|
|
|
Neosho Daily News - Neosho, MO
  • Indians land five players on all-state football team

  • On the heels of a season that saw the Seneca football team collectively cause all of Class 3 to do a double-take, it’s only fitting that the team and a group of its standouts are now being recognized among the top performers in the state.
    • email print
  • On the heels of a season that saw the Seneca football team collectively cause all of Class 3 to do a double-take, it’s only fitting that the team and a group of its standouts are now being recognized among the top performers in the state.
    As a team, the Indians, who finished 12-4, went from being unranked and off the radars of many, to finishing the season ranked No. 2 in Class 3 — one spot behind state champion Maryville.
    Individually, the Indians also placed five players on the all-state list — all of them seniors. Quarterback Payton Rawlins (6-1, 210) heads the list of first-teamers, along with running back Braxton Graham (5-9, 175) and offensive lineman Mac Yust (6-2, 250). The second team consists of wide receiver Chance Smith (6-2, 180) and linebacker Dalan Merriman (6-1, 179).
    Rawlins made his case after passing for 2,865 yards, while completing 62 percent of his passes (174-for-279) with 24 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He also rushed for 402 yards and 10 touchdowns. Graham smashed the school’s single season rushing record with 2,896 yards on 393 carries (7.37 average) with 39 TDs, while also catching 42 passes for 789 yards and 12 additional scores. Yust had a lot to do with the offensive success, as he unquestionably anchored a talented offensive line that allowed Seneca’s high-powered offense to thrive.
    Smith earned second team honors after hauling in 46 passes for 799 yards and eight touchdowns. While he wasn’t recognized for his defense, he was also a catalyst for the Indians on that side of the ball all season, and turned in a number of key defensive plays.
    Merriman easily could have been recognized for his play on both sides of the ball, but earned recognition at linebacker. A dominant force that could almost single-handedly stop an opponents’ running game in its tracks, Merriman led the team with 136 solo tackles, 76 more than his nearest teammate, and closed the season with 164 total stops, 83 more than any other Indian, and had 21 tackles for loss. Merriman also led the team in receiving with 869 yards and four touchdowns — including a handful of big catches in the playoffs that kept Seneca’s run alive.
    The team also had a number of players made the Class 3, District 4 all-district team. Those selections went to Ethan Dorland (defensive back), Graham (running back/defensive back), Devin Madison (offensive line/linebacker), Merriman (linebacker/tight end), Rawlins (quarterback/punter), Ryker Skelton (defensive end), Smith (wide receiver/defensive back and Yust (offensive/defensive line).
    The East Newton Patriots also landed four players on the Class 3 all-district team. Those players were Travis Allen (defensive end), Rocky Liveoak (punter), Aaron Millett (wide receiver) and Drew Williams (linebacker).
      • calendar