MORO -- The Sherman-Condon football team finished the 2019 campaign in style with a resounding 62-12 victory over Dayville-Monument Nov. 2 in a league crossover game to secure third place in the six-man playoffs in Madras.
The Huskies only lost to Echo and Joseph and finished on a four-game winning streak with big wins over Jewell (84-49), South Wasco County (43-19), Gilchrist (67-19) and Dayville-Monument (62-12) for a 7-2 overall record, 2-2 in league play.
“I’m very proud at how we finished our season,” Sherman head coach Mike Somnis said. “Every player on our team improved greatly over the course of the season.”
Five different players received all-league awards, led by sophomore Braden Carnine, who was named to the first team as a quarterback and linebacker.
Gill Witherspoon earned a second-team bid for his play at linebacker and he added an honorable mention pick at running back.
Senior Cort Colby was an honorable mention defensive back and quarterback, and another seniors, Jeremy Ballesteros tallied enough votes to secure honorable mention at defensive back and offensive lineman.
The last all-league recipient was junior quarterback Wade Fields, who was one of three Devildog players to snatch up all-league quarterback votes.
Carnine completed 32 of 70 passes for 665 yards and added eight touchdowns and three interceptions.
On the ground, the sophomore rushed 130 times for 1,343 yards and a team-leading 22 touchdowns. As a receiver, he hauled three catches for 35 yards and he returned seven kicks that equaled 111 yards.
This year, playing in the six-man division for the first time in school history, the Devildogs allowed 253 points, but just 91 in the first half of games.
Carnine ended the year tied for the team lead in tackles with 59, he had three sacks, three forced fumbles and five recoveries.
From his linebacker spot, Witherspoon posted 59 tackles, a sack, two forced fumbles and three recoveries.
The running back went for 557 yards rushing on 89 attempts with five scores, and he netted a team-high 19 catches for 255 yards and four end zone trips.
Although he won for offensive line play, Ballesteros was an all-around weapon on both sides of the ball for Sherman-Condon, as most of his contributions came at running back and defensive back.
On offense, he caught 11 balls for a team-leading 386 yards and four scores, he rushed four times for 51 yards and a score and he had two kickoff returns for 24 yards.
Ballesteros racked up 38 tackles, fourth on the team, had one sack, a team-high five interceptions, one touchdown, and a pair of forced fumbles.
Another veteran to net all-league awards on both sides of the ball was Colby, a senior, from Condon.
At quarterback, Colby completed 15 of 29 passes for 307 yards with six touchdowns and one interception.
Through the air, Colby notched eight catches for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
As a defensive stalwart, Colby made 40 tackles, had a forced fumble and recovered two fumbles.
The Sherman-Condon offense totaled 426 points, 267 in the opening half of games, and ran up 4,344 yards of offense, 2,974 rushing on 339 attempts (8.8 yards per rush).
Fields was second on the team in rushing and passing yards, with 910 yards on the ground through 75 tries with 13 touchdowns and a season-long of 80 yards.
In his passes, Fields completed 17 of 39 passes for 405 yards and six touchdowns. He also had three catches that went for 96 yards and two scores, returned two kickoffs for 67 yards and added a 55-yard scamper in his seven-touchdown performance versus Gilchrist on Oct. 26 in Moro.
Of the 14 players on the varsity roster, just Fields, Ballesteros and Tyler Bledsoe will be gone to graduation, so Somnis has six freshmen, four sophomores and Fields, the lone senior, expected back for another solid campaign.
Somnis said that the coaches are excited about next year, especially with eight focal point standouts expected to make their returns.
For the team to play into November for a chance at a six-man state title, Somnis expressed the importance of the athletes and the program wanting to keep improving, which means that they will need to work hard on the offseason, and that is through football camp in June and during the summer to give themselves the best opportunity they can for success next fall.
“It’s about constantly improving and growing, not only on the athletic fields, but in the weight room, in the classroom, developing and cultivating strong leadership and staying competitive with other sports throughout the school year,” Somnis said.