TD football picks up 11 all-league winners

The Dalles football team had 11 players earn all-league recognition for their play this fall. Pictured from left to right are, starting in the back row, Steven Preston, Ben Nelson, JR Scott, Mac Abbas, and Dalles Seufalemua. In the front row are, from left, Yordi Sanchez, Austin Greene and Ophath Silaphath. Not pictured: Gabe Helseth, Reed Twidwell, and Miguel Torres. Seufalemua was Lineman of the Year and first team on both sides of the ball.

On votes by opposing coaches, Dalles Seufalemua had his name called as a first-team winner on both sides of the ball and also earned a Lineman of the Year award to lead The Dalles football squad.

“Dalles was a running back for a lot of years and we asked him to go to the line and he didn’t hesitate to sacrifice himself for the team,” TD head coach Steve Sugg said. “That is a great thing to get from one of your leaders. He’s still just a junior, so he will definitely be one of our cornerstones to build around next year.”

Starting offensive center Miguel Torres ended up on the first team, both Mac Abbas and Reed Twidwell had their names called as first-team special teamers, and JR Scott and Yordi Sanchez, along with Ben Nelson, picked up second-team defensive honors.

Gabe Helseth, Scott, Steven Preston and Austin Green notched offensive honorable mention.

On defense, Ophath Silaphath and Preston were selected to the honorable mention list.

“Because of their work ethic and drive to be successful, we had many of our kids rewarded with all-league,” Sugg said. “I am happy for all of them. A couple of them were seniors, so this was their last time, but we have others that will get the opportunity to improve on that next year. I know this will motivate them to want more from themselves.”

With Torres and Seufalemua, both juniors, on the offensive line, TD racked up 144 points (18 points a game) and totaled 2,054 yards, 1,326 passing, on 255 attempts.

Defensively, the Riverhawks allowed 274 yards a game, 4.3 yards per play and a 31 for 106 split on third down conversions.

No. 22 TD (2-6 overall, 2-3 league) also had 20 fumble recoveries, 15 sacks, and seven interceptions in eight contests.

“Our offense struggled trying to put drives together, but the defense was often the catalyst that got us going,” Sugg said. “They were on the field a lot this year, but they always seemed to be a unit that would make big plays to set us up in good field position.”

Seufalemua had 37 tackles, 14 for loss, with a sack, an interception, a forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries, and added a blocked kick to get his first-team nod.

Abbas played long snapper for Twidwell and the punt team, thus showing his worth when it came to pinning opposing teams in their own territory.

All told, Twidwell had 36 punts for 1,236 yards for a 34.3 average, with a high of 66 and three traveling further than 50 yards.

The senior added nine attempts inside the 20-yard line.

“Reed was a good weapon to have,” Sugg said. “Whenever we had to flip the field, he was reliable. He had a few struggles this year, but for the most part, he got some deep kicks off.”

Scott, a senior defensive lineman, tallied 63 tackles, 17 for loss, a team-leading seven sacks, five quarterback hurries, two forced fumbles, a fumble recovery for a score and a block.

From linebacker slot, Sanchez, a senior, racked up a team-leading 72.5 tackles, 13 for loss, and he added three pass breakups, a sack and a blocked punt, while Nelson posted 22.5 tackles, six pass breakups, seven passes defended, an interception and a fumble recovery.

Silaphath, a junior defensive lineman, tallied 22 tackles, six for loss, and 3.5 sacks, three hurries and two fumble recoveries.

Preston, a junior linebacker, filled in with 52 tackles, five for loss, with a half a sack and three fumble recoveries.

On Sept. 28 at home versus Gladstone, Preston returned a fumble 70 yards for a touchdown.

Helseth completed 100 of 228 passes for 1,237 yards (154.6 per game) with six touchdown passes and 15 interceptions.

The junior quarterback did damage with his legs with 125 yards and three end zone trips.

Scott reeled off 381 yards rushing on 64 carries and six touchdowns, including a season-high 80-yarder versus Valley Catholic, to lead TD in rushing yards, and he finished with four catches for 48 yards and a score.

Preston, as a versatile H-back, 39 totes for 189 yards and a touchdown, and hauled in 19 balls for 164 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Rounding out the award-winners, Greene, a senior receiver, wound up totaling 173 yards through the air on 17 receptions with a longest run of 32 yards.

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