Who will win the Class 6A Mr. Football Award for 2022? Head over to Ray Hughes Stadium on Friday night and get a look at a trio of prime-time candidates all in the same game.
When Blackman (10-2) visits Oakland (11-1) in a huge TSSAA third-round matchup, three of the finalists for the coveted class 6A individual honor will be toeing the turf. Each has been more than solid thus far, but in a win-or-go-home environment, previous performances matter not.
Patriot quarterback Kade Hewitt leads the two-time defending state champs into this matchup with district rival Blackman. As the orchestrator of the Oakland offense, this sizeable senior has found a way to make it happen. Using a fullback mentality at times, Hewitt has averaged 7.1 yards per carry and found paydirt 14 times. Flinging it when he needs to, the Patriot signal-caller has completed 63.6% of his passes (77-121) while tossing for 10 touchdowns. Perhaps his finest attribute is the ability to carry out coach Kevin Creasy's game plan.
Blackman's Justin Brown has been one of the real game-breakers for a prolific Blackman offense. Averaging 5.8 yards per carry with 4 touchdowns, the senior has to be respected as a rushing threat. The real danger with Brown has been his superior route running and receiving skills. His 75 receptions and 1292 receiving yards have been more than jaw-dropping. Averaging 17.2 yards per catch, the sticky-fingered senior has hauled in 19 touchdown tosses.
Blaze quarterback Jack Risner has burned especially bright for Blackman this season. Completing nearly 68% of his passes (178-262), the strong-armed senior has been a four-alarm fire at times. Slinging it for a scintillating 2948 yards and 29 touchdowns, he has been a key factor in Blackman's high-octane offense.
Who will emerge as the front-runner for Mr. Football from this County cage match? For each, the team W greatly outweighs the personal stat sheet. But all understand the importance of playing well when it is all on the line.
Kickoff is slated for 7 pm on the campus of Oakland high school.