2018 State Championship Player of the Week & HM's

Leman Saunders

Well-known member
State Championship Player of the Week

Ben Crockett – McLean – 35-377 yards, 9 TDs rushing; 3-4-0 for 81 yards, 3 TDs passing; 9 tackles; 1-2 yards receiving; 460 yards of total offense

Let’s be honest…this is just a formality right! Offensive MVP of the DI state game, Crockett led his team in tackles on defense, rushed for an amazing 377 yards, threw three touchdown passes on all three of his completions, and rushed for a new state record 9 touchdowns…6man or otherwise! This broke the record of 8 held by Walker Tippie (Richland Springs 2016), DeWayne Miles (Amherst 1995) and Trey Richey (Jayton, 1985). This record stood for 33 years and we can imagine that this one will stand for a long time as well!

I asked Trey Richey, now the head coach at Borden County, for a comment about his rushing TD record being broken (who watched the game live on the Fox Sports App) and he summed it up better than I ever could:

“To be honest I didn’t realize I had the record, but it was awesome watching that young man break the record. Ironically, he was wearing the same number and same colors as I did as a Jaybird. I couldn’t think of a better young man to break it than Big Ben Crockett. What he has gone through losing his brother and future sister-in-law, I’m sure the holiday season is still very tough and to not only break a record, but more importantly be a big part of your school winning their first ever state title it has to be bitter sweet for Ben and his precious family. Congrats to you Big Ben and the McLean Tigers!”


photo credit: Dency McClure
Texas 1A Fan

Honorable Mentions:
Carlos Villanueva – Strawn – 5-63 yards, 3 TDs rushing; 3-3-0 for 49 yards passing; 2 tackles
Villanueva took away offensive MVP honors in the DII game as Strawn went back-to-back won their 4th state title. He lead his team in total offense with 112 yards and scored three for the six Greyhound touchdowns as they beat Follett 48-0 at the half.

Cayden Mann – McLean – 10-13-0 for 181 yards, 1 TD passing; 1-46 yards, 1 TD receiving; 2-23 yards rushing
Over shadowed by Ben Crockett and Taron Smith was Mann’s great performance in the state game! 250 yards of total offense, threw a TD pass and caught a TD pass…not many quarterbacks can say they did that in a state game!

Taron Smith – Milford – 15-25-1 for 178 yards, 5 TDs passing; 19-116 yards, 2 TDs rushing; 3 tackles
Smith was the power source for the Bulldogs offense and his 294 yards of total offense, 5 passing TDs and 2 rushing TDs attests to that.

Damyan Woodward – Milford – 6-131 yards, 3 TDs receiving
A great receiving performance by Woodward who scored on some long plays in big spots for the bulldogs who never gave up in their loss to McLean.

Ivan Ruiz – Strawn – 10 tackles, 2 for loss; 1-23 yards rushing
Tanner Hodgkins – Strawn – 5 tackles, 2 sacks for a loss of 28 yards; 2-48 yards, 1 TD rushing

The duo of Ruiz and Hodgkins on the defensive line for Strawn shut down the Follett rushing attack without question. Hodgkins took home the games defensive MVP honors, but in my mind it was a Co-MVP type of performance from these two as the defensive performance was the key to winning Strawn’s 4th title.

Chism Henderson – McLean – 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 6 tackles for loss for -65 yards total, 1 forced fumble, 1 pass breakup; 3-59 yards, 1 TD receiving
Dalton Abshire – McLean – 8 tackles, 2 pass breakups; 1-30 yards, 1 TD receiving

Henderson won the DI defensive player of the game, mainly for his big tackles for loss, but Abshire’s defensive performance did not go unnoticed as he was in on several key tackles and pass breakups/coverage.

Dylan Howard – Follett – 7 tackles, 1 for loss; 75 All-Purpose yards
Howard along with Christian Barber did most of the heavy lifting in trying to keep the Follett ship afloat against the Strawn juggernaut. Howard’s 7 tackles led his team as did his 22 yards rushing and 75 all-purpose yards, 51 of which came via kick returns. He accounted for 24 of Follett’s 53 yards of total offense.