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DIVISION IV: Pahranagat Valley, Spring Mountain rack up all-league honors

Pahranagat Valley and Spring Mountain dominated the Division IV Southern League this season, and the two met in the state title game.

So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the teams swept the top honors and had every player on the first team on offense and defense when the coaches picked their all-league team.

Pahranagat Valley’s Tyler Higbee, who rushed for 1,278 yards and 17 TDs and caught 21 passes for 357 yards and seven scores, was named the league’s Most Valuable Player. Higbee also had a team-high 47 tackles.

His teammate, Austin Poulsen, was named the league’s Outstanding Defensive Player after picking off 10 passes. And Pahranagat Valley coach Kirk Higbee, who guided their Panthers to their fifth straight state title, was Coach of the Year.

Spring Mountain’s Marcus Thomas, who passed for 1,437 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 1,363 yards and 19 scores, was the league’s Outstanding Offensive Player.

Higbee and Thomas were selected as the first team running backs, with Poulsen, who passed for 1,735 yards and 34 TDs and rushed for 851 yards and 13 scores, at quarterback.

Pahranagat Valley’s Tyson Sparrow and Spring Mountain’s Duane James were the ends. Pahranagat’s Jake Carter and Spring Mountain’s Josh Banasiak were the guards, with Spring Mountain’s Marquise Taylor selected at center.

On defense, Poulsen was picked at cornerback, with Tyson and Sparrow selected at linebacker and Carter at nose guard. Mason Stirling was picked at defensive end for the Panthers.

For Spring Mountain, Banasiak was picked at defensive end, with Bruce Travis-Collins and Armona Puryear picked at linebacker.

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