League champs populate Inland list
CANTON — League champions Leetonia, West Branch and South Range gained top honors on the 2020 Northeast Inland District high school football team released today.
Leetonia senior running back Marco Ferry is the Division VII offensive co-player of the year, while Leetonia’s Paul Hulea is the co-coach of the year.
In Division IV, West Branch senior quarterback Brock Hillyer was named the offensive co-player of the year and West Branch’s Ken Harris the co-coach of the year.
South Range swept all the honors in Division V with senior quarterback Michael Patrone as the offensive player of the year, defensive lineman Luke Blasko the defensive player of the year and Dan Yeagley the coach of the year.
Ferry and Hulea guided the turnaround at Leetonia as the Bears went 7-2, won their first league title in 12 years by sharing the Eastern Ohio Conference title with United and Southern and won their first home playoff game.
Ferry was the area’s leading rusher with 1,716 yards and 20 touchdowns on 203 carries (8.5) and scored 162 points in eight games.
Hillyer and Harris led the Warriors to from 2-8 to 8-2 this season and the Eastern Buckeye Conference title.
Hillyer accounted for 38 touchdowns as he passed for 2,282 yards and 25 touchdowns, while running for 790 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Patrone, Blasko and Yeagley helped the Raiders to a 9-1 season, the Northeast 8 Athletic League title and a berth in the regional final.
Patrone threw for 1,158 yards and 16 touchdowns and ran for 798 yards and eight scores.
Blasko collected 89 tackles, including 17 for losses, along with two fumble recoveries and a blocked extra point.
South Range had eight first-team selections and Crestview three to highlight Division V.
Other first-teamers for South Range were senior receiver Luke Crumbacher (11 receptions for 466 yards and four touchdowns), junior offensive linemen Michael Lally and Jacob Brooks (the Raiders’ top two linemen), South Range junior running back Dylan Dominguez (985 yards and 17 touchdowns on 134 carries), junior linebacker Logan Cormell (68 tackles including 12 for losses) and senior kicker Harley Novak (5-of-5 on field goals and converted 47 extra points).
Crestview selections include senior offensive lineman Wyatt Babik, senior linebacker William Hardenbrook and senior defensive back Brandon Yanssens.
Babik paved the way for a Rebel offense that averaged 8.2 yards per play and 416 total yards a game.
Hardenbrook totaled 73 tackles, including 10 for losses, and forced a fumble.
Yanssens had 55 tackles, including two for losses, with two interceptions and three forced fumbles.
Hillyer is one of five Warriors on the Division IV first team. He is joined by junior receiver Nick Wilson (47 catches for 666 yards and 10 touchdowns), senior running back Alek Wilson (790 yards and 13 touchdowns), senior linebacker Brock Smith and senior defensive back David McKeiver.
Salem junior offensive lineman Carson Stockman, the Quakers’ top player up front, also is on the Division IV first team.
United highlights the Division VI first team as senior receiver Keaton Baker and senior quarterback Brutus Ogilvie had record-breaking seasons.
Ogilvie completed 207 of 308 passes (67 percent) for 2,752 yards and 26 touchdowns.
Baker had 86 catches for 1,392 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Columbiana senior receiver Xathon Cross also was named to the first team. Cross had 26 catches for 566 yards and three touchdowns along with 1,028 all-purpose yards.
Joining Ferry on the Division VII first team are Southern senior receiver Brad Sloan, Southern senior linebacker Hunter Morris, Leetonia senior defensive lineman Gannon Shepard, Lisbon senior defensive back Ryan McCullough, Wellsville junior offensive lineman Tyler Stanley and Sebring junior running back Elijah Frederick.
Sloan was the Indians’ top threat with 22 catches for 565 yards and seven touchdowns.
Morris topped the Indians with 112 tackles with 75 solos, 19 for a loss, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
Shepard led the Bears up front, collecting 67 tackles with nine sacks.
McCullough totaled 43 tackles, including 39 solos, and a team-high three interceptions, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble.
Stanley led the way up front for the Tigers.
Frederick led the Trojans with 1,302 yards on 171 carries and scored 10 touchdowns.
District second-team selections include Salem sophomore quarterback Jackson Johnson and Salem junior receiver Blaize Exline in Division IV and Columbiana senior offensive lineman Jacob Kamperman in Division VI.
Receiving honorable mention were Salem’s Jax Booth and West Branch’s Steven Marra in Division IV; Crestview’s Ethan Powell, Roclen Bettura and Anthony Cusick and South Range’s Bailey Ryan and Jake Gehring in Division V; United’s Payne Brereton, Caden Marshall and Christian McCon and East Palestine’s Tyler Bistarkey and Nick Fierro in Division VI; and Leetonia’s Mike Miller, Mason Mellinger and Dylan Durick, Southern’s Josh Pratt, Chance Wooley and Timmy West, Lisbon’s Abram Simms and Tyler Welsh and Wellsville’s Troy Carter and Isaiah Greathouse and Sebring’s Noah Frederick in in Division VII.