Gridiron Hornets earn post-season honors

All-conference picks, from left, Alex Denker, Ryan Hall and Brandan Warner

All-conference picks, from left, Alex Denker, Ryan Hall and Brandan Warner

Seniors Cameron Davis, Hunter Fugitt, Drew Tipton and Brenden Young have been voted as All-State selections for their play for the Bryant Hornets during the 2014 football season by the coaches of the 7A-Central Conference.

In addition, Alex Denker, Ryan Hall and Brandan Warner were voted all-conference with Kylon Boyle, Ben Bruick and Evan Lee earned second team all-conference honors.

The Hornets went 9-2-1 during 2014 including a 28-27 playoff win over Springdale Har-Ber before the eventual Class 7A champion Bentonville ended their season with a 17-7 defeat. The team won eight games in a row after a season-opening tie with Class 6A runner-up Benton in the Salt Bowl. The nine wins are the most by a Bryant team since 2010. Only two times, the 10-2 team of 2004 and the 11-1 team of 1999, has a Bryant team recorded more victories in a season.

All-conference second team honors went to, from left, Kylon Boyle, Ben Bruick and Evan Lee.

All-conference second team honors went to, from left, Kylon Boyle, Ben Bruick and Evan Lee.

Davis, the left tackle for the Hornets, has verbally committed to continue his career at Arkansas State University. He helped lead the Bryant offense to over 4,000 yards of offense this season.

Fugitt, a defensive end, led the team in tackles for much of the season, a rare accomplishment for a defensive lineman in the Bryant scheme. Though he missed some time with a shoulder injury, he still finished fourth on the team with 68 stops including a team-high 13 for losses and three sacks. He also broke up three passes.

Tipton, a cornerback who often played a hybrid position in the middle of the Bryant defense. He led the team each of his three seasons in pass break-ups including 10 in 2014. He blocked two kicks including a decisive extra point in the win against Har-Ber. He was in on 59 tackles and returns punts and kickoffs.

Young, who settled in at safety as a senior after moving back and forth from offense to defense his first two seasons, wound up the Hornets’ top tackler with 88 stops. He also broke up six passes and had an interception.

Denker, the team’s kicker who also helped out with punts, led the team in scoring with 66 points on 8 of 12 field goals including a 48-yarder. He was 43 of 44 on extra points and consistently kicked off into the end zone for touchbacks.

Hall emerged as a strong pass-rusher at defensive end, led the team with six sacks. He was fifth on the team with 63 tackles, six for losses.

The Hornets’ quarterback, Warner, went the entire regular season without an interception, completing 126 of 198 (64 percent) over the 12-game slate for 1,485 yards and seven touchdowns. He also developed into a running threat. His 579 yards on 128 carries was third on the team. That’s a 4.52 yards per carry average despite a few sacks along the way. He scored seven touchdowns rushing.

Boyle finished as the team’s leading rusher with 682 yards on 115 carries (5.9 yards per attempt) despite missing some time with injury. He also caught 16 passes for 154 yards and scored a team-high 11 touchdowns, all on the ground, to match Denker’s team-high 66 points scored.

Bruick, an outside linebacker, led the team with four interceptions including one he returned for a touchdown to seal a win over Greenwood. He was in on 78 tackles, second only to Young. He had seven tackles for losses, which was third on the team, and a team-high five stops on special teams.

Lee, the lone underclassman of the honorees, was the team’s top pass receiver with 38 catches for 566 yards (14.9 yards per reception) and six touchdowns.

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