photo by TAMMY HOBSON
Alma’s Alex Burris grabs the Class 5A All-State and All-Conference honors for the 5A West for the third consecutive year.
Alma collected six All-State selections along with the outstanding lineman and coach of the year in the 5A West to highlight the post-season honors for Crawford County football teams.
Three-year starter and now three time all-state selection Alex Burris was named the 5A West’s outstanding lineman and he has picked up an automatic bid to the all-star game.
Burris had his best season on defense as he made 144 tackles (93 solo). He led Alma the past two seasons and finished with 368 tackles in his career. Burris added two tackles for loss, created four fumbles, recovered two fumbles, picked off three passes and had 2.5 sacks.
Burris also added 22 catches for 286 yards on offense.
Coach Dough Loughridge was named the 5A West’s coach of the year as the Airedales went undefeated in league play and earned their first conference title in nearly a decade.
Alma finished the season 10-3 and hosted three rounds of the playoffs.
Loughridge’s overall coaching record is 78-12 in his seventh season since he started at Charleston. He’s on pace to reach the 100-win plateau faster than anyone in Arkansas history.
All State, All Conference
Senior Asa Scruggs added 43 tackles (25 solo) for the defense with two tackles for a loss, caused one fumble, recovered three and had two sacks.
Senior Junior Edwards was second on the tackle list as he made 94 stops (63 solo). Edwards also had a tackle for a loss, cause a fumble, recovered two more and intercepted one pass.
Senior Brooks Langdon had 58 tackles (42 solo) with four tackles for a loss and a team-high 6.5 sacks.
Malachi White rushed for 1,134 yards this year as a senior and scored 18 touchdowns. He had four 100-yard games during the regular season including his best of 197 yards against Greenbrier in Week 9. White scored three touchdowns against Clarksville in Week 4 on just 16 carries for 68 yards. In the regular season finale, White contributed to 243 yards of offense with 142 yards on the ground and catching 11 passes for another 110.
Senior Evan Burris guided the offense as he completed 108 of 171 passes for 1,485 yards with five interceptions and 14 touchdowns. His best game was the season opener against Van Buren in which he was 16 of 20 for 245 yards with three touchdowns. Evan Burris also threw three touchdowns against Harrison.
He had 153 carries for 606 yards and five touchdowns. Evan Burris never broke a 100 yards during a game, but he had 98 yards (eight carries) with two touchdowns in Week 7 against Huntsville. He also had one rushing touchdown with 25 totes for 90 yards against Van Buren.
Senior Michael Nicholson helped out on the offensive line that contributed to Alma gaining 228 first downs and 2,415 yards with teh running game.
Junior Tyler Mlaker had three touchdown receptions with 300 yards on 21 catches. He also added 21 tackles, including one for a loss on defense.
Sophomore Heath Friddle caught 29 passes for 348 yards and three touchdowns. Friddle made 41 tackles, caused one fumble, recovered two more and picked off three passes.
Junior Curtis Loyd made 53 solo stops (86 total) with two tackles for a loss. He also created one fumble and recovered another. On offense, Loyd had 100 yards on four caches and he added 25 carries for 57 yards and one TD.
Senior Keith Shultz added 52 tackles (37 solo), one tackle for a loss. Shultz created one fumble, picked off three passes and blocked a kick.
Sophomore Alex Beneux caught 44 pass for 330 yards and one touchdown. His best game was 89 yards on nine catches during Clarksville to open up 5A West Conference play. Beneux also ahd 55 carries for 390 yards with another score.
He also provided some help at defense with 37 tackles (30 solo) with one fumble recovery and two interceptions.
Senior Reyn Beckham had 30 tackles (22 solo) with three interceptions and one tackle for a loss.
Junior Dakota Shelton was part of the offensive line that gained 4,531 yards on offense and averaged 5.69 yards per play.
Junior Jake Marrs made 36 tackles (18 solo) with two fumble recoveries on defense. Offensively, he hauled 15 passes for 216 yards and one touchdown.
Senior Tres Rowland also helped on both sides of the ball. he made 38 tackles (25 solo) with two interceptions, one of which were returned for a touchdown. He also blocked one kick.
The Mountainburg Dragons finished the season 6-5 with a first-round loss in the Class 2A to Rison and with seven players on the 2A-4 All-Conference list.
Senior David Mendenhall was one of the key components for the Dragons’ offense this season. Mountainburg finished with 3,276 yards of offense with 2,130 yards on the ground.
Senior Dustin Willroth had 27 tackles with 14 solo stops, with two fumble recoveries, a sack, an interception and deflected one pass.
Junior Weston Bull made 22 stops on defense through nine games this season working from the defensive line.
Senior Eli Pippin had 21 tackles this season with two sacks and a fumble recovery.
Senior Josh Skattebo led the offense this season. He completed 44 of 95 passes for 733 yards with four touchdowns and four interceptions. He also carried the ball 94 times for 443 yards and 12 scores.
Senior Robert Nolen provided support on offense, special teams and defense this season. Nolen made seven carries for 35 yards, but led the Dragons with 442 yards receiving on 27 catches and four touchdowns. He also had 103 yards on kickoff and punt returns. Defensively, Nolen made 32 tackles (24 solo) with a team-high four interceptions, five pass deflections and one fumble recovery.
Sophomore Bobby Gatewood led the defense with 109 tackles (77 solo) with six pass deflections, 3.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one interception.
The Dragons had both a pair of seniors and sophomores be named honorable mentioned.
Senior Chris Robbins paced Mountainburg with 242 yards on kickoff returns this past season. He also had seven carries for 35 yards and one touchdown with 14 catches for 114 yards. Defensively, Robbins made 40 tackles (31 solo) with three interceptions, three pass deflections, one fumble recovery and he caused one fumble.
Senior Kyle Pense provided 45 tackles (29 solo) and had a sack, one fumble recovery and two interceptions and two pass deflections.
Sophomore Samuel Copeland led the Dragons’ running game with 667 yards on 110 totes and six touchdowns. He had 95 yards receiving with nine catches. Copeland made 27 tackles (21 solo) with an interception, a pass deflection, a fumble recovery and caused one fumble.
Sophomore Clayton Stephenson was second in yards gained on the ground as he covered 579 on 92 carries with nine touchdowns. Stephenson also contributed 66 tackles (49 solo) with 1.5 sacks, an interception (which he returned for 30 yards), 1 pass deflection and he created one fumble.
The Pointers had a trio of players, Andrew Martin, Dillon Kinsey and Tyrone Joseph, earn 7A West Second Team All-Conference this season.
Martin hauled in 58 passes for 749 and seven touchdowns. Against Siloam Springs, Martin had his best game with 169 yards receiving on nine catches and two touchdowns.
Joseph had 745 yards on the ground on 137 carries and 10 scores. At Poteau (Okla.) in Week 2, Joseph had 20 carries for 155 yards and two touchdowns. He only had three games in which he scored more than two touchdowns on the ground. Joseph also made 32 catches for 163 yards and one touchdown.
Kinsey had 71 tackles with 24 solos, but lead the team with seven sacks and had 12 tackles for a loss.
Kinsey was also recognized with the Pointer Pride award, while Joseph was named Mr. Pointer Football. Dominic Kelley earned the school’s Brand Burlsworth award.
The Pirate had just two named to the 3A-4 District, quarterback Dylan Shelton and receiver Abraham Hernandez.
Shelton finished with 2,077 yards passing and 467 yards rushing with 26 total touchdowns.
Shelton finished his career at Cedarville as a three-year starter and three-time all-district selection with 5,872 yards passing during that span.
Hernandez had 28 receptions to lead Cedarville’s offense with 482 yards and eight touchdowns.