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2019 GLOBE ALL-AREA FOOTBALL TEAM

football
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OFFENSE

Lance Luettel

Lineman

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Adrian Dragons

The Offensive Lineman of the Year for the All-Southwest District East Division team, Luettel has served as the Dragons’ front-line anchor for three seasons. His outstanding size (6-4, 270 pounds) is only matched by his consistency and his passion. A five-year starter, he helped AHS runners average 4.7 yards per carry this season.

Keldon Bennett

Lineman

Jackson County Central

Named the co-Offensive Lineman of the Year for the South Central White All-District team, Bennett started for three years for the Huskies at left tackle. He was a major component in the team’s veer offense that averaged 428 yards per game. Also an elite pass blocker who aced practice drills.

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Rylan Behnke

Lineman

Murray County Central

Voted the Rebels’ captain for 2019, Behnke was crucial on the field and off for the MCC football team. He led the team’s off-season weight room program. His high character and leadership skills are unquestioned. Defensively, he led the team in tackles at a linebacker spot. Offensively, he led an attack that produced more than 2,500 yards.

Nathan Nekali

Lineman

Luverne Cardinals

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A three-year starter and two-time All-Conference player, Nekali was named South Central District Silver Division Offensive Lineman of the Year. He was key to the Cardinals’ run game and passing plans. The 6-4, 255-pounder has good feet for his size and played right guard without missing a start for three seasons.

Rudy Voss

Quarterback

Jackson County Central

Selected to play in the Minnesota All-Star game, Voss completed 87 of 150 passes as a senior with 1,444 yards and 22 touchdowns, with only one interception. Rushed for 804 yards with 14 touchdowns and set a school record with seven TDs in a game. Named Player of the Year in his district. Holds JCC career standards for completions, yards and touchdowns.

Gavin Wysong

Quarterback

Hills-Beaver Creek

The junior 5-10, 175-pound gifted athlete started as a running back, but he really thrived after being moved to quarterback. In 2019, he rushed for 1,637 yards and 26 touchdowns and averaged 9.3 yards per carry. He completed 61 of 91 passing attempts for 958 yards with 16 touchdowns and only five interceptions. Had 124 total tackles as a linebacker.

Will Brandner

Quarterback

Worthington

After three years of quarterbacking the Worthington Trojans, Brandner solidified his standing as one of the best arms in the area. Though he often was pressed for time to throw, he still was able to pass for 1,185 yards in his senior campaign, with five touchdowns. Threw for 2,393 in his career and rushed for 466. Played linebacker on defense.

Jason Steenstra

Running back

Pipestone Area

It’s hard to overstate what Jason Steenstra meant to the Pipestone Area offense this year. As the Arrows’ go-to running threat, he surpassed 1,000 yards rushing, averaging just a little under seven yards per carry, while scoring 14 touchdowns. He averaged 17 yards per pass reception while helping the Arrows advance to the state Class AA playoffs.

Brandon Schnoor

Running back

Adrian

Famously, the Adrian Dragons football program prefers running over passing. That’s easy to do when you’ve got a Brandon Schnoor. The durable 6-3, 190-pound senior carried for 1,333 yards in the fall, for a 6-yard average. A three-year starter, he gained 217 yards receiving this year. A Southwest East Sub-District Offensive Back of the Year nominee.

Dylan Johnson

Running back

Murray County Central

The Rebels needed to find offensive juice after key graduations from 2018, and Johnson supplied it. The hard-nosed junior carried 165 times for 960 yards and six touchdowns, averaging 5.8 yards per carry. When MCC needed a big play, they handed Johnson the ball. Was also a factor on special teams.

Jonah Hansen

Running back

Red Rock Central

The focal point of the running game for Red Rock Central, the 5-8, 155-pound senior played bigger than his stature. Carried 206 times for 1,257 yards and seven touchdowns while catching 15 passes for 184 yards and a score. He carried the load for the RRC offense.

Bradley Buhl Jr.

Fullback

Jackson County Central

Selected Linebacker of the Year in the South Central White District where he came up with three fumble recoveries, Buhl was equally impressive on offense where his powerful running gave opposing defenses fits. Averaged 5.4 yards per carry en route to an 868-yard total, with 12 touchdowns. A battering ram, he amassed 1,453 rushing yards and 29 TDs in his career.

Nolan Buckridge

Fullback

Edgerton

The go-to guy for the Edgerton Flying Dutchmen, the sophomore Buckridge ran for 927 yards on offense. He was also what Coach Andrew Fleischman calls a “tenacious” lead blocker. At 6-0 and 215 pounds, Buckridges likes to hit, and does it well. A linebacker on defense, he led the team in tackles. Was great against the run.

Isaac Ihnen
Split end

Harris-Lake Park

A lot of high school football teams don’t enjoy putting the ball in the air, but when you’ve got a player like Ihnen you can’t ignore the possibilities. Ihnen, a 6-2 170-pound senior, made 56 pass receptions in 2019 for 965 yards and 21 touchdowns. In his career, he finished with 100 receptions for 1,592 yards and 33 scores.

Bailey Cowell

Wide receiver

Luverne

A two-year starter and two-time all-conference player, Cowell displayed his outstanding versatility by starting at quarterback and then also playing wide receiver and tailback -- all while returning kickoffs and punts. Accounted for 20 TDs in his 2019 junior campaign. Extremely athletic with quick feet and good hands.

DEFENSE

Kyle Mullaney

Lineman

Worthington

Named Defensive Lineman of the Year in the South Central Red District, Mullaney made 43 unassisted tackles and 82 total tackles in his senior season. Also made 12.5 tackles for loss, including 2.5 sacks. The Trojans struggled at times this year, but Mullaney -- a big, strong 6-1, 240-pounder -- showed himself to be a true leader and on-field playmaker.

Alex Altman

Lineman

Windom Area

Though the Windom Area Eagles struggled in 2019, Altman didn’t. Though just a sophomore, the 5-9, 220-pounder and South Central White District selection played well on both sides of the line of scrimmage. The numbers bear it out: Altman made 92 tackles on defense with seven for loss. Started every game for WAHS at left guard.

Abdulla Elbuytari

Noseguard

Harris-Lake Park

On a Harris-Lake Park team that posted an 8-2 record in 8-man football, Elbuytari excelled at noseguard with 77 tackles, including 24 tackles for losses. Had nine sacks and finished with 177 career tackles. A 5-11, 255-pound senior, he played on the line on offense.

Sam Dunker

Lineman

Jackson County Central

The co-Defensive Lineman of the Year in his district, Dunker brought quickness to the defensive tackle position. Very difficult to block, this three-year starter was the kingpin in a 2019 defense that allowed just 9.6 points per game. Offensively as a freshman, he was moved from fullback to offensive line, where he thrived.

Matt Stubbe

Defensive end

Jackson County Central

Dominant on both sides of the football, Stubbe is, according to coach Tom Schuller, the fastest player on the JCC team at 6-3, 205 pounds. On offense, he caught nine passes for 130 yards and five touchdowns. He also blocked a punt for a touchdown. Timed at 11.5 in the 100 meters as a track athlete, his speed made him an outstanding pass rusher on the football team.

Emmett Bickett

Linebacker

Worthington

We already knew in the 2018 season, when Bickett was a junior, that he had the toughness and the moxie to make things happen. In his senior campaign, the 6-2, 190-pounder made 85 tackles at linebacker. He rushed for 469 yards and six touchdowns at running back, also catching 19 passes for 175 yards. He’s an academic All-State selection.

Eric Lange

Linebacker

Pipestone Area

The Arrows surprised some fans this year by overcoming a big deficit en route to beating Redwood Valley for the Section 3AA championship. Lange, a running back on offense, was a big-game player throughout the year. Finishing a solid second for the Arrows in rushing, he also played solidly throughout the season at linebacker where he was a consistently sure tackler.

Matt Madsen

Linebacker

Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda

Everywhere he played, Madsen played well in his junior season. Gained 865 yards rushing with six touchdowns and six 2-point conversions. Made 30 catches for 413 yards with a touchdown and a 2-point conversion. Completed one of two passes for 59 yards. At a linebacker spot, he made 63 tackles.

Derek Werner

Linebacker

Red Rock Central

Werner led Red Rock Central with 94 tackles, and nine for loss. Supplied a sack and one interception. He was the physical presence in the middle of the defense. Goes 6-2, 195 pounds. Also played guard on the offensive side.

Jace Paplow

Linebacker

Westbrook-Walnut Grove

Team captain Jace Paplow recorded no less than 149 tackles for the Chargers in his senior year, which also included two fumble recoveries and a sack. Made more than 100 tackles for a third straight year. Had 398 tackles in his career, which ranks him No. 3 all-time in W-WG lore dating back to 1997. Was also the team leader in rushing, with 450 yards in 2019.

Cole Kapplinger

Linebacker

Jackson County Central

The Huskies had a few outstanding linebackers in 2019, and Kapplinger was right there at the top. Very physical and very versatile, the 6-0, 173-pound senior was able to excel at both middle linebacker and outside linebacker. Recovered one fumble and forced another on a state tournament defense that allowed just 183.4 yards per game.

Tyson Bork

Safety

Hills-Beaver Creek

A three-year starter for the Patriots, Bork was excellent on both sides of the ball in 2019. On offense, he rushed 149 times for 1,778 yards and 24 touchdowns, for an eye-popping 11.9 yards per carry. Caught five passes for 146 yards and two TDs. But the All-Area team needs a productive DB, and Bork had 69 solo tackles in his junior year with three interceptions.

LaShad Smith

Cornerback

Luverne

Smith led the Cardinals with four interceptions in 2019. A very good open field tackler, he was also the team’s leading rusher even though he missed two and a half games with injuries. Blessed with great vision and ability to cut into the open field. But as good as he is on offense, his coach, Todd Oye, claims he’s just as good, if not better, on defense.

Tyler Madison

Defensive back

Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda

You could line up the senior wide receiver/wing back/defensive back Madison almost anywhere with success. The HL-O/F leading receiver, he made 44 catches for 563 yards and nine TDs. Besides performing admirably as a defensive back, he punted and returned punts. In his career, he scored as a passer, a runner, a receiver and as a return man.

--- Text by Doug Wolter

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