Tifton Gazette


December 21, 2013

Irwin’s Merritt named 2-A Player of the Year

TIFTON — After leading his 10-2-1 Irwin County Indian football team in not only rushing, but also in tackles, senior Antwuane Merritt has been named the Region 2-A Player of the Year by the league’s coaches.

“We are sure going to miss him next year,” said Irwin head coach Jon Lindsey. “He really stepped up for us this year and was a great leader. He has developed into a great football player and more importantly, a fine young man.”

Merritt helped lead Irwin to its’ first 10-win season since 1999. The school also hosted its’ first state semifinal game in 38 years this past season.

The senior ended the season with 1,227 yards on 140 carries. Besides averaging 8.8 yards per carry, the senior also scored 23 touchdowns.

Defensively, Merritt has 26 solo tackles and 34 assists. He also has 5.5 tackles for loss yardage, four sacks, two forced fumbles and two passes defensed.

Junior Jakyron Young was also doubly honored by the region’s coaches as he was named first team on offense and defense.

On defense, Young had 20 solo tackles and nine assists. He also had three interceptions, three passes defended and 1.5 tackles for loss.

Offensively, Young had 1,059 yards rushing on 117 carries. He averaged 9.1 yards per carry and had 12 touchdowns.

Two mainstays on Irwin’s offensive line were also honored as first team performers. They were junior center Cam Morgan and junior tight end Ethan Ethridge.

Behind its offensive line, Irwin County rushed for 4,644 yards in 2013 on 586 carries. The averaged 7.9 yards per rush and scored 64 rushing touchdowns.

Besides Young, making the first team defense from Irwin County were senior lineman D.J. Peterson and placekicker Eric Contreras.

Peterson had 13 solo tackles and 19 assists. He also had 2.5 tackles for loss yardage and one sack. No statistics were available for Contreras.

Irwin County’s second team offensive selections were senior running back Ryan Peterson, and offensive linemen Rusty Dorman and Chandler Taylor.

Austin Phillips was a second team selection on defense for the Indians from two spots, defensive line and punter.

Other second team selections were lineman Robert Wilcox, linebacker D.J. Pollard and defensive back Mykell Collier.

Besides the Irwin County selections, Turner County was also represented on the All Region 2-A team by several players.

Senior wide receiver Nathan Martin and senior lineman were first-team selections for the Rebels on offense. Senior kick returner Nate Martin, senior linebacker Yusef Muhammed and junior defensive back Quan Hillmon were all named first team on defense.

Linebacker Austin Roman was named to the second team defense from the Rebels.


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