By Kris Freeman for White House High School
SPRINGFIELD – Eight members of the White House Blue Devils football team were named to the All-Region 5-4A squad for the 2020 season. White House had five award winners and three at-large selections.
The players were honored Monday night at an awards banquet at the Sango Event Center in Springfield. The region of seven teams had four playoff qualifiers, with Springfield and Creek Wood advancing to the second round of the playoffs and White House and White House Heritage playing in round one. Montgomery Central, Greenbrier and Portland did not qualify for the postseason.
Junior dual-threat back Ranen Blackburn was presented with the Quarterback Award, after rushing for 1,477 yards and 10 touchdowns and passing for 548 yards and six scores. Blackburn missed almost two games to injury but helped lead the Devils to a playoff game in Lexington in Class 4-A.
Senior Evan Shankle received the Linebacker Award. Shankle led the team with 124 tackles and had 13 tackles for losses, and played every down on offense, defense and special teams. He also rushed for 374 yards and two touchdowns, serving as the lead blocker at fullback and spot starter at tailback.
Senior Quad Lucas received the Offensive Line Award. Lucas, a two-sport standout for White House, is a starting center on the basketball team, and also helped anchor an offensive line which fronted the Devils to 2,180 rushing yards, 659 passing yards and 126 first downs. He also made 20 tackles on defense.
Senior defensive back Layne Jenkins was named the Academic Award winner for White House for the region. His academic accolades were complemented by a defensive effort with 43 tackles, two fumbles caused, two fumbles recovered, an interception, a special teams INT, and seven passes broken up. Jenkins also caught two passes on offense.
Junior Bryson Harper joined Shankle as one of the most versatile athletes on the team, playing in all three phases of the game. Harper received the Defensive Back Award. He led the team with 341 yards receiving on 14 catches, with four receiving touchdowns, returned 16 kicks for 283 yards, five punts returned for 73 yards, punted 32 times for 954 yards, kicked 19-21 PATs and 2-2 field goals, and scored 51 total points, second behind Blackburn’s 60. In addition, he started at corner back and was fourth on the team with 65 tackles, led the team with eight passes broken up and had two interceptions and two fumble recoveries.
In addition to the four award winners, White House also received three at-large selections to the team after finishing fourth in Region 5-4A.
Junior Pierce Scholato was second on the team with 96 tackles and led the team with 14 tackles for losses. He broke up three passes and caused two fumbles.
Sophomore linebacker Rhys Blackburn was third on the team with 88 tackles and made 11 stops for losses.
Sophomore center Parker Hollinsworth started on the offensive line and saw his season cut short by a late year leg injury, but also made 17 tackles on defense and had a pick six interception return for 29 yards and his first career touchdown.