SCIOTO COUNTY — The 2020 football season may have been shortened, but the all-Ohio honors among Scioto County’s standouts went a long way.
That’s because a total of 23 players representing eight county clubs and three divisions captured all-state accolades, which were announced this past week by the Ohio Prep Sports Writers Association.
Of those 23, 17 among five teams in Division V were recognized — along with three Valley Indians in Division VI and three Honorable Mention honorees in Division VII.
For the fourth football season in a row, the all-Southeast District teams were selected under the OPSWA umbrella — as the Associated Press is no longer affiliated with choosing all-district or even all-Ohio teams.
Still, ALL first-team honorees are automatic — AT LEAST — Honorable Mention all-Ohio, as the players of the year in each of Ohio’s seven districts are automatically first-team all-state.
This year, Scioto County didn’t have any Southeast District players or coaches of the year, but there were 10 players which landed higher than Honorable Mention all-Ohio.
In Division V, seven-win Wheelersburg had four, followed by two apiece by six-win Portsmouth West and Northwest.
Minford in Division V and Valley in Division VI each amounted one individual higher than Honorable Mention.
Leading the list was Wheelersburg offensive lineman Blake Richardson — a six-foot three-inch 270-pound senior.
Richardson, a three-year starter, anchored the Pirates’ prolific front —as Wheelersburg went 7-2, and only lost by a single solitary point (36-35) on a two-point conversion pass in overtime at Waverly followed by a 13-10 Region 19 semifinal loss at Ridgewood.
Richardson was joined on the Division V first team by West defensive back Luke Bradford — a 6-2, 150-pound senior.
Bradford was a Special Mention (now named Honorable Mention) choice last year, as West was one of the few teams to play 10 games in this coronavirus-impacted campaign.
West went 6-4, with three of its losses coming at Waverly once and against Wheelersburg twice.
Bradford recorded 47 total tackles and a dozen pass breakups this season, and intercepted two passes while forcing one fumble and recovering another.
Joining Richardson near the top of the all-Ohio list was Wheelersburg junior placekicker Braxton Sammons —a second-team offensive selection this season after being recognized as a third-team punter prior.
The punter position is a defensive one, but observers believed Sammons stood out more this year as a placekicker.
The 5-11 and 180-pound kicker converted 40-of-41 extra-point attempts, made six of eight field goals including a season-long of 43 yards, and stuck 11 touchbacks.
Minford’s Matthew Risner, a three-time all-Ohio honoree including as a second-team defensive back last year, repeated to the second team this season —only this time as a wide receiver on the offensive side.
Risner — a 5-10 and 175-pound senior — received first-team all-district honors as an offensive All-Purpose performer.
That’s because he had 827 receiving yards and six touchdowns on 50 catches — which averages out to 16-and-a-half yards per reception.
He also rushed 31 times for 119 yards and two TDs, and was the Falcons’ focus for returning kickoffs and punts.
Speaking of punts, he did that for the Falcons too, punting 28 times for an average of 36-and-a-half yards.
As a defensive back, which he would have made first team again at the district level if he wasn’t selected as an All-Purpose player, Risner registered a team-high 69 tackles and seven interceptions.
Since All-Purpose isn’t carried up to the state level, the panel rewarded Risner with second team for his natural position —wide receiver.
A third Scioto County player — Northwest offensive lineman Caleb Crabtree —also earned second-team offense.
The 6-2, 275-pound senior was easily regarded as the Mohawks’ top two-way lineman, and arguably overall top player.
Crabtree was a Special Mention honoree a year ago.
Third-team selections from the county included senior wide receiver Matthew Miller (6-0, 165) and junior defensive back Josh Clark (6-1, 160) of Wheelersburg, senior defensive lineman Eli Tilley (6-1, 200) of West, sophomore punter Dakota Secrest (6-0, 185) of Northwest, and sophomore wide receiver Ty Perkins (6-3, 165) of Valley.
Of that fivesome, only Perkins is a repeat all-Ohioan — having made Division VI Special Mention as a freshman.
This season’s Scioto County players on Honorable Mention included — in Division V — Portsmouth’s Reade Pendleton (WR) and Drew Roe (QB), West’s Luke Wroten (OL) and Ryan Sissel (LB), Northwest’s Brayden Campbell (RB) and Evan Lintz (LB), Wheelersburg’s Carson Williams (LB) and Minford’s Elijah Vogelsong-Lewis (QB).
Campbell and Lintz repeated from a year ago as Special Mention, while Vogelsong-Lewis was a third-team quarterback last year.
In Division VI, Valley seniors Devin Wiley (LB) and Nick Bowles (OL) were Honorable Mention, as were Notre Dame’s Division VII duo of senior Logan Emnett (RB) and sophomore Carter Campbell (DL).
Also in Division VII, Green senior standout Ethan Huffman (WR) repeated as Honorable Mention.
Ironton’s Reid Carrico —for his second straight and final fall — took home hardware for the Southeast District in Division V —being named the entire division’s Defensive Player of the Year.
Carrico was also the runner-up for Ohio’s prestigious Mr. Football award, which was won by the Division V Offensive Player of the Year — Cincinnati Roger Bacon’s Corey Kiner.
Although, Ironton defeated Roger Bacon 22-19 in the Division V state semifinals, as the Fighting Tigers took on Kirtland for the second straight season in the division’s state championship tilt.
The only other top award winner from the Southeast District was Adena’s John Penwell in Division VI, as he shared Coach of the Year honors with Clarence Daniels of Columbus Africentric.
A complete list of all-Ohio honors — for Divisions IV, V, VI and VII —can be found online at www.portsmouth-dailytimes.com.
Reach Paul Boggs at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1926, by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or on Twitter @BoggsSports © 2020 Portsmouth Daily Times, all rights reserved