Lions, Bulldogs turn success into many all-league selections
Posted: Friday, December 21, 2012 12:00 pm
By KEVIN WEAKS
Success equals selections.
That was definitely true for Dresden and Gleason.
Dresden picked up eight spots, while Gleason earned five picks on the All-District 13A football team for the 2012 season.
The Lions won 11 of their 13 games, reaching the semifinals of the Class 2A state playoffs. The Bulldogs, meanwhile, posted a 6-5 overall record, earning a home game in the opening round of the Class 1A playoffs.
Defense keyed both teams’ run this past season, which was reflected on the all-league team as five of Dresden’s selections and four of Gleason’s picks came on that side of the ball.
Devan Raymer led the Dresden contingent as he was named the league’s offensive player of the year award after rushing for over 2,000 years. He also earned All-State accolades (see related story, Page 1).
The Lion group also included offensive linemen Todd Morgan and Josh Turnbow, another all-stater, defensive linemen Alex Ellison, linebackers Joey Caldwell, Austin Daniel and Logan Thomas and defensive back Colter Swafford.
Gleason’s representatives include linebackers Chris Copeland, Archie Rich and Blake Taylor, defensive back Chase Ezell and wide receiver Austin Perry.
Raymer was a do-it-all player on offense, lining up at both running back and receiver in the team’s spread and wing sets and also took direct snaps from the wildcat formation.
He proved worthy of head coach Keith Hodge’s trust by rushing for 2,008 yards and 26 touchdowns, averaging 6.7 yards per carry.
He also threw for two touchdowns among his six pass completions for 126 yards, and Raymer caught seven passes for 143 yards.
Dresden’s defense limited opponents to a touchdown or less in six games.
Ellison was a playmaker up front with 64 total tackles, including 20 solo stops. He had 15 tackles behind the line, including three sacks.
Caldwell was the team’s top tackler with 112 stops, including 39 primary tackles. He made 16 tackles behind the line of scrimmage, including three sacks.
Austin Daniel led Dresden with 19 tackles for a loss, including five sacks, among his 80 total stops. He had 32 solo tackles and also intercepted a pass.
Logan Thomas also spent time in opponents’ backfields with 14 tackles for a loss, including four sacks. He had 65 total stops, including 38 solo stops, and two pick-offs.
Swafford made his share of big plays from the defensive backfield, led by his five interceptions. Among Swafford’s 61 tackles were 37 solos and four behind the line.
Gleason’s defense was dominant in its six wins, posting a pair of shutouts and holding two other opponents to a touchdown. Greenfield scored 14 points and Scott Hill put up 21 in games that were lopsided Bulldog wins.
Rich was among the team leaders with 105 tackles while knocking down a pass, grabbing two interceptions and recovering five fumbles.
Copeland counted 10 sacks among his 81 tackles. He also forced a fumble, recovered one and picked off a pass.
Both Ezell and Taylor registered 40 tackles on the season. Taylor had five sacks and forced a fumble, playing just half the season due to injury. Ezell, meanwhile, broke up 10 passes, recovered three fumbles and picked off two passes. He took one of his fumble recoveries 80 yards for a score.
Perry led the way for an offense that could move the ball and put up points, catching 25 passes for 400 yards. Six of his receptions went for scores for a Bulldog team that scored at leas 20 points in seven games.
He was strong on the defensive side, too, with 116 tackles, including a sack, with three picks and a fumble recovery. Published in The WCP 12.20.12