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South County defenders earn All-Empire honors

South County is well represented on All-Redwood Empire football teams announced last week by the Press Democrat.

LARGE SCHOOLS

Casa Grande High School's Gauchos had three players chosen to the All-Empire large-school team. All three were defensive players. Picked to the first team were defensive tackle Elijah Qualls, linebacker Jake Ielmorini and defensive back Jared Roberts. All three were also key offensive players, Ielmorini and Roberts as receivers and Qualls as both fullback and offensive lineman. Roberts and Ielmorini were the keys to a Casa Grande defense that led the Gauchos to a 7-4 record and into the North Coast Section playoffs. Roberts had 75 tackles and three pass interceptions, while Ielmorini was credited with 77 tackles, two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Qualls, who has committed to play for the University of Washington next season, had 83 tackles, a huge amount for an interior lineman, and six sacks.

Casa Grande tackle leader, linebacker Jimmy Johnson, was named to the second-team defense, along with Petaluma defensive tackle Teddy Scranton.

Gaucho offensive lineman Allen Hernandez was chosen to the second-team offense. Johnson was credited with 92 tackles on the season, while Hernandez was a consistent factor all season on a Gaucho offensive line that kept changing due to injuuries. Scranton anchored both the Petaluma offensive and defensive lines, finishing with 49 tackles and three blocked kicks.

Rancho Cotate quarterback Jalon Luque was selected Offensive Player of the Year, while Cardinal Newman linebacker Scooby Wright was picked Defensive Player of the Year.

Analy's Dan Bourdon was Coach of the Year.

OFFESNIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Quarterback Jalon Luque, Rancho Cotate, senior.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Linebacker Scooby Wright, Cardinal Newman, senior.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Dan Bourdon, Analy


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