Messenger file photo by Chris McCarthy
By Chris McCarthy, Publisher/Editor
After sprinting past many a potential tacker this past football season, Etowah’s Trent Davis ran himself right into the top award for local high school football players.
The Blue Devil senior is the Player of the Year of the 2020 All-Messenger football team.
Davis, who recently signed with Duke University, finished with 2,188 total yards and 29 touchdowns. He rushed for 1,813 yards and 25 TDs while catching 25 passes for 375 yards and four more scores.
Fellow EHS seniors NyNy Davis and Toby Camp also earned top honors in being selected the team’s Offensive MVP and Defensive MVP, respectively. Davis, who signed with Louisiana-Lafayette, had 58 receptions for 56 receptions for 659 yards and four touchdowns. Camp, who signed with Tennessee-Martin, recorded 81 tackles (including 31 for a loss) along with 13 sacks.
Coosa Christian senior Evan Delp rarely if ever came off the field this past season. The Jacksonville State signee was named Overall Athlete after finishing with 36 catches for 711 yards and five touchdowns, running back 12 kickoffs for 509 yards and four touchdowns and registering 33 tackles, six interceptions and four fumble recoveries on defense.
Ryan Locke is the team’s Coach of the Year after guiding Etowah to a 9-4 record, a berth in the state playoffs for the 10th straight season and the program’s first state semifinals appearance in 21 years in his first season in Attalla.
The All-Messenger first team offense features Southside senior Michael Rich, Jr., at quarterback; Southside senior Carnel Davis, Gadsden City junior C.J. Miller and Ashville senior Luke Harris at running back; Southside senior Aulden Battles, Etowah senior Ollie Finch and Westbrook Christian senior Ryan Scott at wide receiver; West End senior Trevor Willett at tight end; Gadsden City senior Rod Orr, Etowah junior Bennett Nance, Southside seniors Will Warrick and
Garrett Orr and Westbrook senior Hall Boulware at offensive line; and Hokes Bluff freshman Jadan Burns at kicker.
Rich, who recently committed to Murray State, was 140 of 238 in passing for 2,375 yards and 16 touchdowns with only seven interceptions to help the Panthers go 7-4, make the Class 6A state playoffs and beat county rival Etowah for the first time in four years.
Davis rushed for 1,701 yards and 16 TDs and had 11 receptions for 173 yards. Miller spearheaded the GCHS offense with 1,059 rushing yards and seven scores. Harris’ 1,087 rushing yards and 12 touchdowns helped the Bulldogs post their first non-losing season in 15 years.
Scott caught 27 passes for 477 yards and six touchdowns as the Warriors went 10-2 and won a postseason game for the second year in a row. Battles was the area’s leading receiver with 59 catches for 1,008 yards and nine touchdowns. Finch had 37 receptions for 701 yards and seven touchdowns. Besides being a standout blocker, Willett helped move the Patriot offense with 25 catches for 441 yards and 6 TDs.
Burns went a perfect 30 for 30 in extra points and was 2 for 2 in field goals.
The first team defense includes Westbrook junior Carl Henry, Glencoe senior T.J. Peebles, Ashville senior Clay Keller and Gadsden City sophomore Aaron Richard on the line; West End senior Hunter Tucker, Westbrook senior Bryce Wood, Hokes Bluff senior Will Clemons and Etowah senior Trevor Gladden at linebacker; Westbrook senior Carson Wiggins, Gadsden City junior Rodney Johnson, Hokes Bluff junior Tucker Griffin and Etowah junior Tae Wright at defensive back; and Westbrook senior Will Noles at punter.
Henry had 90 tackles, including 22 for a loss, and 11 sacks; Pebbles had a team-high 98 tackles and four sacks; Keller had an area-best 115 tackles along with four sacks; and Richard had 62 tackles and three sacks.
Tucker ended up with 105 tackles, including 24 for a loss, four sacks and three forced fumbles; Wood had 112 tackles, including 12 for a loss; Clemons had 105 tackles; and Gladden finished with 91 tackles and 11 sacks.
Wiggins registered 77 tackles (seven for a loss) and 10 pass breakups; Johnson had 46 tackles, two interceptions and five pass breakups; and Griffin finished with 58 tackles.
The second team offense consists of:
* Coosa Christian sophomore Thomas Skaggs (2,237 combined passing and rushing yards, 23 TDs) at athlete
* Etowah sophomore Trace Thompson (2,011 passing yards, 11 TDs) at quarterback
* West End junior Isaiah Roberson (1,115 rushing yards, 10 TDs), Coosa Christian senior Isaiah Cole (1,163 all-purpose yards, 14 TDs) and Hokes Bluff senior Hunter Burke at running back
* Gadsden City senior J.C. Woods (32 catches, 351 yards, five TDs), Southside sophomore Cody Roberts (34 catches, 752 yards, four TDs) and Gaston senior Ethan Stone (23 catches, 407 yards, three TDs) at receiver
* Southside senior Hayden Fry (29 catches, 379 yards) at tight end
* Coosa Christian sophomore Matthew Wright, Glencoe junior Kade Crowder, Ashville sophomore Mason Wilson, Hokes Bluff senior Austin Blevins and Sardis senior Jackson Burns at offensive line
* Ashville sophomore Greyson Simpson (2-for-4 in field goal attempts, long of 37; 26 of 29 PATs)
The second team defense features:
* Glencoe junior Levi Long (86 tackles, five sacks), Westbrook junior Kinnedy Cranfield (83 tackles, nine sacks), Gadsden City junior Samuel Horton (64 tackles) and Gadsden City freshman Jackson Veasy at defensive line
* Southside senior Eli Martin (107 tackles), Westbrook senior Caiden Wyatt (71 tackles), Gadsden City senior J’Montae Lee (75 tackles, five for a loss) and Sardis senior Brody Lowe (72 tackles, six fumble recoveries, four forced fumbles) at linebacker
* Ashville senior Adriane Hernandez (40 tackles, four interceptions), Gaston senior Nick Lewis (22 tackles, one interception, four pass breakups), Sardis senior Peyton Wherwein (50 tackles) and Gadsden City senior DeMarcus Macon at defensive back.