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11 area players named to All-Ohio D-4 team


Tribune Sports Editor


This is a pretty good starting lineup.

A total of 11 local players were named on Tuesday to the Associated Press Division IV All-Ohio football team.

Michael Lawless was a first team selection on defense as a cornerback while Tyler Hager was named to the second team on offense as a running back.

Lawless was the Southeast District defensive player of the year and Hager shared to honor on offense.

Named to the special mention list were defensive back Tyler Kratzenberg, tackle Dakota Taylor, end Aaron Stephens and punter Jake Rawlins.

Chesapeake quarterback Austin McMaster was a third team All-Ohio pick as the Panthers qualified for the postseason for the first time since 2003.

The Panthers also landed senior lineman Richard McFarland, linebacker Brandon Noble and defensive end Taylor Banaei on the special mention list.

The Fairland Dragons senior running back and linebacker Eric Riley was a special mention honoree.

The 5-foot-10, 160-pound Lawless was one of Ironton’s top tacklers on defense and caught seven passes for 130 yards and a touchdown to lead the team in receptions.

Hager — a powerful 5-7, 180-pound senior — led Ironton with 129 carries for 813 yards and 11 touchdowns during the regular season. He finished the season with 148 carries and 929 yards.

Kratzenberg led Ironton with two interceptions in the secondary. The 5-10, 150-pound senior doubled as the quarterback and was 35 of 67 passing for 561 yards and two touchdowns. He had just five interceptions and also ran 81 times for 236 yards and two scores.

Ironton’s running game had more than 2,800 yards rushing as a team and the key blockers on the offensive line were the 6-foot-, 305-pound Taylor and the 6-2, 190-pound tight end Aaron Stephens.

The 6-2, 185-pound Rawlins averaged 35.4 as the punter. Rawlins also played safety on defense and had an interception.

McMaster was a duel threat at quarterback as the 6-5, 175-pounder hit 50 of 99 passes for 752 yards and six touchdowns and six interceptions. He also ran 71 times for 532 yards and eight scores.

The 6-5, 270-pound McFarland was a two-way tackle for the Panthers but was the mainstay of the offensive line.

Noble racked up 86 tackles. The 6-1, 190-pound senior had seven tackles for a loss, two sacks and two interceptions. On offense he ran 101 times for 641 yards and five scores.

Banaei — a 5-10, 175-pound senior — not only played on the offensive line but led the team with 87 tackles and eight sacks. He also had five tackles for a loss.

Riley — who tips the scales at 6-foot, 180 — ran 106 times for 692 yards and nine touchdowns on offense. He had 90 tackles on defense and an interception.

The offensive player of the year was record-setting quarterback Maty Mauk of Kenton who has give a verbal commitment to Missouri. Linebacker Ja’Waun Woodley of Columbus Hartley was the defensive player of the year and Johnstown-Monroe’s Mike Carter was the top coach.