Passing combo top honorees
EDITOR’S NOTE: Because the look back at each day in Bryant athletic history has been so favorably received during the time when there was no sports during the COVID-19 shutdown, BryantDaily.com will continueposting past stories of Bryant athletics either posted on BryantDaily.com (from 2009 to the present) or published in the Bryant Times (from 1998 to 2008).
The Bryant Hornets’ record-setting passing combination of Tadd Farmer and Tanner Francis started reaping the rewards for their stellar senior seasons last week when both were named to the Class AAAAA All-State squad.
In addition, five Hornets were named to the AAAAA-South all-conference team with four more earning honorable mention all-conference stature.
Those honors, along with team awards voted on by the players, were announced at the BHS football banquet.
Farmer, in his first year as the starting quarterback, set a school record by passing for over 2,000 yards. Francis, his favorite receiver, accounted for about half of that yardage while pulling in a school-record 66 receptions.
In addition, Francis was named to the KARK-TV Channel 4 Friday Night Flights all-star team.
Bryant’s all-conference selections were linebackers Josh Caldwell and Michael McClellan, defensive lineman Jason Gentry, offensive lineman Daniel Roberts and running back/wide receiver Billy Landers. All are seniors except McClellan, a junior.
Caldwell, McClellan and Gentry spearheaded the Hornets’ defense. Caldwell was the team’s leading tackler for the second year in a row.
McClellan and Gentry also helped out on the offensive line where Roberts was the lone senior. Roberts led a group that made the transition from blocking a run-oriented scheme successfully two years ago to a more pass-oriented offense last season.
Landers, a versatile offensive performer for the Hornets, rushed (unofficially) for 230 yards on 37 carries and caught 32 passes for 403 yards.
Earning all-conference honorable mention were senior running back Jacky Brown, sophomores Luke Brown, a running back; Matt Brown, a wide receiver, and Nick Harbert, placekicker.
Jacky Brown, finished as the team’s leading rusher for the second year in a row despite being plagued for much of the season by injuries. After gaining 1,200 yards in 198 carries (an average of 6.1 yards per carry) as a junior, he picked up 424 on 96 totes (an average of 4.4 per carry) as a senior.
Luke Brown was the team’s second-leading rusher with 300 yards rushing. He also caught 14 passes for 148 yards.
Matt Brown was the team’s second-leading receiver with 30 receptions for over 470 yards.
Harbert was successful on six field goals, scoring 25 points for the Hornets. In combination with junior Josh Ault, the Hornets booted nine 3-pointers during the season which may also be a school record.
As for the team awards, the players chose Farmer and Jacky Brown as co-recipients of the Mr. Hornet award for leadership. Farmer and Francis were also voted co-MVPs for the season. Caldwell was named the defensive MVP.
In addition, Landers was voted the top offensive back; Roberts as the top offensive lineman; Francis as the top receiver; Gentry as the top defensive lineman; Brandon Fitts as the top defensive back; Caldwell as the top linebacker/defensive end; and Harbert as the top specialist.