Gerald Goodridge, News9.com
OKLAHOMA CITY -- A season ago, the Hennessey Eagles knocked off heavy favorite Millwood to advance to the state championship and then shut out Davis to claim its first-ever football Gold Ball. Hennessey is reloaded this season and ready to defend its title against a stacked class.
The Eagles return their three top performers on offense; not only quarterback Trey Leu, but their pair of 1,000-yard rushers Levi Hill and Ivan Moreno. Hill blew up as a sophomore, rushing for 1,647 yards and 21 touchdowns on 227 carries in 2010. Moreno did his best to keep up with the massive season by the underclassman, rushing 188 times for 1,425 yards and 13 scores.
Leu still produced big numbers in 2010, despite the heavy emphasis on the run. The senior quarterback went 84-of-171 for 1,139 yards and 12 touchdowns a year ago, which was more than enough to put the Eagles in the championship game.
Despite making a second-round exit from the playoffs, the Jones Longhorns were one of the top offensive teams in the state in 2010 and return two of their top offensive producers from 2010.
Leading the charge for Jones will be senior quarterback Michael Lowe, who not only put up big numbers in 2010, but did it efficiently. As a junior he racked up 2,263 yards and 30 touchdowns, all while completing 63 percent of his passes and throwing just five interceptions.
Also returning to the Longhorns is Lowe's favorite target, wide receiver Tyler Seabolt. Seabolt finished his junior season with 1,211 yards and 14 scores, making him the second-highest returning receiver in 2A.
It won't just be the Longhorns who are returning a gunslinger. The Lindsay Leopards bring back quarterback Hunter Eubank from a squad that Hennessey defeated in the second round of the playoffs. Eubank completed 181 of his 310 attempts to amass 3,716 yards and 45 touchdowns.
Eubank isn't the only top performer coming back for an encore season; Stroud's Dakota Biswell was not only one of the top rushers in the class, but finished seventh in the state across all classes. As a junior, Biswell rushed for 2,027 yards and 31 scores on 260 attempts. However, the Tigers have to replace senior quarterback Jeff Wintz, who passed for more than 1,000 yards a season ago.
Lincoln Christian will also play a big part in how the 2A title chase plays out, but lost a big piece of its run to the quarterfinals a season ago. The Crusaders have to replace quarterback Chris Turner, who accounted for 65 scores a season ago, but have Zack Simmons returning to help carry the load. As a junior, Simmons rushed 224 times and racked up 1,626 yards and 24 touchdowns, averaging more than seven yards per carry.
A season ago, Watonga rattled off nine consecutive wins to claim an undefeated district title, but was bounced in the first round at the hands of the Crooked Oak Ruf-Nex. However, the Eagles bring back three of their top offensive performers from that run.
Quarterback Travis Hartfield was just a freshman a last year, passing afore 1,394 yards and 13 touchdowns, but threw 14 interceptions in the process. As a sophomore, his decision making should be better, limiting the turnovers for which he is responsible. Receiver Javis Flynn returns as well, who was on the receiving end of seven scores and gives Hartfield a reliable option.
Closing out the bunch is running back Chris Hunter, who accounted for 1,160 yards and 15 scores, keeping the offense well-rounded. Making sure he stays upright is massive lineman E.J. Tillinger, who measures in at 6-foot-3-inches and 295 pounds, with a chance to play at the next level.