The American Family Insurance All-USA Twin Cities Offense is led by Osseo's versatile senior running back Bridgeport Tusler. He had a tremendous season. He finished with 1,173 yards rushing and 16 touchdowns. He also caught 18 passes for 243 yards and three more scores. Tusler was a special teams star and made plays, sometimes, on his own. He returned two punts for touchdowns this season. He also led the state in interceptions with eight, one for a touchdown. Bridge Tusler did it all for Osseo this season.
Spring Lake Park running back Eji Ejiya was the North Suburban Conference Offensive player of the year. The 6-2 185 pounder finished with 1,554 yards on 175 carries averaging almost nine yards per carry with 17 touchdowns. Coach Jeff Schlieff said Eji was the best player on the field in every game they played this season. He was also the Panthers team leader on defense finishing with 105 tackles on the season.
Our All-Metro receivers are led by Edina senior Marley Allison who had a tremendous year. Allison made a spectacular 97-yard touchdown catch and run versus Wayzata this season. He finished with 70 catches for 865 yards and seven touchdowns. He made the spectacular catch look easy.
Maple Grove senior receiver Jake Wieneke is a big target at 6-4 200 pounds. Crimson head coach Matt Lombardi says Wieneke has unbelievable ball skills and was a difference maker for the Crimson finishing with 68 catches for 1,340 yards and 13 touchdowns.
Our All-Metro quarterbacks are led by Edina senior Mark Handberg at 6-4 215 pounds. What makes Handberg so good is his vision and ability to get out of trouble. He scrambles well, but always knows where his receivers are. He made defenses pay with his leadership all season long. Handberg completed 65 percent of his passes for 1,654 yards and 12 touchdowns.
Hopkins senior quarterback J.T. DenHartog is 6-3 200 pounds.
He was very good all season in using his feet to buy time to throw the football downfield. J.T. completed 131-of-230 passes for 1,469 yards and 14 touchdowns. He finished with more than 3,300 yards passing in his two-year career, but he also was a threat to run the football finishing with 419 yards and five touchdowns on the ground.
Our All-Metro tight ends are led by Prior Lake's Nick Hart. The senior is 6-5 210 pounds. Hart finished the season with 22 catches for 486 yards and five touchdowns. He helped lead Prior Lake to a South Suburban title and a berth in the 6A State quarterfinals.
Washburn's Noah Scarver, at 6-5 235, was voted the Minneapolis City Conference player of the year. He finished the season with 27 catches for 382 yards and seven touchdowns. He also led the conference in sacks with 14. Noah was an outstanding two-way player for the Millers.
Our All-Metro Athlete is Cretin-Derham Hall senior James Onwualu. Onwualu did everything for the Raiders. As a running back, he averaged 8.5 yards per carry finishing with 500 yards and 11 touchdowns. He's big, strong and fast. As a receiver, Onwualu caught 24 passes for nearly 400 yards and five scores. He also had an interception for a touchdown in leading the Raiders to a 6-3 record. He's headed to Notre Dame on scholarship.
Our All-Metro Offensive line is led by DeLaSalle tackle Chad Fahning, a big guy at 6-7 280 pounds. Fahning has great size, strength and uses his leverage very well. Coaches rave about his feet and his aggressive attitude. He plays both sides of the line of scrimmage, but it's on offense where he thrives. Fahning is being recruited Division 1.
Michael Warren of Providence Academy is 6-4, 275 pounds and tough. He was a four-year starter for the Lions. Providence ran 60 percent of their offensive plays behind him. Michael was not only very good at blocking his primary defender, but getting to the second and third level as well. He gave up one sack all season. He also played defense and recorded 22 tackles for losses.
Totino-Grace senior John Bednarczk is 6-3 275 pounds. He was voted the Northwest Suburban Conference West offensive lineman of the year. According to head coach Jeff Ferguson, he is one of the best offensive linemen the Eagles have ever had. The senior is a two year starter and behind him, the Eagles rushed for nearly 3,000 yards this season.
Lakeville South center Matt Leidner is viewed as one of the toughest players to face in the South Suburban Conference. He's 6-2 270 pounds. The two-year starter was a dominating blocker and led the Panthers to the highest rushing average per game in school history. Coach Larry Thompson says he's the best center he's had in the last 20 years.
Wayzata senior lineman Chandler Wright is 6-3 265 pounds and a two year starter. You want to talk about blocking until the whistle blows? That's exactly what Wright does every play. Wayzata has gained more than 2,000 yards on the ground this season, many of those yards behind Wright. He's strong, smart and is flat out determined to beat his opponent every time.
Our All-Metro kicker is St. Thomas Academy senior Wyatt Schmidt. Schmidt has made 13-of-13 field goal attempts. His longest make was from 47 yards out. He's also 36-for-36 on extra point tries. Wyatt has 43 touch backs on 61 kickoff attempts. He's being recruited by the Gophers and other Division 1 football programs.
And our choice for Coach of the Year is Edina's Reed Boltmann. Under his leadership, the Hornets finished the regular season as the No. 1 ranked team in Class 6A. Edina beat perennial big school powers Wayzata and Eden Prairie on back-to-back Friday nights in October, both wins on the road. The Hornets were upset in the state quarterfinals, but it didn't diminish the fact it was Edina's first trip to state in football in 30 years.
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