Shippensburg running back Adam Houser earned a game ball from Jake Adams for his performance in Week 6. (File photo/The Sentinel)
By 4th Down Staff:
Each week during the 2018 high school football season, each member of our team--and those working behind the scenes as well at 4th Down Magazine--will pass out game balls to top performers.
Players will earn a point per game ball they receive during the season. The top earner will receive an award at the end of the season from our crew.
4th Down Game Balls
Dionte Nichols, DE, Harrisburg: It would be very easy to keep the current narrative on the Cougars, that slick senior QB Kane Everson re-fired Calvin Everett’s offense in the second half and paced a solid 20-5 triumph over Central Dauphin. In reality, that’s only half of the story. The main chapter was attached to Nichols and Harrisburg’s pulsating defense, which turned momentum quickly. Nichols was the driving force, collecting nine tackles, including three for loss, and he chipped in a couple of sacks and forced a fumble. All of it handed Everson the opportunity to shoot the Cougars in gear and pocket their fifth straight victory.
CJ Reyes-Diggs, RB, Bishop McDevitt: We targeted Reyes-Diggs because most are chatting about McD’s high-wire passing game from week to week. Well, usual suspects Chase Diehl and WR Nazir Burnett were heard from prominently during a 49-7 victory over Waynesboro. But Reyes-Diggs gave the Crusaders a rare gift Friday, a consistent rushing attack from kickoff to final horn. The 6-foot senior had a whale of a game vs. the Indians, turning 13 carries into 219 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Reyes-Diggs set the tone early at The Roc, piling up TD runs of 9 and 27 yards in the opening quarter.
Connor McCarthy, QB, Altoona: Let’s just say this was an important week for the Mountain Lions. For starters, Altoona, like all other MPC programs, were hoping to gain a boost entering the stretch run of the regular season. Second, the Lions were coming off two straight losses, including a tough 17-16 overtime loss to CD East. So Altoona’s Week 6 scrap at Carlisle was important, and McCarthy delivered a gem. The QB connected on 14-of-28 pass attempts for 238 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in Altoona’s 49-42 overtime win. McCarthy added 59 rushing yards and his 2-point conversion pass to Isaiah Barnes with 4:19 to play in regulation forced the extra session.
Jake Adams Game Balls
Mitchell Lawhead, RB-LB, Altoona: Watched the Mountain Lions for the first time Friday. And the player who impressed the most was Lawhead. The senior made a highlight-reel run in the fourth quarter. The 77-yard game-tying trot featured two of the most vicious stiff arms I’ve ever seen in a high school game. He launched two Carlisle defenders. What he did gets flagged for roughing the passer in the NFL (I don’t know how, but it would, because NFL). It was violent. And it kept Altoona in the game. Lawhead caught a TD pass, scored on a 1-yard fumble recovery and found pay dirt on the the ground for Altoona’s last three touchdowns, including both in overtime in the 49-42 win.
Jaheim Morris, RB-DB, Cedar Cliff: I actually talked about him prior to the week in The Sentinel’s Week 6 previews, and sure enough Morris erupted for perhaps his best game of the year. The Colts’ back scored five times on a 14-carry, 166-yard day (and had 3 catches for 19 yards). Actually, he had three of the first four Cedar Cliff TDs to spot them a 27-0 lead that would end a 48-14 victory over Lower Dauphin. The scores (from 5, 30, 7, 1 and 72 yards) doubled his season output to 10 rushing TDs. He’s now less than 100 yards away from 1,000 this season. And he’s third on the team with 15 receptions.
Adam Houser, RB-DB, Shippensburg: That yards-per-carry number has barely budged all season. The senior again nearly reached 200 yards, rolling Greencastle-Antrim for 180 stripes on 22 carres (8.2 ypc) in a 26-14 win Friday to erase the sting of last week’s upset loss to Mifflin County. Houser also caught a 16-yard pass from sophomore Zack Manning (who is developing with each week it seems) and scored with 2:57 to play on a 2-yard run to put the game out of reach. Houser is now at 945 rushing yards and just crossed 100 carries for the season.
Andy Shay Game Balls
Michael Chismar, TE, East Pennsboro: This has been a long season for the Panthers, but win No. 1 of the season always feels so good. The 5-foot-11, 185-pound Chismar played a huge role for the Panthers in a 41-point second quarter against Camp Hill. Yes, East Pennsboro scored six touchdowns in 12 minutes. Five of those came on offense as Chismar hauled in a 35-yard TD pass to go along with the 10-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter. He finished with seven catches for 115 yards and those two scores. Not a bad outing for a tight end.
Henry Flemister, WR, Steel-High: One of the best performances of the week by any wideout. The 6-1, 210-pound senior had seven catches for 205 yards with a pair touchdowns covering 27 and 14 yards. He averaged 29.3 yards per catch for a Rollers team that lost a very tight game for the second week in a row.
Kenyon Johnson, QB-DB, West Perry: Every single week what Johnson does for the Mustangs is game-ball worthy. If you deliver the goods, you deserve a game ball, right? On the road against a strong Northern defense, Johnson accounted for nearly 250 yards and a couple touchdowns in an impressive 42-20 victory. Most of the accolades for Johnson this season have been because of his speed and ability to turn average plays into big-strike plays. This time it’s a stellar 6-of-6 passing for 112 yards and a touchdown. That’s nearly 20 yards per attempt. Mustangs are 6-0.
Grant Haus, QB, Palmyra: Give this guy a chance to win a game late in the fourth quarter and he will get it done. In their first real test of the season against Steel-High, the Cougars were tied with the Rollers 36-all after Steel-High scored with 3:45 to play. Haus marched his team down the field to victory, capping the march with a 10-yard touchdown run to seal victory No. 6 for Palmyra in as many games. Haus finished with 270 total yards and had a hand in six touchdowns (three passing, three rushing). Haus led the Cougars in rushing, turning 18 totes in 135 yards and three scores, and completed 12-of-19 passes for 135 additional yards with three TD passes. Winning a wild game on the final possession is becoming old hat for Haus. But it never gets old.
Michael Bullock Game Balls
Colby Scott, RB, Line Mountain: Thrived between the hashes on a field that became soupier and soupier, Scott rushed 15 times for 100 yards in the Eagles’ 13-7 loss at Williams Valley.
Ty Martin, RB, Juniata: Complemented freshman QB Jacob Condo nicely, rushing 12 times for an even 100 yards in the Indians’ 28-20 conquest of Pine Grove.
Colin Luckenbill, RB, Pine Grove: Picked up 108 rushing yards on 13 attempts and scored twice in the Cardinals’ 28-20 loss at Juniata. Banked a 35-yard rushing TD and later cashed in from a yard out.
John Stump, RB, Susquenita: Proved to be a workhorse in Susquenita’s 30-22 loss to Upper Dauphin, rushing 26 times for 164 yards and touchdowns of 20 and 6 yards.
Macklin Ayers, QB, Upper Dauphin: Productive yet again in the Trojans’ 30-22 victory at Susquenita, rushing 14 times for 86 yards and scores of 36 and 2 yards. Also completed five of his 10 passes for 61 yards, but his late two-point pitch to Ben Cope had UD up eight.
Donnie Gelnett, FB, Upper Dauphin: Burly fullback ground out 63 yards on 12 carries, but it was his 3-yard score early in the fourth quarter that punched UD in front 28-22.
Latest from Adam Kulikowski
- Middletown back Richie Sykes earns first D-I offers
- St. Joseph's Prep outlasts a resilient Harrisburg club to claim its fourth PIAA state title in six years, 40-20
- Aliquippa shuts down Middletown, 35-0, to capture the PIAA Class 3A championship
- Live updates: PIAA Class 3A championship--Middletown vs. Aliquippa
- Players to watch heading into the 3A and 6A state title games
- Picks and Predictions for the Harrisburg and Middletown state title games
- Player of the Week: Middletown defensive back Antonio Bryant
- Listen now: High School Football Now with Eric Epler and Andy Shay (Episode 16)
- Eric Epler's State High School Football Rankings after Week 15
- Week 15 Game Balls
- Meet your 2018 Tri-Valley League All-Stars
- Vote now: 4th Down Magazine Player of the Week Presented by Crown Trophy in Lemoyne (Week 15)
- Sunday QB: Middletown and Harrisburg set to play for state titles; McDevitt falls to Cathedral Prep
- Making the Grade: A breakdown of Harrisburg's 27-24 victory against Coatesville
- Big D: Harrisburg's suffocating defense of Coatesville quarterback Ricky Ortega fuels victory against the Red Raiders