It is a week-plus of post-season awards here at Outside the Huddle.

All this week, we are naming our OTH All-Area Teams, split into small school and big school categories.

Due to some scheduling issues beyond our control, we will now name other award winners next week. The week of December 21, we will name our official OTH Player of the Year, OTH Coach of the Year and, for the first time, name the recipient of the Clayten Stuart Award for the player who best exemplifies the qualities of discipline, work ethic and spirit as seen by us here at Outside the Huddle.

Today, we kick off the festivities with the best on offense in Classes 1A through 3A.

QB – James Arnold, senior, South Adams

Arnold destroyed the South Adams record book during his career with the Starfires, with the culmination at Lucas Oil Stadium as he led the team to its first-ever state championship appearance.

Arnold leaves South Adams setting the mark in no less than 15 major passing categories. In 2020, he threw for a state-best 3,968 yards while throwing 47 touchdowns, both breaking Starfire records set by him just one year ago.

The senior had a cadre of talent around him, but his talent, arm strength and leadership were all exceptional and a true catalyst for South Adams. He was a First Team All-ACAC selection as well as being named Class 1A IFCA Senior All-State.

The senior had a cadre of talent around him, but his talent, arm strength and leadership were all exceptional and a true catalyst for South Adams. He was a First Team All-ACAC selection as well as being named Class 1A IFCA Senior All-State.

QB – Carson Clark, junior, Bishop Luers

After a slow start to the season, Clark broke out as one of the top passers in the entire state. Over his final eight games, the junior threw 28 touchdowns and just a single INT, including 303 yards and three scores without a turnover against Western Boone in the 2A state championship.

An intelligent signal caller with a strong arm and quick feet, Clark finished the year second in the state in passing yards, throwing for Bishop Luers records 3,592 yards and 38 touchdowns.

Clark was named All-SAC Honorable Mention, but deserved better after his postseason run. He was honored by being selected to the Class 2A IFCA Junior All-State squad.

RB – Christian Summersett, senior, South Adams

There may be no one on this team that played with more passion and intensity than Summersett. Never one to want to come out of a game, the senior often took a back seat to teammates in terms of accolades in the high-flying South Adams offense.

Summersett rushed for 1,423 yards and 22 touchdowns this year for the Starfires. He scored a total of 23 times in 2020 – a program record. His 45 touchdowns for his career is also a high mark in South Adams history.

Defensively, the linebacker amassed 59 tackles, 6.5 TFL and a pair of sacks. He was named All-ACAC First Team.

RB – Cody Mittlestedt, senior, Bluffton

Mittlestedt rushed for 816 yards and added 524 receiving for a Tigers squad that finished with its most victories in a season since 1982.

The senior notched 17 total touchdowns on the year. With his return prowess, he was one of the more dangerous multi-faceted players in the ACAC.

As a defensive back, Mittlestedt finished with 32 tackles and was voted First Team All-ACAC.

RB – Amir Drew, senior, Concordia Lutheran

Death, taxes and Amir Drew rushing for 1,000 yards.

Those are the three definitive things we all have had in our lives the last three years. The senior capped his prep career by rushing for 1,194 yards and seven scores this past season, the third straight year in while he has eclipsed 1,000 yards rushing.

A bruising running back with deceptive speed, Drew was a workhorse back once again for the Cadets, going over 220 rushing attempts for the third straight campaign.

Drew also added nine receptions this season and was voted All-SAC Second Team.

WR – Brody Glenn, junior, Bishop Luers

Every team knew it had to limit Brody Glenn deep in the pass game, yet time after time, the junior made plays anyway.

Consider that Glenn scored at least one touchdown in 10 straight games to end the year, including six receptions for 172 yards and a score in the state championship game.

For the year, the rangy Glenn hauled in 65 balls for 1,265 yards and 16 touchdowns. He was named All-SAC Honorable Mention and to the IFCA Class 2A Junior All-State Team.

WR – Drew Stutzman, senior, South Adams

“Stu” was as dynamic of a player as South Adams had over the past few seasons, impressive considering the amount of firepower the Starfires have been blessed with.

The senior AVERAGED 24.7 yards pr reception in 2020, bringing in 49 balls for 1,212 yards and 19 scores. Stutzman was an exceptional pass catcher, but was even better after a reception. His yards after catch were astounding, as was his ability to make defenders miss and get to the end zone.

Stutzman also accumulated 27 tackles and four INTs on defense.

Stutzman broke his own school record by notching eight multiple-touchdown games this season. His season receiving yards, as well as his career yards mark (2,377) are both program records. He was voted All-ACAC First Team and named to the IFCA Class 1A Senior All-State Team.

WR – Aidan Wanner, junior, South Adams

To truly appreciate Wanner’s value and talent, consider that he is already the all-time leading scorer in South Adams program history – as a junior.

The wide receiver/defensive back/kicker (and occasional quarterback) is as versatile as they come, a much needed attribute at the Class 1A level. Wanner finished 2020 with 951 yards and 11 touchdowns receiving on 40 catches.

Defensively, Wanner amassed 62 tackles, 2.5 TFL and a team-high six INTs.

Wanner also handled kickoff duties and set a school record with 63 made PATs this season.

WR – Kam Johnson, senior, Concordia Lutheran

There were not very many players in the area this season that affected the game in as many ways as Johnson.

Offensively, Johnson was the Cadets’ second-leading receiver with 21 receptions for 469 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for four more scores.

On defense, the senior had 39 tackles, 2.5 TFL and a pair of INTs from his safety position.

And to cap it all off, Johnson was one of the most dangerous return men in this part of the state, averaging 26.9 yards per kickoff return and 19.3 yards per punt return. He scored a pair of return touchdowns, a punt against South Side and a kick against Bishop Dwenger.

Johnson was voted All-SAC Second Team and was a Class 3A Senior All-State selection.

OL – Ben Rectanus, senior, Bishop Luers

Lining up across from the 6-foot-4, 340-pound senior at Bishop Luers was one thing. But when you realized that his physicality matched his size, you were truly in trouble.

Rectanus was the bulldozer up front for the Knights offensively, holding a line together that dealt with injuries here and there over the course of the season.

The senior also saw action on defense, where he was brought in to be the guy in the middle of the defense that could get a push, command double teams and open up opportunities for teammates.

Rectanus finished with 76 tackles and eight TFL on the year. He was voted All-SAC Honorable Mention.

OL – Corbin Hirschy, junior, Adams Central

A run-heavy team is only as strong as its linemen, and Hirschy was the best of the Flying Jets in that regard.

Hirschy’s greatest attributes are getting off the ball quick and initiating leverage before many defensive linemen are out of their stance. His physical style was problematic through the entire season that saw Adams Central rush for 2,812 yards

Hirschy also saw significant action on defense, where he finished with 54 tackles, four TFL and a sack.

The junior was voted All-ACAC First Team.

OL – Brody Bolyn, sophomore, Norwell

While the Knights were led by an ultra-talented senior class, the future of Norwell football is bright thanks to the likes of Bolyn, a 6-3, 250-pound youngster who has already cemented himself as the best up front for Coach Josh Gerber.

Bolyn is a scary presence up front. He loves to dish out punishment on both sides of the ball. Frequently, Norwell would pull the sophomore for outside runs, where he would get out in front of the ball and destroy prospective tacklers.

The fact that Bolyn has two more years of destruction in front of him is beyond scary. He was voted All-NE8 First Team and one of the few sophomores in the entire state to be honored as a Junior All-State player.

OL – Hunter Bianski, junior, Churubusco

Show of hands, who wants to line up opposite this guy?

The answer should be no one.

The two-way lineman is an intense dude, and a strong one to boot. He specializes in shredding defenders along the offensive front, while also being a serious problem lined up opposite in a defensive role.

For the year, Bianski amassed 82 tackles, 21.5 TFL and 3.5 sacks for the Eagles. His blocking capabilities helped spring Churubusco running backs to 16 scores in 2020.

Bianski was named to the All-NECC Small School Division team and to the Class 1A IFCA Junior All-State squad.

OL – Brayden Gilbert, senior, South Adams

Someone has to protect all of that talent in the offensive backfield, right?

For the Starfires, no one was more adept at holding their blocks and getting a push more than Gilbert. Long and rangy with some quick feet and an intense motor, Gilbert helped the offensive juggernaut around him rewrite the South Adams record books and was a solid center for them when they had some o-line injuries.

On defense, Gilbert picked up 41 tackles, five TFL and three sacks. He was named All-ACAC Second Team.

AT-LARGE – Cory Lantz, senior, Fairfield

Perhaps no one surprised more in 2020 than Fairfield, rolling through the NECC Big School Division and finishing the regular season with an undefeated record.

With the triple-option style of play, the Falcons needed to someone to lead the offense with precision and confidence.

Enter Lantz, who rushed for over 800 yards and 21 touchdowns for Fairfield. While he did not throw much, Lantz ran the offense exactly how Coach Matt Thacker wanted, executing time and time again and confusing foes.

Lantz was named to the All-NECC Big School team.

AT-LARGE – Sir Hale, junior, Bishop Luers

It was a big blow on both sides of the football when Hale went down with an injury in the second round of the playoffs for Bishop Luers.

While the Knights were still able to reach the state championship game, that in no way marginalizes Hale’s impact.

One of Bishop Luers’ top two-way guys, Hale was the team’s leading rusher, averaging 7.2 yards PER CARRY. He finished with 804 yards rushing and eight TDs in 11 games.

Hale was also extremely dangerous out of the backfield in the passing game, catching 17 balls for 242 yards and four scores.

The junior also punched above his weight defensively, where he amassed 61 tackles and an INT on the year and was one of the Knights’ most sure-handed tacklers.

Hale was voted All-SAC Second Team.

AT-LARGE – Laban Davis, junior, Eastside

Anytime a guy goes for nearly 3,000 total yards, he is an easy choice for all-area.

Davis threw for 1,693 yards and rushed for 1,270 more for the Blazers, who fell to Bishop Luers in the playoffs by just seven.

In that game, Davis rushed for 234 yards and accounted for three scores.

On the year, Davis scored 41 touchdowns, while also punting at a 37.2 yard clip, a true testament to how versatile of a player he is.

Davis is set to shatter Eastside record books with still a year of eligibility remaining. He was voted All-NECC Small School.

Outside the Huddle File Photo, 2019

AT-LARGE – Hayden Nern, senior, Bluffton

Nern never seemed to get the respect he deserved. In a league dominated by South Adams’ offensive firepower and Adams Central’s rushing attack, Nern took a back seat to those Adams County stalwarts in terms of attention.

Yet when you sit back and look at Nern, the offensive leader of a team that won eight games, you see how good he was.

Nern completed 61 percent of his passes for 1,663 yards and 21 touchdowns for the Tigers. A tall quarterback who can see the field and attack with a quick release, Nern was a difficult player to contain when given protection. However, even when flushed out of the pocket, the senior could still make plays, finishing with 439 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground.

Nern was voted All-ACAC Second Team as a quarterback.

KICKER – Roel Pineda, sophomore, Bishop Luers

The Knights have a lot of production returning next season, but someone who gets lost in the conversation yet will be just as important is Pineda.

Despite dealing with an injury for a few games late in the season, the sophomore connected on 47-of-52 extra points during the year, as well as hitting 3-of-5 field goal attempts with a long of 39. He put eight kickoffs in the end zone as touchbacks in 2020, and even saw some action on defense at times.

Pineda will be a weapon in 2021 for the Knights.

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