Willis named 3A All-State captain

Cobras have 5, Demons, Panthers, Tigers 2 apiece on All-State teams W-MU, Pekin, Cardinal, Van Buren County have 1 each

Washington’s Trashaun Willis takes the snap from center. Willis was named captain of the Class 3A All-State football team by the Iowa Press Sports WritersAassociation. (File)
Washington’s Trashaun Willis takes the snap from center. Willis was named captain of the Class 3A All-State football team by the Iowa Press Sports WritersAassociation. (File)

It was a stellar day for Union area athletes who were named as all-state players Tuesday. Chief among them was the selection of Trashaun Willis of Washington as the captain of the Class 3A All-State team. In Class 1A, Sigourney-Keota’s run to the UNI-Dome garnered recognition for five players. Washington, Mt. Pleasant and New London had two named all-state. Fairfield, Cardinal, Pekin and Van Buren had one each.

Willis is an all-state pick for the third consecutive year after being third team linebacker his sophomore season and second team at that position last year. This season he was the utility pick on defense.

Willis was joined on Class 3A team selections by teammate Zayne Laws on the third team defensive line.

Mt. Pleasant had Henry Lutovsky as a first team pick to the offensive line and Chase Williamson as a third team defensive back. There were only two sophomores selected to any 3A team and one was Fairfield’s Max Weaton at third team receiver.

Other picks from 3A District 5 were Keokuk’s Callum Tackes to the second team defensive line and third team linebacker Keaton Poe of Fort Madison.

The Cobras were a semifinalist in 1A. SK had Sam Sieren as the first team running back, Zach Smithart as first team offensive line and Brady Duwa as a defensive back. It was his second year at that position. Wyatt Sieren was a second team defensive back and Brayden Moffit was third team in the offensive line.

The Cobras won their district which saw three other selections.

Cardinal’s breakout season produced a second team receiver in Griffin Greiner. Pekin offensive lineman Cael Lyle was also a second teamer. Van Buren had the third team punter in Treyton Bainbridge.

DL Carter Allen was one of the five best linemen in Class 8-man, a first team pick for the offensive line. Blaise Porter could have landed at a number of positions, but was a second team defensive back for the Tigers.

Only one freshman made any 8-man team and that was Cam Buffington of Winfield Mt. Union, a third team choice at punter.

In Class 4A, Washington’s first-game opponent Bettendorf had offensive lineman Griffin Liddle as a first team pick and defensive back Ryan Cole on second team.

Willis, a 6-foot-5 and 245-pound inside linebacker, also took on the role of quarterback, replacing three-year starter Luke Turner. He had 37.5 tackles and an interception for the Demons, who limited regular-season opponents to fewer than 13 points per game. In his first year as the team’s starting quarterback, Willis passed for 907 yards and 12 touchdowns while also rushing for 523 yards and 13 touchdowns as Washington was 8-1, state-ranked for the entire season and reached the Round of 16 in the playoffs. Willis, named the offensive MVP in District 5, has done all this with just one arm. While in the womb, strands from his mother’s amniotic sack wrapped around his left elbow and stunted his further growth. Also a basketball player, Willis has yet to make a college decision.

While not playing in the second half of many blowout wins, Laws had 11 tackles for loss, 31.5 total tackles and 15 solo from his position at nose guard.

Lutovsky helped the Panthers to 3,583 offensive yards, 17th in Class 3A. Williamson’s four interceptions was 11th and he had 31 catches (17th) and 558 yards (12th).

Weaton’s seven TDs receiving were the eighth best total in 3A. He had 30 catches for 377 yards.

Smithart and Moffit paved the way for the Cobras to rush for the most amount of yards (3,489) in 1A, score 64 TDs and accumulate 5,268 yards, both second in 1A. Duwa and Wyatt Sieren helped the defense have the ninth best total tackles, solos, and the Cobras defense was 12th in interceptions. Duwa was first in punt return yards and fourth in kick return yards. Sam Sieren was second with 1,706 yards rushing and fifth in touchdowns.

Greiner was second in TD receptions with 10, 10th in receptions with 35 and eighth in yards at 652.

Bainbridge was second in average yards per punt at 40.2.

Lyle helped Pekin rush for 2126 yards, 13th in Class 1A.

New London was fifth in yards rushing behind Allen’s blocking.

Porter led the class in interceptions with nine and yards returned with 186 and touchdowns with three. He had 1,340 yards rushing (13th) on just 133 carries, an average of almost 10 yards per rush. He had 23 TDs rushing and 34 overall (12th).

Buffington had an average punt of 31.8 yards, but totaled 956 yards rushing on 114 carries for an average of 8.4 per rush and scored 17 TDs.