Sam Houston quarterback Kyle Bartley threw for 3,323 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2019 to lead the Broncos to their second consecutive 8-2 regular season.

Sam Houston quarterback Kyle Bartley threw for 3,323 yards and 41 touchdowns in 2019 to lead the Broncos to their second consecutive 8-2 regular season.

After its second consecutive 8-2 regular season, the Sam Houston Broncos landed four players on the 2019 American Press All-Southwest Big Schools team.

Grice led all receivers in SWLA with 122 catches for 1,615 yards and 13 touchdowns. But that is now all he did for the Broncos in his final season. He ran for 439 yards and seven touchdowns on 60 carries, ran back a kickoff 99 yards for a touchdown against Class 5A state champion Acadiana in Week 8 and threw a pair of touchdown passes. He scored 23 total touchdowns.

Offensive lineman Jerren Gilbert, a 6-3, 264-pound senior who signed with Louisiana Tech, led the Broncos’ offense upfront as it averaged 434 yards and 41.5 points a game.

Senior quarterback Kyle Bartley made the team at the athlete position after completing 247 of 383 passes for 3,323 yards and 41 touchdowns. Bartley rushed for three touchdowns and 321 yards on 56 carries.

Sam Houston sophomore Luke Yuhasz made the team as a punter but also played wide receiver, quarterback and running back for the Broncos. He averaged 36 yards per punt. He led all SWLA receivers in touchdown receptions this season with 20 while catching 57 passes for 1,030 yards. He had three rushing touchdowns and completed 8 of 14 passes for 111 yards and a touchdown.

Making the team for DeQuincy was junior quarterback Gunner Gearen, who completed  152 of 246 passes for 2,537 yards and 24 touchdowns, and senior wide receiver Cooper Hext. Hext caught 77 passes for 1,040 yards and 10 touchdowns. He also had a 24-yard fumble return touchdowns against Vinton in Week 9.

Earning All-SWLA honors for Vinton was junior wide receiver Jaden Carrier and senior punter Drew Heinen. Carrier nearly reached the 1,000-yard plateau with 51 catches for 935 yards and 11 touchdowns. Heinen averaged 33.5 yards a punt while also playing quarterback (105-208-8, 1,669 yds., 20 TDs) and defensive back (35 tackles, 4 INTs).

Led by a large senior class, Oberlin High rolled through the regular season undefeated and made it to the Class 1A semifinals.

Two of those seniors, running back Trevor Rider and linebacker Collin Chatman, and head coach Durell Peloquin, swept the top awards on this year’s American Press All-Southwest Louisiana Small Schools football team.

Rider, a 5-foot-11, 190 pound speedster, thrived in the Tigers’ double-wing offense with 1,750 yards on 138 carries to earn the Offensive MVP honor. He averaged 12.7 yards per carry, with 22 touchdowns. He also made 83 tackles and eight tackles for a loss.

Like Rider, Chatman, the Defensive MVP, was a two-way player and led a defense that held opponents to 13.2 points per game. Chatman had a pick-six the first week of the season and went on to make 141 tackles, 19 tackles for a loss, seven sacks and recover four fumbles. As a fullback, he rushed for 1,326 yards and 15 touchdowns.

Peloquin guided Oberlin to its first undefeated regular season and semifinal appearance since 2010. He is 38-12 in four seasons as the Tigers’ head coach.

District 4-3A produced plenty of highlights this high school football season, with Lake Charles College Prep and St. Louis Catholic battling to a tie in the district title race and Jennings making a prolific run to the Class 3A state championship game before losing to St. James.

For that, the district swept the three individual honors on the American Press All-Southwest Louisiana team. Prep quarterback Dillon Simon (2,561 passing yards, 25 TDs; 882 rush yds., 10 TDs) is the Most Valuable Player on offense. Simon threw a winning touchdown pass in the final minute of Prep’s playoff win over Northwest and accounted for 15 touchdowns in five district games as the Trail Blazers went 4-1 to earn a share of the district crown.

Saints defensive lineman Gabe Johnson is the MVP on defense after making 62 tackles, 11½ for loss, 4½ sacks and a forced fumble. In district play, Johnson made 29 tackles, seven tackles for a loss and 3½ sacks. He added eight tackles in the Saints’ first-round playoff win over Loyola Prep and helped the Saints advanced to semifinals for the first time in 41 years.

Jennings head coach Rusty Phelps is the Coach of the Year after leading a young Bulldogs team to the Superdome, the lone area team to reach a championship game. The Bulldogs finished 9-6 and appeared in the title game for the first time since 1992 and the first time in Phelps’ 27-year tenure.

Jennings beat the second, sixth, seventh and 10th seeds in the playoffs, winning three consecutive games by a single point. Phelps is two wins shy of 200 in his career.

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