Monday, October 10, 2011
Eunice's Almager leading News-Sun Offensive P.O.Y. race
Well known in baseball circles, Eunice quarterback Tyler Almager has exploded onto the football scene in 2011 with an impressive first six games of the season and has emerged as a front runner for the 2011 News-Sun Lea County Offensive Player of the Year award in football.
Almager, the 2011 News-Sun Lea County Baseball Player of the Year, is 85-for-147 for 1,914 yards, 23 touchdowns and four interceptions while leading the top-ranked Class 2A Cardinals to a 6-0 start. Almager is also the team's leading rusher with 901 yards and 14 touchdowns on 89 carries (10.1 yards per carry).
Add a kickoff return for a touchdown and Almager has accounted for 38 touchdowns this season – an average of 6.3 per game.
Almager is averaging an eye-popping 469.2 yards of offense per game (319.0 passing, 150.2 rushing) thanks to a solid offensive line and an athletic group of skill position players around him.
For those who haven't seen Almager play, watch the video above. Almager reminds me some of the winner of the offensive player of the year award the last three seasons – Lovington's Jacob Jameson. While Almager's competition isn't quite what Jameson faced (Goddard, Artesia, Hobbs, Andrews, etc.), there are a lot of similarities between the two – mainly their ability to use both their legs and their arm.
Jameson finished last season with 3,624 yards and 60 touchdowns passing while rushing for 1,267 yards and 17 more scores. Almager is on pace for similar of numbers.
While Almager leads the pack in Lea County through the seventh week of the season, there are others who can still make a statement in their final three games of the season and the playoffs to make a push for the award.
Almager's teammate Junior Caraza, who is definitely a candidate for county defensive player of the year, is putting together a strong year. The senior has caught 23 passes for 486 yards and six touchdowns while rushing for 336 yards and three touchdowns on just 21 carries (16.0 yards per carry).
Down in Jal, running back Malik Anderson and quarterback Saxxon Artalejo are pacing the Panthers and both could improve their chances with stellar play in district and the state playoffs.
While Tatum is off to such a fantastic start, it has shared the wealth as numerous players are contributing to the Coyotes' success. For top-ranked Class 3A Lovington, it really hasn't got going offensively as the Wildcats have played three different quarterbacks and numerous running backs while starting the season 4-3.
As for Hobbs, Aderiole Moore would likely be in the mix for the award if not for missing a few weeks earlier this season. In five games, the senior has rushed for 755 yards and nine touchdowns on 110 carries (6.9 yards per carry).