QB — Tyler Baker

Canisius

• Year: Sophomore

• Stats: 2,755 total yards, 26 total TDs, 8.9 YPC

• Scoop: This Lockport native put up video game numbers all year (1,830 passing yards, 925 rushing yards, 14 passing TDs, 12 rushing TDs), but he steadily improved as the season progressed. After an 0-3 start, Baker helped lead the Crusaders to a Catholic High School Athletic Association championship with one of his finest performances (249 passing, 79 rushing, 2 TDs).

RB — Joseph Dixon

Canisius

• Year: Junior

• Stats: 1,093 all-purpose yards, 18 TDs, 6.1 YPC

• Scoop: 'JoJo' showed out all season, representing his hometown of Niagara Falls as the Crusaders' top playmaker (855 rushing, 238 receiving, 229 kick/punt return). Dixon had four 100-yard rushing games on the year, and his memorable outing against St. Francis in the Monsignor Martin title game (112 rushing yards, 3 TDs) helped Canisius to its first state title since 2016.

RB — Gino Fontanarosa

Lewiston-Porter

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 1,208 all-purpose yards, 12 TDs, 5 100-yard games

• Scoop: It was the 'Gino Show' for the Lancers offense, and he did most of his work on the ground with 1,074 rushing yards. Fontanarosa had three outings of over 200 yards from scrimmage, including a 331-yard night against Lake Shore and a four-TD performance against East Aurora (226 rushing yards).

WR — Joe Carlson

Starpoint

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 596 receiving yards, 16 total TDs, 4 INTs

• Scoop: Carlson did it all for the Spartans, scoring touchdowns in just about every facet (9 receiving, 4 rushing, 2 INT returns, 1 passing), also wreacking havoc at free safety and serving as the team's kicker/punter. The 2019 Connolly Cup finalist even had a game this season where he threw, ran, and received a TD, on top of snagging the game-sealing INT, all while stepping in for injured QB Carson Marcus.

WR — Sam Kline

St. Joe's

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 580 receiving yards, 11 receiving TDs, 43 receptions

• Scoop: The Newfane native was the Marauders top receiver this season, placing second in WNY in TD catches and third overall in receptions. Kline would post four multi-touchdown games and three 100-yard receiving games, highlighted by a 10-reception, 149-yard, 3-TD effort against Pennsylvania-powerhouse McDowell.

FLEX — Garrett Srock

Newfane

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 1,434 total yards, 12 total TDs, 8.1 YPC

• Scoop: Srock was the definition of a utility man, placing second on the team with eight rushing TDs and leading all WNY quarterbacks with his 954 rushing yards, in addition to his 477 yards and 4 TDs through the air. As the head of the Panthers' option-attack, Srock recorded six 100-yard rushing games and guided Newfane to its first divisional title since 1993.

OL — Tim Osborn 

North Tonawanda

• Year: Senior

• Scoop: The Jacks may have had a down season, but Osborn was one of the team's brightest spots. As a 2019 Trench Trophy finalist, Osborn anchored a line that helped N-T's running game total 1,380 yards, with four different Lumberjacks finding the end zone. 

OL — Nick LaRock

Newfane

• Year: Senior

• Scoop: LaRock was not only a great o-linemen for the Panthers, he served as one of the team's top defensive players (40 tackles, 2 sacks, INT). The senior helped pave the way for a Newfane ground game that finished with 2,117 rushing yards, 23 rushing TDs, a team average of 7.7 yards per carry and 264.6 rushing yards per game.

OL — Jared Rebon

Lewiston-Porter

• Year: Senior

• Scoop: Despite the team's 3-6 season, Rebon was as steady as they come in the Lancer trenches. With the athleticism to challenge linebackers/defensive backs in space, as well as the strength to hold things down against d-linemen, Rebon was able to clear holes for one of the twelve 1,000-yard rushers in the area in Gino Fontanarosa.

OL — Brayden Thompson

Wilson

• Year: Senior

• Scoop: Thompson was the catalyst for the o-line at left tackle, helping the Lakemen reach the Class C sectional title game for the first time since 1990. He was able to help Brayden Dunlap come within 34 yards of the 1,000-yard rushing mark. Thompson also had a team-high 56 stops on defense, leading a Wilson team that went 5-0 in C North for the divisional crown.

OL — David Meyer

Starpoint

• Year: Senior

• Scoop: Meyer was a crucial piece in what was one of WNY's scariest offenses in the early portion of the season. The Spartans offense was rolling to the tune of 34.5 points per game through four weeks, which was in part due to Meyer and his play on the line. The senior also got some love for his showing against rival Lockport, earning a Trench Trophy Award weekly nomination.

DL — Declan Faery

Wilson

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 44 tackles, 13 sacks, 20 TFLs

• Scoop: Not only was Faery the team's top receiver at tight end (31 receptions, 401 yards, 4 TDs), our 2019 Player of the Year was even more dominant defensively. His 13 sacks tied a Wilson single-season record — set by his father and Lakemen DC Matt Faery — and his 20 TFLs placed sixth in Section VI. There were tons of big moments to pick from Faery's season, but his self-deflected, game-clinching INT against Portville to get to the sectional championship may have been the best of them all.

DL — Blake Bielic

Grand Island

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 29 tackles, 3 sacks, fumble recovery

• Scoop: The numbers aren't always pretty for interior d-linemen, but getting three sacks from that position is nothing to scoff at. Bielic was the emotional leader for a GI team that may have had the biggest playoff upset of the season with the first round win at Ken West. The 230-pound bulldozer also shined at fullback, leading the team with his eight rushing TDs and posting a 157-yard, 3 TD-game against Cheektowaga.

DL — Ben Mahar

Wilson

• Year: Junior

• Stats: 39 tackles, 8 sacks, 19 TFLs

• Scoop: The second-oldest Mahar brother was Faery's running mate on D, putting Class C signal callers on notice as a dynamic pass-rushing duo. Mahar really feasted in the early slate of the schedule, finishing with two sacks in three straight games to open the season for the C North champs.

LB — Jake Dean

Starpoint

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 95 tackles, sack, fumble recovery

• Scoop: Dean was the Spartans' defensive star, finishing with the seventh highest tackle total in WNY in eight games. The senior tallied five double-digit tackle games, including a career-high 18 against W. Sen. West in the playoffs. He also started out the season with 45 stops through three weeks, finishing with at least 13 tackles in all three games.

LB — Jaden Heers

Newfane

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 89 tackle, 5 TFLs, fumble recovery

• Scoop: Heers placed just behind Dean for eighth overall in tackles in WNY and was the Panthers' leading tackler, coming through with double-digit tackles in all but one game. The bruising, 260-pound bowling ball also had an 18-tackle game against Wilson, and he was just as impressive in '19 offensively (912 rushing yards, 8.1 YPC, 114 YPG). Heers rushed for over 100 yards in seven of eight games and his 14 rushing TDs tied for the seventh highest total in Section VI.

LB — Drew Westmorland

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 50 tackles, 2 INTs, kick return TD

• Scoop: Despite missing snaps with a hamstring injury, 'Westy' still finished second on the team in tackles and picks. His postseason run really showed how special he is, whether it was his opening kickoff return TD against Portville or his unbelievable effort against Southwestern in the sectional title game. Westmorland intercepted a pass; rushed, received and threw TDs; and finished with 230 yards from scrimmage (135 receiving, 95 rushing).

DB — Josh Everett

Newfane

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 64 tackles, 5 INTs, 5 PBUs

• Scoop: Everett was arguably the Panthers' top defender, lifting a unit that only allowed 16.8 points per game and buoying a secondary that held all opposing passers under the 175-yard mark in the air. The senior safety had his shining moment against Tonawanda, picking off two passes to secure the Class B-4 title.

DB — Zion Paige 

Niagara Falls

• Year: Junior

• Stats: 31 tackles, 6 INTs, 12 TDs

• Scoop: NFHS had a resurgent season and Paige was more than integral to it. He led the team in INTs and was tied for tops in the area with his remarkable total. Paige was also one of WNY's most dynamic pass catchers (812 yards, 10 TDs), and he found the end zone on special teams and defense with punt and INT returns to the house.

DB — Riley Simpson

Canisius

• Year: Junior

• Stats: 57 tackles, 3 INTs, 6 PBUs

• Scoop: Simpson was all over the field for the Catholic state champs, placing third on the team in tackles, tied for first in picks, second in pass deflections and tied for first with two fumble recoveries. The former Starpoint Spartan couldn't have come up better on the biggest stages, with his two picks helping shut down St. Joe's and its high-powered offense in the playoffs, his game-clinching INT against St. Francis in the MMAA title game, and a career-high 12 tackles as well as finishing as the team's leading receiver (5 receptions, 88 yards) in the state championship game.

DB — Brayden Dunlap

Wilson

• Year: Senior 

• Stats: 20 tackles, 3 INTs, 11 TDs

• Scoop: Dunlap's presence at safety outweighs some of his statistics, as he led the Lakemen D with his team-high three picks. The senior also made a name for himself out of the backfield (966 yards, 5 100-yard games), carrying the program to just its third Section VI championship game appearance in school history.

DB — Ben Moskala

Grand Island 

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 35 tackles, 2 INTs, 16 total TDs

• Scoop: Moskala was one of the Vikings' most impactful defenders, tying for a team-high five turnovers (2 INTs, 2 fumble recoveries, forced fumble). The senior QB was also the runner-up for the FLEX position, totaling 1,409 yards (698 rushing, 625 passing, 86 receiving) and hitting pay dirt (8 rushing, 7 passing, 1 receiving) all kinds of ways. Moskala led GI on a turnaround playoff run after an 0-3 stretch, averaging 118.6 rushing yards over the next five games.

K — Sean Rustowicz

Grand Island

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 100% FG, 95% PAT, 3 TBs

• Scoop: "Bubba" cashed out all season long, converting all three of his field goal attempts on the year, including a season-long 36-yarder against Will. South. He also missed just one PAT (20-21), helping the Vikings return to the sectional semis.

P — Thomas Baia

Wilson

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 1,015 punt yards, 29 Y/P, 51 yard-long

• Scoop: Baia was one of the area's top punters with his booming leg, but he was even more special as a kickoff specialist. The senior averaged 43.5 yards per kickoff, with five touchbacks and a whopping 1,649 kickoff yards.

RS — Matt Lysiak

Niagara Wheatfield

• Year: Senior

• Stats: 397 KR yards, 2 return TDs, 39.7 YPR

• Scoop: Who could forget Lysiak running back the opening kick of the '19 season on the first play of his football career? The Falcons' leading receiver also had a team-high two INTs and led Section VI with his ridiculous kick return yardage total. Lysiak was one of just two players with multiple kick return TDs and he recorded at return of over 45 yards in four of N-W's first five games.

Honorable mentions: Canisius — Amier Mohammad; Grand Island — Kurtis Smith, Jack Dlugokinski, Anthony Homa; Lew-Port — John Wendt, Cooper Krawczyk, Corey Stack; Lockport — Nick Cascia, Josh Cooper, Logan Wendt; Newfane — Andy Lucinski, Chance Caccamise, Dylan Finch; Niagara Falls — Justin Humphrey-Goldsmith, Mark Wilson, Faybion Prather; Nia.-Wheatfield — Demarie Hilson, Griffin Cornwell; N. Tonawanda — Camerin Holmes, Cam Cutter; Starpoint — Carson Marcus, Kevin Johnson, Aidan Davis; St. Joe's — Wally Wisniewski; Wilson — Bobby Atlas, Anthony Dispenza, Evan Mahar.

Recommended for you