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17 Marauders earn All-Section honors

Mingus quarterback Jordan Upham carries the ball against Verrado during their first-round State Playoff game this season. Upham finished with 894 yards on 127 carries this season for 13 touchdowns. (Photo by Greg Macafee)

Mingus quarterback Jordan Upham carries the ball against Verrado during their first-round State Playoff game this season. Upham finished with 894 yards on 127 carries this season for 13 touchdowns. (Photo by Greg Macafee)

COTTONWOOD- The Mingus Marauders football team ended their season with a loss to Verrado in the first-round of the Division III State Playoffs. Their run didn't go unnoticed though, the week before their season ended they took home the Division III Section VIII championship when they defeated the Prescott Badgers at Prescott.

The awards didn't stop there, recently the All-Section and All-Division rosters were released and the Section VIII Roster was Marauder heavy with senior quarterback Jordan Upham taking home the Section VIII Player of the Year honors.

The senior quarterback was also named as a National Football Scholar Athlete and was a big part of the Marauders reemergence in the State Playoffs this year. Upham carried the ball 127 times for 894 yards and 13 touchdowns. The Section VIII POY also through 45 times completing 21 passes for 424 yards and six touchdowns. Upham was also credited for his defensive play this year in which he broke up six passes and racked up 47 total tackles during the 2015 season.

Joining their senior quarterback with 1st team honors were two of his offensive lineman, Jordan Vincent and Stefano Dalu. Dalu also earned All-Division honors as an offensive-lineman. Along with Dalu, it was senior linebacker Pete Kelly who earned All-Section and All-Division 1st team honors. Kelly was a force to be reckoned with this year, on top of blocking three PAT's in their State Playoff game, Kelly racked up 102 total tackles this year. The senior also got to the opposing quarterback 10.5 times this year, forced three fumbles, blocked a punt and blocked two field goals.

On the defensive side, Kelly is joined by defensive backs Alec Phyfer and Anthony Accurso. Both players were highlighted in the Marauder backfield as well with Upham, but excelled just as much on the defensive side of the ball. In the 2015 season, Phyfer racked up 51 total tackles, and deflected two passes, averaging 4.6 tackles per game this year. Accurso was stellar in the air, deflecting 9 passes and intercepting one. Accurso also racked 37 total tackles this season.

Senior running back Tristan Clark and junior punter Trey Meyer also received 1st team All-Section honors for their performances in the 2015 season. Clark saw action running and catching passes out of the backfield this season. Carrying the ball 70 times, Clark accumulated 583 yards this season, finding the end zone three times on the ground. He found the end zone three more times through the air this season, catching the ball seven times, for 233 yards.

Along with having some of the best players in Division III Section VIII Head Coach Bob Young had arguably one of the best punters in Division III. Trey Meyer led all of Division III in punt distance with an average of 45.3 yards per punt. He was named to first team All-Division and to the Friday Night Fever All-Arizona Top 25. On 35 punts this year, Meyer pinned his opponents inside their own 20-yard line 17 times, and his longest punt was 70 yards.

Meyer was just as deadly on kick-offs and field goals too. During the 2015 season Meyer kick-off for the Marauders 58 times for 3256 yards, and 13 touchbacks. He finished 4th in kick-off yards and finished 9th in kick scoring with 58 points. The junior also converted seven field goals this season tying him for 4th place in all of Division III. Devin Moon from Division III runner-up Paradise Valley was only two ahead of Meyer with nine on the year.

Meyer was the final 1st teamer from the Marauders, six more received 2nd Team honors. Charles Hardy (Offensive Line), Nathan Jones (Offensive Line), Trevor Galloway (Defensive End), Josh Scalf (Defensive End), Tyler Kelly (Linebacker) and Cole Phelps (Linebacker) all were recipients of 2nd team honors. Kelly and Phelps were both two standout linebackers next to Pete Kelly this year to make up the Marauders line backing core. Phelps led the Marauders in tackles this year, while the younger Kelly brother, Tyler, led the Marauders in sacks with 12 and made 115 total tackles this year. Both were sophomores and will be a staple in the Marauders defense for the next two years.

Jordan Taylor (Offensive Line), Alejandro Stabreff (Defensive Back), and Carson Anderson (Defensive Back) all received Honorable Mentions for the All-Section teams. The 2015 Marauders only lost twice all season losing early on in their season against Peoria and then running the table until their match-up with Verrado.

-- Follow Greg Macafee on Twitter @greg_macafee and Instagram @VerdeValleyNews

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