(After games of Nov. 24-26)
One player is chosen from each region of the country. The only other criterion is that no player will be chosen more than once during a season.
Brendan Nosovitch, Central Catholic (Allentown, Pa.)
The South Carolina-bound Nosovitch passed for eight touchdowns and had 487 passing yards in his team’s epic 61-54 shootout victory over Valley View (Archbald, Pa.) in the Class AAA playoffs. The senior signal-caller connected with wideout Kevin Gulyas on fourth-and-17 with just 31 seconds remaining for the winning 23-yard touchdown, their fifth scoring connection of the contest. For good measure, the star QB added to this classic Lehigh Valley game with 38 yards on the ground and a rushing score. Up next for Central Catholic is Shamokin (Coal Township, Pa.) in the PIAA AAA quarterfinals.
Dalyn Dawkins, Trinity (Louisville, Ky.)
The 5-foot-9, 180-pound junior running back ran for a career-best 272 yards on 26 carries as the unbeaten Shamrocks, who moved up to No. 3 in this week’s POWERADE FAB 50, posted a 49-6 rout of Butler (Louisville, Ky.) in the Class 6A state semifinals. Dawkins, who scored three touchdowns versus Butler, has rushed for 498 yards and five touchdowns on 50 carries in the last two playoff games. On the season, Dawkins has gained 1,748 yards and scored 28 touchdowns. Trinity will face Scott County (Georgetown, Ky.) in the title game, which is the Shamrocks’ 11th final appearance in the last 12 years.
John Rhode, Montini (Lombard, Ill.)
The 6-foot, 195-pound senior quarterback led the Broncos to their third straight Class 5A state title in the highest scoring title game in state history, a 70-45 win over Joliet Catholic (Joliet, Ill.). Montini rolled up 853 yards of total offense with Rhode completing 29-of-45 passes for 587 yards and seven scores. On the other side of the ball, Joliet Catholic junior Ty Isaac rushed for 515 yards and six scores. Rhode, a first-year Bronco player after a transfer from Marian Catholic (Chicago Heights, Ill.), missed the first six games with a broken thumb but finished strong. His eight-game passing totals were 3,034 yards and 42 touchdowns.
Joseph Sadler, Devine (Devine, Texas)
The senior running back eclipsed a Texas record that had stood since 1953 in leading the Warhorses past Wharton (Wharton, Texas) 56-42 in the Class 3A, Division II state playoffs. Sadler rushed 41 times for 394 yards and scored seven touchdowns. He also kicked eight PATs for a 50-point night and pushed his season total to 441. He moved past the previous all-time state best of 395 points scored for a season set by the legendary Ken Hall of Sugar Land in 1953. Sadler also now has 3,680 yards rushing for the season and could threaten Hall’s state record of 4,045 with two more playoff games. Devine (13-0) plays 14-0 Wimberley (Wimberley, Texas) in this week’s regional final.
Olito Thompson, Concord (Concord, Calif.)
One year ago, Concord had the top passer in California as quarterback Ricky Lloyd amassed 4,451 yards through the air. This year, the Minutemen may have the state’s top rusher as Thompson has gone on a tear in his first two CIF North Coast Section Division II playoff games. The 5-foot-10, 190-pound junior running back racked up 457 yards on 28 carries and scored four times in Friday’s 42-16 victory over Las Lomas (Walnut Creek, Calif.). This came one week after Thompson had 26 carries for 370 yards and three scores in his first playoff game. For the season, Thompson has rushed for 2,928 yards and has scored 32 touchdowns. Concord needs two more wins to claim its second straight section title.