Five Cyclones make 4-A-5A All-NET team

from staff reports

   The Mountain Lakes Conference co-champion Elizabethton Cyclones placed five players on the Tennessee Sports Writers Association All-Northeast Tennessee 4A-5A team, released Saturday, while Johnson County had three of its players make the prestigious squad.
   The team was selected by eight Northeast Tennessee newspapers -- the Kingsport Times-News, the Mountain City Tomahawk, the Elizabethton Star, the Greeneville Sun, the Rogersville Review, the Morristown Citizen-Tribune, the Jefferson County Standard-Banner and the Mountain Press of Sevierville.
   Earning first-team honors for the Cyclones were three seniors -- offensive lineman Jake Jenkins, senior defensive back Adam Turley and punter Brandon Blevins -- and a junior, linebacker Derek Nave. Second-team honors for EHS went to senior running back Lester Bailey, as well as Turley at wide receiver.
   Making the first team and winning the Defensive Player of the Year award was Johnson County seniors Daniel Cranford, a defensive lineman who had 96 tackles, nine of them for losses and seven of them for sacks. He also caused four fumbles and recovered four.
   Cranford was accompanied by teammates and John Stout and Adam Johnson, both second-team selections. Stout, a junior, earned a spot on the offensive line, and Johnson, a senior, made it as a defensive end.
   While Jenkins anchored the Cyclones' offensive front, Turley totaled six interceptions, broke up 15 passes, and had 36 receptions for 559 yards and four touchdowns. Blevins averaged an astounding 41.6 yards a punt, and Nave collected a team-high 115 tackles.
   Bailey was the Mountain Lakes Conference's rushing (1,058 yards) and scoring champ (90 points). Including the Cyclones' playoff game, he finished with 1,134 rushing yards and 16 TDs (15 rushing).
   Stout proved to be the rock on Johnson County's offensive line this season, and Johnson totaled 87 tackles (three for losses), a half-dozen sacks, four blocked passes, two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
   Dobyns-Bennett and Jefferson County each grabbed six spots on the first team.
   Included for Jefferson County was Offensive Player of the Year Jeff Jennings, who is headed to Vanderbilt on football scholarship. He was a finalist for Mr. Football honors in 5A. He rushed for 1,486 yards on 168 carries, scored 14 TDs and on defense had 51 tackles with four sacks and two interceptions while playing linebacker.
   Jennings had eight 100-yard games, including a career-high 224 yards against Knox Karns.
   The Coach of the Year is Don Woods of Morristown West, whose team played for the state title on Saturday in Murfreesboro.
   D-B, which shared the Big East title with Jefferson County, made it all the way to the state quarterfinals before losing to Oak Ridge. The Indians placed tight end Phillip Tritapoe on first team, along with offensive tackle Ryan Powell, quarterback Duran Ferguson and wide receiver Lamon Williams and also had placekicker Ben Cotey and defensive back Dustin Gaines make first team.
   The writers voted Williams to the team with knowledge he was suspended for the final game against Oak Ridge for disciplinary reasons and missed several earlier games with injury. Williams finished with 43 catches for 683 yards and 7 TDs and returned 9 punts for 170 yards.
   Williams was the favorite target of Ferguson, who led the area in passing with 2,227 yards and 21 TDs. He hit 157 of 290 passes and also ran for 179 yards. Ferguson, like Williams, is a junior. Tritapoe, a senior, was another favorite target, catching 31 passes for 400 yards and three TDs.
   Powell, a 6-foot-5, 235-pound senior had 17 blocks leading to Indian touchdowns. Cotey, also a senior, was 52-for-54 on extra-point tries and 5-for-7 on field goals.
   Gaines, a senior, had five interceptions, six breakups, 30 tackles, blocked a pair of kicks and recovered a fumble. He also caught 11 passes for 132 yards and 3 TDs on offense.
   In addition to Jennings, Jefferson County landed fellow running back Scooter Houston on the team as both a running back and kick returner, junior offensive guard Jason Yeary and wide receiver Tyler Brown on offense and linebacker Noah Vickers on defense.
   Houston set Big East records in scoring and in touchdowns with 23. He rushed for 1,256 yards on 139 carries and caught 11 passes for 183 yards and two TDs. He also had 303 yards on 11 returns and scored a TD on one return and had five interceptions and 63 tackles on defense.
   Brown caught 33 passes for 745 yards and 6 TDs, while Yeary was the main man in an offensive line that helped the Patriots rush for 3,650 yards and produce 4,905 yards of total offense.
   Vickers was the defensive leader for the 10-2 Patriots with 99 tackles and had 10 tackles or more in six of the nine games he played.
   Morristown East placed four players, offensive lineman Rob Davis, running back Charvez Francisco and wide receiver Wahkeem Simpson on offense and defensive lineman Matt Southerland on defense.
   Franscisco rushed for 1,601 yards on 230 carries and 18 TDs, while Simpson caught 32 passes for 661 yards and 5 TDs.
   Southerland had 12 sacks.
   Morristown West had three players on the team, all on defense. Brandon Fanney, a finalist for Mr. Football honors, made it as a defensive lineman. He recorded 15 sacks and had another 11 tackles for loss.
   Emmanuel Frederick, who played the other end on defense for the Trojans, had 6 sacks and 13 tackles for loss among his 93 stops.
   Defensive back Matt Rice had four interceptions and returned two for TDs and also returned a fumble for a TD.
   Science Hill also placed three players on the team -- offensive linemen Lanny Begley and Tommy Schnell and linebacker Lee Littleford, who was the Big East Defensive Player of the Year with 125 tackles.
   Greeneville placed Chase Greenway as an athlete and Corey Shipley as a linebacker. Greenway rushed for 956 yards and passed for another 920. Shipley led the Greene Devils with 112 tackles.
   Rounding out the first team are Sevier County offensive tackle Josh Ward, Cherokee linebacker Shawn Bunch and Tennessee High defensive back Eric White.
   Ward was an All-Big East pick, while Bunch had 128 tackles, including 6 sacks, an interception, caused three fumbles and blocked both a punt and a PAT kick. White set a school record with eight interceptions and returned one for a TD.
   The All-Northeast Tennessee Class 1A-3A team will be released Monday.