With all the awards and honors filling up the sports section this week, I thought it would be nice to take a look at a few miscellaneous honors that we didn’t get to yet.
So without wasting any more of your time — the title of the article is pretty self-explanatory — let’s get to some more 2020 football honors from yours truly.
Best Game — Neville vs. Ruston (38-35, 3OT)
Barely. Just barely did this beat out Vermilion Catholic and Ouachita Christian. And trust me, I can already hear some of you: “How could you put the season-opener ahead of a semifinal overtime game?”
It wasn’t an easy decision, but Neville and Ruston had just everything you could ask for.
Comeback? Check. Neville led 21-0 at halftime and was leading 21-7 in the fourth quarter before Ruston miraculously forced overtime thanks to three Tiger fumbles in the fourth quarter.
Drama? Well, I think that’s already been checked, but these two teams exchanged scores in two overtimes before Caleb Phillips booted a 27-yard game-winning field goal in triple overtime.
Historic? Affirmative. First triple overtime game in the series, and after Neville dominated the early 2010s, Ruston has now won three of the last four matchups.
Biggest Upset — West Monroe 27-7 victory over Central
Let me preface this by saying there were very few upsets in 2020 in the parish. You could argue Union’s victory against Ouachita was a big one that set off a domino effect for a one-win Ouachita team in 2020, but Union ended up playing for a state title. That validated the Farmers.
That’s why I had to give the nod to West Monroe beating Central, even though it didn’t stun any of us the Rebels pulled it off. But it’s the overall context that makes it the best.
Going into that contest, where No. 10 West Monroe had to face No. 7 Central on the road, the narrative was out there (and had been there since the very beginning of the season) — “Worst West Monroe team in three decades.”
After the Rebels put it on Central, it was amazing to see that mindset change. All of a sudden fans were booking hotel rooms in Natchitoches, as they could finally envision a state championship run for West Monroe. With so many young players gaining experience in 2020, Rebel fans have plenty to be excited for in the future.
Breakout Player — Chauncey Lee (West Monroe linebacker)
And speaking of that future…
What if I told you a sophomore led the Rebels in nearly every defensive category in 2020? Chauncey Lee totaled 70 tackles, recorded 10 quarterback hurries, collected 1.5 sacks, forced three fumbles and deflected two passes.
Now that’s getting it done all over the football field.
Mr. Consistent — Beau Bennett (St. Frederick athlete)
After a while, we just expected Beau Bennett to do it all for St. Frederick. And he nearly did.
Bennett played quarterback, tight end and defensive end for the Warriors in 2020. Despite playing so many different positions, Bennett collected 44 tackles, four sacks, eight tackles for loss, nine hurries and forced a fumble in 2020. It’s going to be weird watching the Warriors without No. 30 making plays next year.
Name to Remember — A’Mareya Greeley (Carroll running back)
And last but not least, friends you might want to keep tabs on Carroll sophomore running back A’Mareya Greeley. Greeley finished 2020 with 750 rushing yards and 11 total touchdowns. He had multiple 200-yard rushing performances, and he can flat out make people miss in the open field when he gets his hands on the ball.
Don’t forget the name because you’ll be reading about him more in 2021.