Six Bulldogs receive postseason honors

David Peck

A strong 6-3 season and a berth in the Class 2A playoffs helped produce six all-conference selections, three of which are also all-state picks, coach Nicc Crosby announced this week.
Crosby also announced five honorable mention all-conference players.
Named to the Class 2A All-State Team were seniors Adnan Khan and Jared Mangus and junior Davin Crosby. Joining the trio on the 2A West All-Conference Team were seniors Carson Asay and Blake Wilson and junior Braxton Felkins.
Crosby is in his third season as the starting quarterback at LHS, and he also played linebacker and safety on defense.
“Davin was a leader on offense,” Coach Crosby said. “He did a great job getting us lined up and running our offense. He made some huge stride throwing the football and being a threat in the run game, as well. He led the state with 253 all-purpose yards per game – 214 passing and 39 rushing. Our offensive line protected really well, and our receivers did a great job running routes and catching the ball.”
Crosby was the top passer in the state, completing 128 of 225 passes, 57 percent, for 1,925 yards and 18 touchdowns, with 10 interceptions. He also carried the ball 103 times for 349 yards and six touchdowns.
On defense, Crosby was a sure tackler and was strong in pass coverage, with several pass breakups. He had 68 defensive points on the season.
The speedy Khan was a threat at receiver and a force at linebacker. The senior caught 34 passes for 479 yards and five touchdowns, averaging 14.1 yards per catch. A nagging knee injury prevented him from carrying the ball more often in the running game, though he did score two touchdowns.
“Adnan really gutted it out his senior year battling through a knee injury,” Crosby said. “He did a good job offensively stretching teams both vertically and horizontally with his speed and athleticism. He really improved as a route runner and pass catcher and opened things for his teammates because of the attention he drew from opposing defenses.
Khan was second on the team in defensive points with 114 and tackles with 77, 8.6 tackles per game.
“He did a great job aggressively attacking opposing offenses,” Crosby said. “He has great instincts and will be difficult to replace on both sides of the ball.”
Mangus played running back and cornerback for the Bulldogs, leading the Bulldogs with 835 yards rushing on 162 carries, 5.2 yards per carry, with 10 touchdowns. He was fourth in the state with 92.8 yards per game.
The senior caught 21 passes for 321 yards, 15.3 yards per reception, with four touchdowns, and he was the team punter, kicker and returned both kickoffs and punts, returning two punts for touchdowns, Crosby said.
Defensively, he was a lock-down corner, Crosby said, leading the team with five interceptions.
“Jared was our do-it-all guy, and he didn’t just do it all, he did it all very well,” the coach said. “He rarely came off the field. You didn’t want to over-coach him. He has good football instincts, so you put him in a good spot and let his instincts and athletic ability take over.”
Asay played right guard on offense and some end on defense, Crosby said.
“Carson improved a bunch over his last couple of years,” he said. “He was a smart offensive lineman. We counted on him being in the right spot. He was typically out-sized, so he had to rely on good technique and out-smarting his opponent.
“We relied on him some games on defense, and he did a great job. He had four tackles for a loss and two sacks with limited reps.”
Felkins played two physical positions for the Bulldogs: fullback and middle linebacker. He led the team with 141 defensive points and 99 tackles, 11 tackles per game, including 33 solo tackles. He carried the ball 13 times for 75 yards, 5.8 yards per carry, with two touchdowns while excelling as a lead blocker. He also caught 12 passes for 135 yards and a touchdown.
“Braxton was a critical part of our team,” Crosby said. “He did so much of the dirty work. He led the team in tackles and turned into not just a great blocker but really showed some good instincts running the ball and following his blockers on screen plays.”
Wilson was both a wide receiver and tight end on offense and a cornerback on defense. He caught 12 passed for 173 yards, 14.4 yards per catch, and he intercepted two passes on defense.
“We called on him to play some tight end for us, and he embraced that role,” Crosby said. “He improved on his blocking and made some big catches for us. As a cornerback, he kept improving in his pass coverage. He made some huge plays in the Big Horn game, an interception and pass breakup that kept us in the game.”
Honorable mention
Receiving honorable mention honors this week were seniors James Love and Carter Tew and sophomores Kalell Gruell, Matthew Newman and Owen Walker.
Gruell finished the season third on the team in defensive points with 89 and tackles with 62, 6.9 per game. Tew was tied with Michael Harris for fourth in the team in defensive points with 73 and was fourth with 54 tackles. Newman had 53 defensive points, Love 48.
Walker caught 32 passes for 527 yards, 16.5 yards per reception, and four touchdowns. Newman snared 16 passes for 279 yards, 17.4 yards per catch, and four touchdowns.
“James worked hard to overcome an injury early in the season to do an outstanding job at center for us,” Crosby said. “His consistent snaps and blocking will be hard to replace. James also did his job defensively, eating up tons of blocks on the defensive line.
“Carter really helped strengthen our defense that had a lot of holes to fill because of who graduated last year, and he ended up fourth on the team in tackles playing safety and linebacker. His contributions will be greatly missed.”
Crosby also had praise for the younger players.
“Kalell was one of several sophomores we called on to play significant varsity minutes for us this year,” he said. “He started on both the offensive and defensive line and was very impactful on both sides of the ball.
“Matthew did a great job filling in when called upon this season. He made several great catches at receiver on offense and made many touchdown-saving tackles at safety for us this year.
“Owen was a matchup problem all season for opposing defenses. He made many huge plays for us on offense and helped open up his teammates due to the attention he demanded.”
Lovell led the state in passing at 215 yards per game and was second in total offense with 360 yards per contest behind only Big Horn.