By Jake Thompson
— While Brownsburg recorded its first undefeated regular season in nearly 20 years and claimed the outright Hoosier Crossroads Conference title, several county teams also enjoyed substantial success this year.
Avon advanced the furthest of any team into the postseason, making its fifth consecutive sectional final contest.
Both Tri-West and Danville shared a portion of the Sagamore Conference title with Western Boone.
Each of these teams is well represented on the 2012 all-county football team and for good reason — their players led them to great accomplishments.
Brownsburg leads the way with four selections, starting with Indiana University commit Chase Dutra. It is Dutra’s third year on the all-county team and the do everything athlete did not disappoint in his 2012 campaign. Dutra totaled 1,099 yards through the season and 10 touchdowns.
Brownsburg’s defense was a large reason why the Bulldogs remained unbeaten for so long and leading members of that side deserve recognition. Connor Ludwig and Garrett Isch stood out for their performances. Isch helped lead an impressive secondary with 16 passes defended, 35 tackles, and two interceptions. Ludwig won the Bulldog award for his efforts with 86 tackles, five tackles for loss (TFL), a forced fumble, interception, and a touchdown.
Joining the other three Bulldogs is freshman Toks Akinribade, who made a significant impact on Brownsburg’s offensive landscape, forcing opposing defenses to scheme against him. Akinribade rushed for 891 yards, recorded 13 TDs and 4.98 yards per carry (ypc) average.
Avon, Danville and Tri-West each have three representatives.
Elijah Daniel has more than 30 Division I offers for a reason. He is an unusual, one-of-a-kind talent. At 6-foot-4, 250 pounds Daniel forced offensive coordinators to gameplan for his presence and even that did not work. Daniel recorded 86 tackles, had 16 TFL, and five sacks.
Avon’s Jalen Edwards provided plenty of offensive firepower and led the county’s receivers in touchdowns with nine. Edwards totaled 692 yards on 38 receptions for an impressive 18.2 yards per catch (ypc).
Brian Stinnett proved a disruptive force from his linebacker position as teams focused on Daniel. The senior linebacker recorded 137 tackles of which, 92 were solos. He also had nine TFL, one interception, two fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
Danville’s Wil Beaty was also very disruptive playmaker from his defensive end position, leading Class 3A in tackles for loss with 24.5. Beaty totaled seven TFL in one game and with six sacks and 64 tackles on the season.
The Warriors have two players making the team from the offensive side of the ball; quarterback Scott Amor and Autry Pickens. Amor accounted for 1,601 yards of total offense and was the second leading rusher in the conference, recording 18 TDs along the way. Pickens ran for 1,246 yards, averaging 5.7 and led the Sagamore Conference in rushing while scoring 17 TDs.
Tri-West’s selections come from one player on the offensive side of the ball and a couple of two-way players. Austin Hendershot led all quarterbacks in the county with 30 TDs, 20 through the air and another 10 rushing. The sophomore quarterback totaled 1,957 yards passing and was the team’s leading rusher with 506 yards.
Receiver Austin Lazaro was a multi-faceted threat for the Bruins, doing it in all three phases of the game. Lazaro totaled 587 reception yards with six TDs, was the Bruins’ ace returner on kicks and punts, rushed the ball a few times and led the team in tackles (112) from his safety position. Mitch Alexander was the heart and soul of this Bruins’ team, winning team MVP and his performance on both sides of the ball solidified his spot. Alexander totaled nine scores on the season, had a combined rushing and receiving total of 720 yards while making 56 tackles with five INTs.
Plainfield’s Chad Middleton and Austin Blevins highlighted the Quakers’ season. Middleton was one of the best all-around players in the county doing it all on offense, defense and in the return game. Middleton totaled 572 return yards, 525 offensive yards for seven total scores and tallied 34 tackles with two passes defended and a tackle for loss. Blevins rushed for 1,420 yards for an average of 142 yards per game (5.7 ypc) and scored 11 TDs.
Cascade’s Colin Smith was the Cadets lone selection for the all-county squad, but just the third quarterback on the list. Smith accounted for 1,376 yards passing for 11 TDs and 540 rushing yards with eight TDs. Smith also punted for the Cadets (29.8 ypp) and played defense (47 tackles, 2 fumble recoveries).
All-County Second Team: Avon’s Chase Alexander, Cole Johnson, Nyles Edwards, and Devyn Mikell; Brownsburg’s Ian Good, Jeremy Shupperd, Quinton Stubbs-Lee, and Jacob Lambert; Cascade’s Zach Batts and Lukas Stoutenour; Danville’s B’ster Detty and Alex Bilyeu; Plainfield’s Dillon Hughes and Phil Clay; Tri-West’s Jon Staton, Jacob Dickerson, and Andrew Saunders.
All-County Honorable Mention: Avon’s Dhane Thomas; Brownsburg’s Brandon Dowers and Brice Toll; Cascade’s Eric Bobadilla and Nate Stonebraker; Plainfield’s Jake Jay; Tri-West’s Nick Phelps and Chris Staton.