Big School 6A-4A:
Trenten Smith, sr., WR, Cedar Cliff — Colts quarterback Ethan Dorrell kept going to Smith, and Smith kept performing. The senior had eight catches for 137 yards and two touchdowns (13 and 24 yards) plus three tackles. But it wasn’t enough for Cedar Cliff to come away with the win, falling 42-35 to Exeter Township in the District 3 Class 5A semifinal. Special shout out to his QB, who finished 17-of-27 for 225 yards, four TDs, an interception and 27 rushing yards.
Jontae Morris, sr., RB, Cedar Cliff — A full-season nomination more than anything, Morris eclipsed 2,000 yards this season after rushing for 133 yards and a touchdown on 20 carries in the Colts’ 42-35 loss to Exeter Township. The senior, who missed last year due to injury, needed just 2 yards entering the game and finished his career with an impressive 302 carries, 2,131 yards and 23 touchdowns this season, performing like the best back in the Mid-Penn Conference.
Stone Saunders, fr., QB, Bishop McDevitt — Still haven’t found a stage too big for the rookie, who threw four touchdowns of 56, 27, 13 and 57 yards in Friday’s 35-7 District 3 Class 4A semifinal win over Berks Catholic. He hit three different receivers for those scores. Three of those TDs came in the first half to build a 21-7 halftime lead, and Saunders finished 18-of-30 for 304 yards, plus a pick. He now has 2,670 yards and 42 TDs this season, against just two picks.
Mario Easterly, sr., WR, Bishop McDevitt — On the receiving end of much of Saunders’ tosses Friday night, Easterly finished with eight grabs for 121 yards. Two of those catches went for first-half touchdowns crossing 27 yards and 13 yards in the 35-7 win over Berks Catholic. He now has 875 yards and 13 touchdowns on 46 catches this season.
Mahkai Hopkins, jr., RB/LB, Harrisburg — Hopkins put together another strong playoff performance for the second week in a row, carving out 128 yards on 25 carries in the Cougars’ 14-10 win over Wilson. He ran for 63 yards, including a 38-yarder, to set up Shawn Lee’s game-winning 7-yard TD in the fourth quarter. Hopkins also had a fourth-down stop.
Jacob Condo, sr., QB/LB, Juniata —Condo did what he could as the Indians made a valiant comeback before falling 34-27 at Meadville in the opening round of the PIAA Class 4A playoffs. Condo rushed 15 times for 134 yards and a 1-yard TD that pulled Juniata to within 20-14 in the third quarter. He later fired a 60-yard touchdown pass to Yaneil “G.G.” Ortiz that kept the Indians within a single score (27-20). Condo finished 14-of-31 for 136 yards and added four tackles on defense.
Jordan Cruz, sr., DL/OL, Juniata — The burly Cruz made his presence known in Juniata’s 34-27 loss at Meadville. Cruz finished with eight tackles and one sack, but he also recovered a fumble before his career came to a close.
Small School: 3A-1A:
Daivin Pryor, sr., RB, Steel-High — The Rollers’ state title defense came to an early end, falling 32-27 to Canton. But Pryor kept things close with touchdown runs of 64 and 25 yards in the first and third quarters, respectively. He finished with 127 yards on 17 carries and added a 31-yard reception from Alex Erby, who was 17-of-26 for 246 yards, two TDs and two INTs.
Joey Menke, sr., RB/LB, Boiling Springs — Menke had one of his signature performances against two-time defending District 3 Class 3A champion Wyomissing, rushing for 179 yards and two touchdowns on just 12 carries. But the Bubblers, one of the surprises of the season, were popped 55-14 by the district’s top seed. Menke made it a one-score game in the second quarter with a 55-yard dash to the end zone then followed that up with an 82-yard sprint to the end zone after halftime. He also had seven tackles on defense.
Brady Evans, jr, WR-DB, Williams Valley — Evans had a solid all-around effort in Williams Valley’s season-ending 26-7 loss to Old Forge, accounting for the Vikings’ lone score — a 7-yard touchdown reception that pulled Tim Savage’s squad even late in the opening quarter. Evans finished the night with four catches for 55 yards, but he also came up from his spot in the defensive backfield to make four tackles. A 6-3 junior, Evans also swiped a pass during the 48-minute exercise.
Hunter Wolfgang, sr., WR/DE, Williams Valley — Wolfgang’s final high school football game featured plenty of action, as the slender senior caught three passes for 60 yards in the Vikings’ 26-7 loss to Old Forge in a PIAA Class 1A opening-round scrap. Wolfgang might have been much more effective on the defensive side of the ball, however, coming off the edge to make six stops, two tackles for loss and sack opposing quarterback James Sobol once.
Logan Williard, jr., LB/RB, Williams Valley — Williard also authored a dandy all-around effort, making eight stops from his inside linebacker spot while accounting for one of the Vikings’ two interceptions. Williard also had a handful of touches offensively in Williams Valley’s 26-7 loss to unbeaten Old Forge, rushing three times for 29 yards from his fullback spot and catching a pair of passes for 4 yards.