Waterford QB named 1st team All-Ohio

Photo by Tom Perry Waterford’s Isaac Huffman (11) looks to pass during a high school football playoff game this season.

As a four-year starter under center for Waterford, Isaac Huffman saw the Wildcats go from a two-win team as a freshman to one of the top teams in Division VII as a senior.

Huffman was an integral part of the team’s improvement — he enjoyed a breakout season as a junior before establishing himself as one of the top signal-callers in the state as a senior. After throwing for 959 yards and 16 touchdowns in 10 regular season games, Huffman was named first team All-Ohio by The Associated Press Thursday.

“It’s very well deserved,” said Waterford head coach Eric McCutcheon. “He’s just a great kid. He’s very coachable and works extremely hard.”

Huffman led Waterford to its first two playoff games in program history before missing the team’s regional final loss to Harvest Prep with an injury.

“He’s a smart kid,” said Waterford head coach Eric McCutcheon. “He’s very intelligent. We threw a lot at him this year. He read defenses well and made the right decisions. He’s definitely one of the best quarterbacks in our area.”

Also representing Waterford, which finished 11-2, on the all-state list were second teamers Cylus Reynolds and Ty McGraw. Reynolds, a 5-foot-10, 180-pound senior, anchored Waterford’s offensive line that not only gave Huffman time to throw but also created running lanes for backs Tyler McCutcheon and Braden Bellville (both special mention All-Ohio).

“(Reynolds) moved to the offensive line this year,” McCutcheon said.

“He did it without any hesitation. He was one of our hardest workers and picked up everything quickly.

“He’s a quick lineman and we liked to trap a lot. He pulled extremely well.”

McGraw, a 6-1, 175-pound senior, made All-Ohio as a linebacker. During the regular season, McGraw had 89 tackles, seven for a loss, three fumble recoveries and two passes defended. McGraw led a defense that allowed more than 28 points just twice in 13 games.

“Isaac was our leader on offense and (McGraw) was our leader on defense,” McCutcheon said. “I’ve never seen a kid study film like him. He wasn’t our most athletic player, but he made up for it by knowing what the other team was going to do.”

McCutcheon and Bellville combined for more than 1,800 rushing yards and 36 total touchdowns in the regular season. McCutcheon was part of Waterford’s talented senior class while Bellville is just a sophomore.

“Our running back combo, I thought they were one of the best in the area,” coach McCutcheon said. “A good one-two punch.”

Caldwell’s Dalton Ivey also represented the area as a first team All-Ohioan. Ivey led all local players with 1,944 regular season rushing yards and also finished with 141 points scored. Ivey found himself in good company on the all-state list as fellow first teamer Daniel Bangura, of Harvest Prep, led the nation in rushing yards with more than 4,000.

“(Ivey) deserves it,” said Caldwell head coach Grant Gaydos. “He was a huge part of everything we did on both sides of the ball. I hoped he was going to get (first team All-State).”

Gaydos said Ivey’s production this season was extra impressive because of how much opposing defenses game-planned against him.

“Everybody knew he was going to get the ball and nobody could stop him,” Gaydos said. “He had a desire to be great. He walked the walk.”

Caldwell also was represented by linebacker Sheldon Archer (second team) and lineman Simon Shuster (special mention). Archer moved all over the field on offense and defense for Caldwell. Offensively, he moved to fullback at one point to help make holes for Ivey.

“(Archer) was the anchor of our defense,” Gaydos said. “He had been there a few years so he brought some experience back for us. He put in a lot of time in the offseason.”

Of Caldwell’s three honorees, Gaydos said “They’ve been through some of the best times Caldwell football has seen. They did their part to finish strong this year.”

Other special mention honorees from around the area included Belpre’s Logan Racy and Aric Ross, Frontier’s Wyatt Smitley and Shenandoah’s Chase Chicwak, Dalton Rice, Austin McPeek and Kendal Sherman.