2016 ITEMIZER-OBSERVER ALL-REGION PREP FOOTBALL TEAM

QUARTERBACK

Peter Mendazona

Central

The junior quarterback had a breakout season. Mendazona threw for 2,743 yards and 36 touchdowns, while also rushing for 155 yards and three touchdowns. He helped direct a potent offensive attack that averaged 28 points per game and earned all-league honorable mention for his efforts this season.

RECEIVER/DEFENSIVE BACK

Peter Mason

Central

Mason stood out as Mendazona’s go-to target throughout the 2016 campaign. He had team-highs in catches (52), receiving yards (1,208) and receiving touchdowns (16). Mason was also a force on defense, recording a team-best six interceptions and 12 pass deflections. Mason earned first-team all-league honors on offense and defense.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Marlon Tuipulotu

Central

To put it simply, Tuipulotu, the MWC’s Defensive Player of the Year, was a force to be reckoned with. He made offenses account for his presence at all times and was named the conference’s Defensive Player of the Year for the second season in a row. Tuipulotu led the Panthers in tackles for loss (14) and fumble recoveries (four) and was second in total tackles (62), sacks (six) and disrupted many plays. Tuipulotu has committed to playing for the University of Washington.

RUNNING BACK

AJ Morales

Central

The senior running back saw an increased workload after senior Alvin Berroa went down with an injury. Morales stepped up to the challenge. He had 160 carries for 811 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the Panthers’ leading rusher in the process. Morales was also a threat on the receiving end, recording 24 catches for 229 yards and three touchdowns. Morales earned second team all-MWC recognition.

RUNNING BACK

Tanner Earhart

Dallas

Earhart was the heart and soul of Dallas’ offense. The senior set school records for single game rush yards (429) most touchdowns in a single game (seven), total rush yards (2,068) and most rushing touchdowns in a season (24). Earhart, the MWC’s Offensive Player of the Year, helped propel Dallas to the 5A state semifinals and one of the team’s best seasons in recent memory.

DEFENSIVE LINEMAN

Cade Caudill

Dallas

The senior lineman was a rock for the Dragons on defense. He had 31 tackles, five sacks and a fumble recovery and was able to disrupt opponents all through the season. Caudill earned first team all-MWC honors on defense.

LINEBACKER

Jacob Collins

Dallas

The senior linebacker was an all-around threat on defense. He led the Dragons in tackles with 95, including nine tackles for loss. He also led the team in interceptions with four and had eight pass defenses. He even got involved on offense, carrying the ball 19 times for 206 yards and two touchdowns. Collins received

TIGHT END/LINEBACKER

TJ Dimick

Dallas

The junior asserted himself in a big way for the Dragons. Dimick was part of an offensive line that paved the way for a ground game that gained 4,045 yards during the 2016 season. He also had seven catches for 144 yards. At linebacker, he was third on the team in total tackles with 78 and had 1½ sacks, one interception and one fumble recovery. Dimick earned first team all-league offense recognition and received all-league honorable mention on defense.

OFFENSIVE LINEMAN

Cody Janssen

Dallas

The senior lineman was one of the rocks of the offensive and defensive line. On offense, Janssen helped pave the way for the Dragons’ rushing attack. On defense, he recorded 14 tackles and 1½ sacks, despite missing five games. Janssen was named first team all-league on offense for his efforts.

TIGHT END/LINEBACKER

Haylen Janesofsky

Perrydale

The senior was a force for the Pirates throughout the 2016 season. He was among Perrydale’s most potent offensive threats and earned first team all-Special District 4 honors on defense and second team all-league on offense.

RUNNING BACK/DEFENSIVE BACK

Austin Burgess

Falls City

The sophomore became one of Falls City’s most potent weapons. He led the Mountaineers with 639 rush yards and added nine touchdowns during league games. Along with Jeremy Labrado (624 yards, 13 touchdowns) and Noah Sickles (403 yards, 11 touchdowns) Burgess helped Falls City advance to the state playoffs for the first time in more than three decades.

COACH

Tracy Jackson

Dallas

A season ago, Dallas finished 3-6 overall. The Dragons roared back to life in 2016, finishing 9-3 overall. Dallas’ rushing attack was among the most potent in the state. The Dragons advanced to the state semifinals after wins over No. 9 Eagle Point and No. 1 and 2015 state champions Summit.

The All-Region football team was selected by the Itemizer-Observer Sports Editor Lukas Eggen along with heavy input from area coaches.

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