This is it. The final football version of Fielder’s Choices I’ll write this year.
Maybe. Probably. Who knows?
I might just surprise you in February when Bishop Gorman is invited to the Pro Bowl.
It’s also my final day of awards week and today’s the day I hand out my Offensive MVP.
There are some really good candidates for the award, and some people say I should win it because I’m great at offending people.
It won’t be me, though. I’m not even a nominee.
But these guys are … Durango running back Julio Mora; Cimarron-Memorial running back James Poole; Gorman running back Shaquille Powell; and Del Sol running back Dezerick Reed.
I know, there’s no love for quarterbacks. But let’s be honest — this is a running town.
We start with Reed, who ended the season just 25 yards short of 2,000.
He was the Dragons’ workhorse back, carrying the ball 300 times and scoring 21 touchdowns. Other than Chris Marshall, who had 506 yards, no other Del Sol player had more than 110 rushing yards.
Reed was the guy other teams tried to take away — and couldn’t. Not bad, considering he only had 15 carries last season.
What hurts him for this award, though, was his team actually won a big game without him. The Dragons rallied from a 19-7 deficit against Basic in the Sunrise Region title game with Reed on the bench.
Poole averaged nearly 10 yards per carry this season on his way to racking up 1,678 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Spartans.
When the season started, most of us thought Stephen Nixon would carry most of the load for Cimarron. Instead, Poole got a few more touches and was the team’s leading scorer. Among Class 4A players in Southern Nevada, Poole was sixth in scoring with 132 points.
It didn’t hurt having guys like Nixon and Zach Barbara in the backfield with him, though.
How many of you really knew the name Shaquille Powell at the start of the season?
It wasn’t hard to find him once the season started — he was usually the guy everyone on the other team was chasing down the field.
Of the 1,000-yard rushers in Southern Nevada this year no one — not a single person — had a better average per carry than Powell’s 11.5 yards. Every time he touched the ball, he was a threat to score.
And of his 135 carries, 29 of them ended with him crossing the goal line legally. He had 31 total touchdowns, and that’s more than anyone else in Southern Nevada.
He also had a ton of other weapons on an offense that could have put up 100 points in some games.
Which brings us to my Offensive MVP, and a guy I thought had no shot at this award at the start of the year …
I don’t think you can make a case for anyone other than Mora being more valuable to his own team.
Durango was given almost no shot of doing anything this year. Then the Trailblazers starting handing the ball to a 5-foot-7-inch, 170-pound waterbug type of back, and everything changed.
A 1-9 team became an 8-3 team, not only because of Mora, of course. But he was definitely a pretty big reason for it.
Mora finished second in Souhern Nevada with 1,785 rushing yards — behind only Reed, who played in 14 games. He carried the ball 239 times — that’s more than 21 per game — and rushed for 27 touchdowns.
Durango scored 405 points this year. Mora had 170 of those.
Take almost any player off almost any team, and that team might not change too much. Take Mora away from Durango, and the Trailblazers wouldn’t be nearly as good.
He’s the definition of an MVP.
That’s it, kids. Football’s over. Check back with me from time to time for some of my random thoughts during basketball season.