MCCOOL JUNCTION – The McCool Junction Mustangs came up one game short of their first-ever state football championship this past season, finishing the year with an 11-1 record.
The Mustangs were one of the most explosive offensive teams in the state, and senior Dana Hobbs was a big key to the Mustangs’ success this past year. His numbers were so impressive that he was named the Six Man Offensive Player of the Year by the Six Man Coaches Association.
Hobbs, a 5-foot-9, 160-pound athlete, had his hand in all phases of the offense as he rushed for 1,414 yards on 117 carries and scored 34 touchdowns. These numbers came with Hobbs not even carrying the ball in the second half in most of the Mustangs’ regular-season wins.
The senior was also 36 of 53 passing the ball for 428 yards and two touchdowns.
Hobbs had 493 yards in the kickoff-return game, and 309 on punt returns. He took four punt returns the distance for touchdowns and also had three pick-sixes and scooped one fumble for a score on defense for a total of 42 touchdowns.
Hobbs was also the team leader on defense with 93 tackles.
Junior Owen McDonald was first-team defense along with junior teammates Kaden Kirkpatrick and sophomore Chase Wilkinson. McDonald was also second-team offense as a kicker.
Over the course of the year, McDonald had 50 tackles, 26 of which were solos. He had two fumble recoveries, five interceptions, 43 points on extra points and averaged 24.3 points per game. He scored 31 touchdowns.
McDonald was also the team’s leading receiver with nine receptions for 181 yards, and all four of the team’s touchdowns in the passing game.
Kirkpatrick had 42 tackles and two fumble recoveries. Wilkinson led the team with seven interceptions and was second in tackles with 85. He also recovered a pair of fumbles.
Wilkinson scored six touchdowns with all of them coming on the ground. The sophomore rushed the ball for 195 yards on 28 attempts and scored twice in the championship game against Harvard.
Harvard senior Noah Okraska was named the Six Man Defensive Player of the Year.
First Team Offense
QB Tommy Watson 12 Sioux County
QB Patrick Hansen 12 Creek Valley
RB Dana Hobbs 12 McCool Junction
RB David Reazola 12 Harvard
E Jason Sjuts 10 Humphrey Lindsay Holy Family
E Quinten Larsen 11 Heartland Lutheran
C Clayson Davis 12 Cody-Kilgore
K Oakley Hodges 11 Creek Valley
First Team Defense
DL Kaden Kirkpatrick 11 McCool Junction
DL Kohl Tyser 12 Dorchester
DB Chase Wilkinson 10 McCool Junction
DB Owen McDonald 11 McCool Junction
DB Noah Okraska 12 Harvard
DB Daniel Busenitz 12 Cody-Kilgore
P Joey Spencer 12 South Platte