Pirates place six on 1A all-state to lead area small-school's list

·3 min read

Jan. 19—On the heels of its first state championship in more than a decade, South Pittsburg's football program has placed six players on the Tennessee Sports Writers Association's Class 1A all-state team. The TSWA announced the all-state selections for classes 1A-3A on Tuesday evening, with the three Division II teams set to be released late Wednesday.

Meigs County, which claimed its fifth consecutive region title, had four players earn all-state recognition in 2A and a total of 13 area players were named all-state among the small-school classes.

South Pittsburg's total haul ranked just behind Alcoa's nine all-state honorees in 3A and included four players from an offense that averaged 42 points in 11 wins. Included among the Pirates players was running back De'Andre Kelly, who ran for 1,498 yards (averaging 9.3 per carry) with 20 touchdowns. He was also a Mr. Football finalist and the BlueCross Bowl MVP.

Also on the offensive side for the Pirates were quarterback Richard Hunter, who threw for 1,611 yards, ran for more than 200 and totaled 26 TDs, as well as his twin brother Reginald, a two-way starter who caught 43 passes for 770 yard and 17 TDs and also had 27 solo tackles, 10 more for loss and five sacks as a defensive end. Sophomore kicker Cooper Keown repeated as an all-state honoree after connecting on 63 of 66 extra point attempts, 4 of 5 field goals and successfully converting 5 of 7 onside kicks.

Two Pirates defensive linemen — Josiah Huntley and Gio Davis — were also recognized. Huntley ranked among the area leaders with 13 tackles for loss and six sacks and also had 61 solo tackles and 36 assists, while Davis was dominant throughout the playoffs and finished with 11 tackles for loss, five sacks and three forced fumbles.

Senior receiver Cameron Huckabey headlines Meigs County's quartet of 2A all-state players, along with quarterback Logan Carroll, linebacker Ben Smith and defensive lineman Dalton Purgason. Marion County athlete Taye Hutchins and Polk County kicker Colby Maynor also earned all-state honors in 2A, while Signal Mountain linebacker Aiden Adkins was the only local player on the 3A team.

Huckabey, a Mr. Football finalist, started on both sides of the ball, leading the team with 418 receiving yards and five TDs and also was one of the area's top returners on special teams. Carroll totaled more than 1,600 yards of offense and 28 TDs, while Smith had 46 solo tackles, five more for loss and four sacks and Purgason had 72 tackles, 14 more for loss and nine sacks for the Tigers, whose defense allowed an average of just 6.5 points per game.

Hutchins finished the season with 1,087 total yards and 18 TDs for the Warriors, while Adkins had 19 tackles for loss, 9.5 sacks and 74 total tackles for the Eagles.

Contact Stephen Hargis at shargis@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6293. Follow him on Twitter @StephenHargis.