior not only threw for 806 yards with 10 TDs, but he added 721 rush yards and 18 six-pointers. He was second in the area with 120 points, finished with 49 tackles and defended 15 passes.

A season after rushing for 1,668 yards and 18 TDs for Ritchie County, Moss finished his last year as St. Marys’ top runner. He had 1,075 yards and 16 TDs while making 43 stops. Also earning first team nods for the Blue Devils were Riley Boley (8 sacks, 71 tackles), Cyle West (4 sacks, 79 tackles), Darrien Bortey (3 sacks, 59 tackles) and Logan Rice, who broke up 16 passes, had two picks and finished with 135 receiving yards.

Doddridge County was represented by Adam Burnside (6 sacks, 59 tackles), Hunter Jenkins (204 yards receiving, 1 TD; 2 INTs), Reese Burnside (948 yards rushing, 10 TDs; 69 yards receiving, 2 TDs; 2 INTs, 2 FF, 39 tackles), Dylan Knight (577 yards rushing, 6 TDs; 106 yards receiving, 1 TD; blocked punt, 51 tackles), Simon James (126 yards rushing, 2 TDs; 46 tackles) and Gabe Stewart (4 sacks, 55 tackles).

Overall, five different LKC squads qualified for the postseason, which included Williamstown and Wirt County. The Yellowjackets of first-year head coach Chris Beck were banned from the playoffs, but landed five players on the first unit. The Tigers, who boasted LKC coach of the year Jason Hickman, had four representatives.

Despite playing just seven games, Yellowjacket Trevor Oates ended up just 34 yards shy of 1,000 and found paydirt 10 times. He was aided by fellow first team picks along the offensive line in Brady Ankrom, Josh Ingram and Leewood Molessa, who had five sacks. WHS quarterback Brayden Modesitt, who rushed for 436 yards and five scores while throwing for 424 yards and five TDs, also made the first team.

Garrett Parsons finished third in the MOV in scoring with 108 points to lead the Tigers. He rushed for 816 yards, had 128 receiving yards and also threw a pair of TD strikes. Logan Powell finished with 6.5 sacks to lead the Wirt County defense. He rushed for 267 yards and had 170 yards receiving. Also earning first team nods for the Tigers were Ryan Alton and Kolton Parsons, who had 12 total TDs, 259 yards rushing and 478 yards receiving.

After three straight seasons of winning a trio of games, fourth-year Gilmer County head coach Thomas Cogar’s Titans came up just short of a playoff berth after going 5-4 and finishing No. 20. A quartet of Titans earned first team status in Chris Carr, Avery Chapman, Kyle Moss and Ean Hamric, who as the junior QB finished 91 of 143 for 1,516 yards with 20 TDs against six picks. He also rushed for 597 yards and eight scores. Chapman had 761 yards receiving and nine touchdowns while also scoring twice on the ground and producing 197 stripes. Moss had a team-high 92 total tackles.

Tyler Consolidated had a trio of first team members thanks to David Throckmorton (7 TDs, 547 yards rushing), Case Landis (3 TDs, 209 yards rushing, 2 sacks) and Ty Walton (2 TDs).

The other seven members featured Ravenswood junior teammates Wes Hill and Ethan Lane (2 sacks, 3 FF, 3 FR, 2 blocked kicks), Calhoun County’s Grant Sterns (3 total TDs, 425 rush yards), Webster County’s Connor Bell (9 TDs, 846 rush yards) along with Wahama’s Kase Stewart, Michael VanMatre and Sawyer VanMatre, who was the lone freshman selected.

In Class AA, Braxton County took top honors with Deandre Williams earning coach of the year and Tyler Cox garnering player of the year.

Just a sophomore, Cox had 30 receptions for 648 yards and 10 TDs. Overall, he had 1,206 total yards thanks to another 340 in kickoff and punt returns as well as more than 200 interception return yards. He had 40 tackles, forced a trio of fumbles and had five picks.

Fellow Eagles Baine Cogar (26 catches, 528 yards, 5 TDs; 58 tackles), Drew Pritt (511 rush yards, 5 TDs, 79 tackles, 3 sacks), Jett Cogar (1,391 pass yards, 16 TDs, 6 INTs; 411 rush yards, 4 TDs; 2 FF, 3 INTs) Kendal Hamric (42 tackles, 4 sacks), Logan Conley (103 tackles) and Sam Groves (4 sacks) also made first team.

Roane County head coach Paul Burdette’s Raiders played just six games, but landed seniors Claude Bauer and Justin Roberts on the first unit. Along with 77 stops and a pick-6, Bauer rushed for 398 yards and four scores. Roberts, who graded out as a 78% run blocker and 85% pass blocker, finished his final year as a Raider with 39 pancakes and also registered a pair of sacks.

The other four double-A first team nods went to Clay County’s Caleb Atha, Colton Casto, Riley Perkins and Grant Krajeski, who threw 19 touchdown passes.

Contact Jay Bennett at jbennett@newsandsentinel.com

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