Midseason individual superlatives

Published 4:38 pm Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Calera's Kyle Harrell has been one of the best in the county so far this season. Check out who made the midseason superlative list. (File)

Calera’s Kyle Harrell has been one of the best in the county so far this season. Check out who made the midseason superlative list. (File)

By BAKER ELLIS / Sports Editor

There have been a number of great performances over the first half of this high school football season from a number of very good players. Some players could have been predicted or somewhat expected to have a large effect on the field from an individual perspective, but some are something of a surprise. This is the time of the year where the best players across the county and across the state start to separate themselves on an individual basis. Before we blink and the season is over, let’s hand out some midseason superlatives to some of the most impressive players through the first half of the season.

Note, this is just a look at the offense, full defensive statistics could not be gathered from around the county.


Best Player You Probably Haven’t Seen

Micah Murphy, quarterback/ safety/ kick returner, Evangel.

Murphy plays for the eight-man Evangel Lightning out of Alabaster, so making comparisons across the board between the game he plays and the 11-man game played everywhere else are tough to make and can get hazy. That being said, Murphy has put on a show so far. Through six games he has thrown for 712 yards on just 28 completed passes for 10 touchdowns. He has also picked up 768 yards on the ground on just 50 carries for another 12 scores. Murphy also returns kicks for the Lightning, where he has scored a couple touchdowns as well. Every time Murphy does anything other than hand the ball off, the Lightning offense is averaging an astounding 19 yards per play. This kid can play, regardless of how many people are on the field.


Most Explosive Playmaker

Ahmad Edwards, receiver, Montevallo.

There are a ton of players who fit the ‘explosive’ moniker, depending on your definition of the word. Carlos Stephens of Thompson or Devan Walker of Helena for example could raise an argument here for sure. Essentially, no one has done more with less so far than Edwards. The sophomore wide out has just 20 catches this season, he doesn’t have more than four catches in any game so far, which is by no means exceptional. On those 20 catches, however, he has racked up 426 yards and scored 10 touchdowns. He’s averaging an astounding 21.3 yards per catch through six games and is scoring a touchdown every other time he catches the football. When Edwards has his number called, there’s a high likelihood fireworks will follow.


Most Fun to Watch

Matt Marquet, quarterback, Chelsea.

Marquett is not a big quarterback. He doesn’t have the size of Thompson’s Walker Lott or the passing numbers of Montevallo’s Zac Oden, either. Still, there’s something about watching him play the game that is flat out exciting. Marquet brings a playground style to the quarterback position reminiscent of Johnny Manziel at Texas A&M. His feet move continuously and he has no problem getting outside the pocket to make a play. Through six games Marquet has thrown for 495 yards on 40 completions for seven scores and two picks, and has rushed for 322 yards on just 31 carries for another five touchdowns. He’s averaging 10 yards a run and over 12 yards a completion through five games for the undefeated Hornets, and the junior gunslinger is doing it in style.


Most Consistent

Joey Beatty, quarterback, Spain Park

Beatty is the signal caller for the only ranked team in the county right now, and that is in large part because of his play. He has completed 56 of 83 pass attempts on the season, a whopping completion percentage of 67 percent. He’s only had one game where he threw for less than 100 yards and has only thrown one pick all season as well. The defensive unit for the Jaguars as well as backfield mates Wade Streeter and Larry Wooden, and kicker Crosby Gray have all played integral roles in getting to 4-1, but Beatty has been just about as steady as Shawn Raney could ever hope for, and will need to continue to be throughout the rest of the season.


Midseason MVP

Tie. Jamarius Mayfield, running back, Shelby County. Kyle Harrell, running back, Calera.

A number of players have had impressive seasons to date, and a case could be made for a couple different kids in the spot, but these two have simply put themselves in a class all by themselves so far this season. Through five games Harrell has racked up 927 yards rushing the football on 73 carries and has scored 11 rushing touchdowns, which is good for 12.7 yards per rush and one touchdown per 6.6 touches. Those are video game numbers. A 2,000 yard rushing season is not out of the question for Harrell, which would put him on par with former Calera greats ShaKeith Tyes and Ronnie Clark.

Mayfield, on the other hand, has been just as maddening to bring down. The senior Wildcat runs with power, aggression and speed and virtually never goes down on first contact. Through six games, Mayfield has racked up 1,035 yards on the ground and has accumulated 11 rushing touchdowns, and that total does not include two touchdown runs of over 50 yards that were called back in the Wildcats game against Calera on Sept. 25. He has yet to have a game where he has rushed for less than 100 yards, and has gone for more than 200 yards twice. Mayfield’s numbers have been boosted with the loss of Aremee Calloway over the last three games, who rushed for 219 yards the first two games of the season, and is in an offense that will run the ball on virtually every play, creating an environment to best showcase Mayfield’s skills. Nonetheless, he’s having one of the best seasons for a running back of anyone across the state, let alone the county.