The 2020 All-County Football Team is chosen through a combination of statistics, personal observation and coaching suggestions. Final decisions are made by News-Herald sports writer Nick Davis. He can be contacted at 865-635-0841 or nick.davis@news-herald.net.

Quarterback

Keaton Harig

Loudon, Junior

When Keaton Harig was forced into action midway through his freshman season in 2018, the coaching staff knew the team’s field general was set for the next three years. Harig has since proven one of the best quarterbacks in Class 3A.

He carried over success from last year and evolved into a more dynamic quarterback, passing for 1,896 yards and 22 touchdowns for a 69.7% completion rating, while rushing for 630 yards and three touchdowns to help guide the Redskins to a second consecutive quarterfinal appearance in the Class 3A playoffs.

Harig also started at safety, where he picked off two interceptions for 116 return yards and a score. In addition, he served as the Redskins’ punter and recorded 13 punts for 436 total yards.

Harig was named the Region 3-3A Offensive Player of the Year for a second straight year.

Brett Cortez

Lenoir City, Freshman

Following an injury to Lenoir City High School junior quarterback Zane Ward early in the season, the coaching staff turned to freshman Brett Cortez to lead the offense. He didn’t disappoint.

In eight appearances, Cortez threw for 1,004 yards and four touchdowns for a 53% total completion rate.

For his efforts, he was selected to the All-Region 4-5A second team.

Running Back

McKenzie Lunsford

Loudon, Senior

After splitting carries with All-State running back Drew Jackson last season, McKenzie Lunsford was primed for the starting backfield role heading into 2020.

Lunsford excelled all expectations and led the Redskins with 739 rushing yards and 17 touchdowns. He was also a dynamic threat in the passing game, leading the team with 27 receptions for 542 yards and four touchdowns for a 20.1 yard-per-reception average.

Lunsford was also a key defensive player at safety, where he totaled 24 tackles, two interceptions and two fumble recoveries. In addition, he starred as the Redskins’ primary special teams weapon, returning eight kickoffs for 232 yards and a touchdown.

Lunsford was named the All-Region 3-3A Athlete of the Year and was selected to the Tennessee Sports Writers Association Class 3A All-State team as an athlete. He is the 2020 All-County Player of the Year.

Donte Brown

Loudon, Senior

Donte Brown’s size and strength complemented McKenzie Lunsford’s speed and elusiveness en route to creating the best one-two backfield punch in Region 3-3A.

Brown was primarily used to power into the end zone in short-yardage situations but was also an effective back to help wear down defenses in the second half. Brown finished third on the team with 58 carries for 295 yards and eight touchdowns.

Wide Receiver

Semy Turner

Loudon, Sophomore

Semy Turner burst onto the scene last year as a freshman as one of the best receivers in Region 3-3A, and, as expected, he carried over that success into 2020.

Turner finished second on the team with 21 receptions for 265 yards and three touchdowns. He also played an important role on defense as a starting cornerback, where he recorded 34 tackles, one interception and two fumble recoveries.

Turner was selected to the All-Region 3-3A Honorable Mention team as a receiver.

Sebastian Borthwick

Lenoir City, Senior

After missing his junior season, Lenoir City High School’s Sebastian Borthwick returned for his senior year and evolved into one of the best receivers in a loaded Region 4-5A.

Borthwick led the Panthers with 41 receptions for 455 yards. He was also utilized as a runner and carried the ball 30 times for 159 yards and two touchdowns.

Borthwick was selected as the Region 4-5A Iron Man of the Year.

Kaden Dockins

Loudon, Junior

Kaden Dockins has been a dynamic player in all three phases of the game for the Loudon High School Redskins the last three seasons.

The coaching staff increased his role this year as a starting wide receiver, and he proved one of the best in the region after hauling in 20 receptions for 256 yards and four touchdowns.

Dockins also played an important role as a defensive back and returner, totaling 69 tackles and six punt returns for 153 yards and a touchdown.

He was named to the All-Region 3-3A first team.

Justin Farmer

Loudon, Senior

Justin Farmer’s size, strength, speed and hands often posed a difficult challenge for opposing defensive backs and linebackers in coverage.

Farmer was instrumental in setting up blocks on the perimeter for the Redskins’ potent rushing attack, but he also showcased the ability to damage through the air. He finished fourth on the team with 18 receptions for 220 yards and four touchdowns.

Farmer was named to the All-Region 3-3A Honorable Mention team.

Tight End

Josh Gonzalez

Loudon, Junior

Josh Gonzalez was forced to step in this season and fill the void left by former All-Region tight end Noah Burnette, and he out-performed all expectations after being selected as the Region 3-3A Co-Tight End of the Year along with Brainerd High School’s Donivon Thomas.

Gonzalez was an important element in the run game as an edge blocker, but he was also a viable option in the Redskins’ passing attack. He totaled six catches for 101 yards and a touchdown.

Offensive Line

Tucker Yancey

Lenoir City, Senior

Following a strong junior campaign in 2019, Tucker Yancey established himself as one of the best offensive linemen in East Tennessee in 2020.

A three-year starter, Yancey graded out as the team’s best offensive lineman after leading the Panthers in pancake blocks. He was also a force along the defensive line with 35 total tackles and eight tackles for loss.

Yancey was named to the All-Region 4-5A first team and was nominated for the Blue-Grey All-American Bowl.

Colton Alexander

Greenback, Senior

Colton Alexander has been a staple along the Cherokees’ offensive line the last four years, and he capped off his senior campaign with a bang.

Alexander graded out as the best offensive lineman on the team and second overall in Region 2-1A. He served as a team captain, was named to the All-Region 2-1A first team and was selected to the TSWA Class 1A All-State team.

Kaylob Wolever

Loudon, Senior

Kaylob Wolever has been an anchor on the Redskins’ offensive and defensive lines the last two seasons.

With an impressive combination of size and strength, Wolever excelled at center and played a critical part in helping the Redskins put together one of the best rushing attacks in Class 3A.

Wolever was named to the All-Region 3-3A Honorable Mention team.

Logan Haggas

Loudon, Junior

Despite being undersized at his position, Logan Haggas was one of the best offensive linemen in Region 3-3A this season.

Haggas shined at tackle, but he was also heavily utilized along the defensive line. He capped off the year with 17 tackles and a sack en route to being selected to the All-Region 3-3A Honorable Mention team.

Defensive Tackle

Jesse Robinson

Loudon, Senior

A three-year contributor for the Redskins, Jesse Robinson strung together an impressive senior campaign.

Robinson served as a two-way player along the offensive and defensive lines, but he performed best as the team’s starting defensive tackle. He ended the season with 24 total tackles and a sack.

Robinson was named to the All-Region 3-3A first team.

Sam Lawson

Greenback, Senior

The Greenback defensive line lost the majority of its production last season with the graduation of Derrell Bailey Jr. and Hazen Carleton, but head football coach Greg Ryan was excited to have Sam Lawson return for his senior season.

Lawson starred along the defensive line after recording 13 tackles, 16 assists, 1.5 sacks and four tackles for loss. Despite dealing with COVID-19 issues and missing part of the season, Lawson was named to the All-Region 2-1A first team.

Eli Rittenhouse

Lenoir City, Junior

Standing 6-foot-3 and 250 pounds, Eli Rittenhouse often towered over opposing offensive lineman and was a force as the Panthers’ starting defensive tackle.

Rittenhouse’s aggressive play led him to 38 tackles, two sacks and eight tackles for loss. He was selected to the All-Region 4-5A second team.

Defensive End

Jayse Lorenz

Loudon, Senior

Jayse Lorenz played a limited role on the defensive line last year for the Redskins behind Noah Burnette and Tyler Whitfield but made his mark this season as one of the top defensive ends in Region 3-3A.

Lorenz specialized as a pass rusher, where he posted 35 tackles, 19 assists and one sack. Lorenz was named to the All-Region 3-3A first team.

Kade Dixon

Lenoir City, Junior

Kade Dixon showed versatility early in the season after making the transition from linebacker to defensive end.

Dixon continued to evolve during the season and developed into one of the most disruptive defensive ends in Region 4-5A, leading the Panthers with 85 total tackles, five sacks, nine tackles for loss and an interception.

Dixon was named to the All-Region 4-5A second team.

Inside Linebacker

Devan Nichols

Loudon, Senior

After a successful junior campaign that yielded All-Region and All-County honors last year, LHS senior middle linebacker Devan Nichols was poised for another big run in 2020.

Nichols finished second on the team with 72 total tackles and helped command a defense that gave up 123 total points and forced 11 interceptions.

Nichols was named to the All-Region 3-3A first team.

Cole Richards

Lenoir City, Junior

Cole Richards exceeded expectations this season after being thrust into the starting middle linebacker role for the Panthers.

The junior linebacker racked up 78 total tackles, two sacks and led the team with 17 tackles for loss. Richards earned his way to being named to the All-Region 4-5A first team.

Braden Matoy

Greenback, Junior

Braden Matoy came on late last year for the Cherokees, but another offseason is what he needed to develop into the best linebacker in the region.

Matoy started at middle linebacker, where he finished first on the team with 38 tackles, 38 assists, five tackles for loss and a sack.

Matoy was selected to the All-Region 2-1A first team and was named the Region 2-1A Linebacker of the Year. He was also selected to the TSWA Class 1A All-State team.

Outside Linebacker

Haden Houser

Loudon, Senior

Haden Houser was going to need a solid season at outside linebacker if the Redskins were going to have a shot of going deep in the playoffs again.

Houser answered the call by posting 34 tackles and 13 assists. He also led the team with five sacks and was crucial in stopping opposing rushing attacks in key regional games against Brainerd, Sweetwater and Red Bank.

Houser was named to the All-Region 3-3A first team.

Jordan Carroll

Lenoir City, Junior

Jordan Carroll was a solid athlete for the Lenoir City High School Panthers last season, but he blossomed into a more complete player for 2020.

Carroll was featured in a variety of ways in offensive coordinator Derrick Vestal’s attack this season, but his main position was outside linebacker. He totaled 66 tackles, eight tackles for loss, two sacks and two interceptions.

Carroll was named to the All-Region 4-5A second team.

Isaac Chavez

Loudon, Sophomore

Although limited in playing time last year, the LHS coaching staff knew it had a special athlete in linebacker Isaac Chavez from the moment he stepped on campus two years ago.

Since his Junior Redskin days, Chavez has established himself as a ballhawking, hard-hitting linebacker. This season, he led the team with 88 total tackles and forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble.

Chavez was selected to the All-Region 3-3A first team.

Cornerback

Reece Wilburn

Lenoir City, Junior

Even though the Panthers struggled on defense this season, junior cornerback Reece Wilburn was a bright spot on the perimeter.

Wilburn recorded 49 total tackles and two interceptions, but he was also a reliable wide receiver and special teams player. He was named to the All-Region 4-5A second team.

Blake Fields

Greenback, Senior

Blake Fields made an immediate impact on offense and defense last year for the Cherokees after transferring from William Blount High School.

Fields’ specialized at wide receiver but with a combination of COVID-19 issues and a lack of offensive production this year, he made the biggest impact guarding opposing receivers. Fields totaled 18.5 tackles, seven assists and a tackle for loss.

He was named to the All-Region 2-1A first team for a second consecutive season.

Safety

Trey Wilhite

Lenoir City, Freshman

Arguably no player made more of an impact for the Panthers this season than freshman athlete Trey Wilhite.

Wilhite saw action as a running back, wide receiver, quarterback and return specialist, but he found his niche as the team’s starting free safety due to his athleticism, speed and big-play ability.

Wilhite led the team with 104 total tackles, two interceptions and a tackle for loss, which led him to being named to the All-Region 4-5A first team.

Keller Cooper

Lenoir City, Freshman

Across the field with Wilhite, freshman Keller Cooper commanded the other safety position for the Panthers to form the youngest defensive backfield in Region 4-5A.

Cooper finished the season fifth on the team with 51 total tackles, while splitting time between safety and inside linebacker.

All-Purpose

Micah Franklin

Greenback, Junior

Micah Franklin transferred to Greenback from William Blount during the summer and immediately became the Cherokees’ biggest impact player.

Franklin started the season at running back but made the switch to quarterback after a month-long break midway through the season due to COVID-19. The move paid off, and Franklin rejuvenated the Cherokees’ offense, throwing for 820 yards, four touchdowns and compiling a 70% passer rating.

Franklin also starred as a defensive back and return specialist and was named the Region 2-1A Athlete of the Year.

Dusty Clevenger

Lenoir City, Junior

Dusty Clevenger has been a quality utility player for the Panthers the last three seasons.

Clevenger started as the team’s offensive deep threat on the perimeter, where he hauled in 32 catches for 351 yards and a score. He was also an effective defensive back and returner, recording 38 total tackles and 320 return yards on kickoffs and punts.

Austin Burger

Greenback, Senior

Austin Burger served as a true all-purpose athlete for the Greenback Cherokees.

On offensive, Burger mainly played in a scatback role where he could run the ball or slide out of the backfield. He finished the year with 69 yards and three touchdowns on the ground, while adding 285 yards and one touchdown through the air.

Burger also proved a key defensive player after racking up 16.5 tackles, 15 assists and five tackles for loss. He was named the Region 2-1A Offensive Special Teams Player of the Year.

Special Teams

Cherinet Feezell

Loudon, Senior

Following the graduation of two-time All-Region kicker Mark Ridenour, LHS head football coach Jeff Harig turned to a first-year football player and soccer star in Cherinet Feezell.

Feezell quickly garnered respect from every opponent due to his powerful, accurate leg. Feezell went 54-for-58 on extra point attempts, 2-for-3 on field goals and recorded a 75% average on touchbacks.

Feezell was named the Region 3-3A Special Teams Most Valuable Player.

Gio Gonzalez

Lenoir City, Junior

Gio Gonzalez stepped into the full-time kicking role this season after the graduation of kicker Maddie Williams.

Gonzalez played an important role on special teams for the Panthers after going 7-for-10 on field goals and was 100% on extra point attempts. He also averaged 35 yards per punt.