Halftime is when elite teams make adjustments so that things run smoothly in the second half. It’s no different for us at ESPNHS. Nearing the midpoint of the football season, we’re calling an audible on the All-State Stock Watch. We’re breaking things down to two categories: Doin’ Work and Falling Back. Doin’ Work will highlight an All-State player and a team featuring an All-State player that is performing at an elite level, while Falling Back will examine a team we identified as a contender at one time in our local rankings but hasn’t lived up to expectations.
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Put me in, coach. I’m ready to play.
Kaben Humphrey-Butler, Union, QB
Humphrey-Butler will likely surpass last season’s totals of 1,175 yards and eight passing touchdowns sometime in the next few weeks. The Union signal-caller is off to a strong start completing 58 percent of his passes for 715 passing yards and six total touchdowns. His yardage total currently ranks third in the Greater St. Helens League, and his play has helped the Titans start the season off at 4-1 record. Humphrey-Butler and RB Gabe Rego have been a devastating 1-2 punch for Union’s foes.
The Falcons’ offense is looking as dangerous as ever. The team is averaging 45 points a game despite QB Caleb Saulo suffering a shoulder injury a few weeks ago. The ESPNHS All-State selection returned to action last week — playing only on defense — but should be back under center for the remainder of the fall. In his absence, fellow All-State senior Austin Pernell and backup QB Steffin Church have picked up the slack.
The Chargers appear to be suffering from Tony Romo Syndrome. One week the team looks brilliant and dominate all facets of the game (see Weeks 3-4), other times the team's miscues allow opponents to storm back into games (see last week’s squandered 21-point lead at Rogers). A bright spot for Kentridge (2-3) has been the passing of QB John Hamilton, who is coming off a 231-yard, one-touchdown effort at Rogers. He has benefitted from the presence of ESPNHS All-State pick and security blanket Caleb Smith, an Oregon State-bound TE who had seven grabs for 109 yards in a losing effort at Rogers.
David Auguste is an associate editor for ESPNHS and ESPNHIGHSCHOOL.com. Follow him on Twitter @ESPNHSAuguste or email him at David.Auguste@espn.com.