JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Myles Montgomery spent his season challenging defenses to try and stop him. Trevez Johnson spent his season helping restore one of the area’s most battered defensive units and turning it into one of the best on the First Coast.
In 2019, there were no players who did it better.
Montgomery, Fletcher’s electric junior running back and All-News4Jax offensive player of the year, posted the fourth-highest regular season rushing total of the decade. Teams knew he was coming for them and still had trouble slowing him down.
Johnson, a hard-hitting senior safety at Bartram Trail and the All-News4Jax defensive player of the year, helped give the Bears’ defense a ferocious bite that had been lacking for years.
Montgomery rushed for an area-best 2,124 yards and 20 touchdowns for the Senators, a total that put his name in the conversation as one of the best backs in recent history. Only two area players have done better in the regular season than Montgomery did this decade — Yulee’s Derrick Henry and Providence’s Jamauri Wakefield.
“During the season, teammates come up to me, saying, ‘getting closer, getting closer, getting closer,’” Montgomery said of the 2,000-yard mark. “It’s always been, if you don’t care about [a record], it will come.”
A look at the last 10 seasons and the players who led the area in rushing in the regular season. Totals do not include playoff games.
|2019||Myles Montgomery, Fletcher||220||2,124||20|
|2018||Keshawn King, Oakleaf||207||1,758||26|
|2017||Aundre Carter, Clay||166||1,613||16|
|2016||Logan Wright, Sandalwood||256||2,061||25|
|2015||Bilal Ally, Clay||207||1,807||25|
|2014||Jamauri Wakefield, Providence||330||2,519||37|
|2013||Tavaris Williams, Fort White||170||1,737||20|
|2012||Derrick Henry, Yulee||319||3,270||44|
|2011||Derrick Henry, Yulee||244||2,059||29|
|2010||Derrick Henry, Yulee||286||2,671||37|
For a player who entered this season with not many varsity reps, it was a significant success. Montgomery’s output was the best by a Fletcher back since Ciatrick Fason in 2001.
“It was very challenging from the learning standpoint, I had a lot to learn,” he said. “I had lot to pick up on quickly. I got playing time [in 2018] but it wasn’t as much. Almost like had to learn on the fly, kind of just go with what I know and trust my gut.”
Johnson’s growth for the Bears was huge.
He had 51 tackles, four interceptions and a fumble recovery.
“We kind of just went with game plan they had every week, nothing more, nothing less,” Johnson said. “Just paid attention, did our role and it turned out to be a good year for the defense.”
For those around area football, Bartram’s offense has typically been among the area’s best at producing points and yardage. On the other hand, the Bears could seldom stop anyone and often had one of the area’s worst statistical defenses.
Last season, Bartram allowed teams to score 29.9 points a game and surrendered more than 400 yards an outing. The Bears managed just 13 takeaways in 2018. This year, the Bears sliced those across the board, with Johnson, a Florida signee, anchoring the defense.
Bartram held teams to 22.4 points per game and forced 30 turnovers. It ended the regular season limiting teams to 297.6 yards per game and went 11-1, losing to Apopka in the second round of the Class 8A state playoffs.
“It started this summer,” Johnson said. “Started working hard this summer during summer workouts and that translated over to the regular season.”
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Position, Player, School, Class
QB Jordan Smith, Columbia, Sr.
Passed for 2,665 yards, 27 TDs and 8 INTs (159 of 287 passing). Also rushed for 316 yards, 5 TDs. USF commit.
RB Kyjuan Herndon, Trinity Christian, Sr.
Rushed for 1,836 yards and 15 TDs on 234 carries against a brutal schedule. Eight of his 11 games went for 100 yards or more. Colorado State signee.
RB Myles Montgomery, Fletcher, Jr.
Area’s top offensive player finished with 2,124 yards, 20 TDs for 6-4 Senators. Fourth-highest regular season rushing total of the past decade.
WR Marquez Bell, Columbia, Sr,
Had 58 catches for 1,126 yards, 12 TDs for 8-4 Tigers. Had 2,968 career receiving yards, 33 TDs.
WR Patrick Bryant II, Atlantic Coast, Jr.
Banged up down the stretch but should open next year as arguably the top wideout in the area. Had 45 catches for 684 yards, 11 TDs.
WR Marcus Burke, Trinity Christian, Jr.
Breakout season included 831 yards receiving on 37 catches, 9 TDs against brutal schedule.
OL Bradley Ashmore, Fletcher, Sr.
Vanderbilt signee was anchor of the line and helped clear the way for 2,000-yard back Myles Montgomery.
OL Josh Braun, Suwannee, Sr.
Mountain of an offensive tackle (6-6, 350) is a four-year player for the Bulldogs. Florida signee.
OL Bennett Corey, Fleming Island, Sr.
Had 21 pancakes in the Golden Eagles’ 9-0 regular season and helped anchor a line that produced 4,298 yards this year.
OL Ryan Piersza, Bartram Trail, Jr.
The 6-2, 280-pounder was one of the biggest pieces up front for the Bears this season.
OL Jalen Rivers, Oakleaf, Sr.
Four-year player for the Knights is a prototypical tackle at the next level. Miami signee. Under Armour All-American.
TE Nick Elksnis, Episcopal, Jr.
Had 36 catches for 665 yards, 7 TDs in 10-2 Eagles’ best season in program history. Also a force on defense, with 38 tackles, 5.5 sacks.
ATH A.J. Jones III, Bartram Trail, Jr.
Had 201 carries for 1,245 yards, 23 TDs. Also 256 receiving yards, 3 TDs for area’s only 10-0 team in the regular season.
ATH Glen Miller, Ridgeview, Sr.
Exceptional two-way player for the Panthers. Had 856 yards, 8 TDs receiving. Menace in the secondary, too (113 tackles, 6 INT). Picked up a couple votes as top player. Maryland signee.
ATH Walter Simmons III, Oakleaf, Jr.
Had 1,900 yards passing, 19 TDs, completing 128 of 218 attempts. Rushed for 618 yards, 13 TDs.
K Will Greig, Bartram Trail, Sr.
Hit 10 of 13 field goals with a long of 38 yards. Also 45 of 49 on PATs.
FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Position, Player, School, Class
DL Kendy Charles, Orange Park, Sr.
Liberty commit had 90 tackles, 14 TFL, 11 sacks, 2 FR. Also had a pair of rushing TDs.
DL Jeremiah Jackson, Fleming Island, Sr.
On a very good defensive line, he had 80 total tackles, 20 TFL, 10.5 sacks, 2 FR, FF for a 10-1 Golden Eagles team.
DL Chris Sharpe Jr., Ribault, Sr.
Had 46 total tackles, 5 sacks at tackle for an always tough Trojans defense.
DL Chantz Williams, Oakleaf, Sr.
Season ended early due to a broken arm, but he was a force against constant double teams. Miami signee had 31 tackles, 9.5 sacks, 5 TFL, INT. Under Armour All-American.
LB Le'vontae Camiel, Columbia, Sr.
Had 83 tackles, 13 TFL, 6 sacks, 2 FF for regional semifinalist Tigers
LB Malakai Grant, Flagler Palm Coast, Jr.
Had 137 total tackles, 28 TFL, 7 sacks, 4 FF and an INT for 8-3 Bulldogs.
LB Branden Jennings, Sandalwood, Jr.
Sideline to sideline player. Had 125 tackles, 8 sacks in 8 games for Saints.
LB K’Darious Poole, Mandarin, Sr.
Team-best 145 tackles, 7 sacks, INT, FR for the safety/linebacker.
DB Fred Davis II, Trinity Christian, Sr.
Clemson signee had 26 tackles, INT, FF. Spent time at QB, too (240 rushing yards, TD; 218 passing yards, 3 TDs).
DB Treyvon Hobbs, Raines, Sr.
Playmaker. Had 60 tackles, 7 INT, including 3 that he took back for TDs.
DB Trevez Johnson, Bartram Trail, Sr. Area’s top defensive player. Game-changer on the area’s most-improved defense. Big hitter in the secondary and a Florida signee. Had 51 tackles, 4 INT, FF.
DB Isaiah Jones, Lee, Jr.
Had 38 tackles and tied for team lead with 9 passes defensed, 5 INTs.
ATH Caden Fordham, Bolles, Jr.
Second on team with 93 tackles, 6 sacks. Led team with 4 INTs. Also FF, FR. TD vulture on offense (22 carries, 90 yards, 9 TDs).
ATH Jaden McDowell, St. Augustine, Sr.
Had 103 tackles, 2 FF, INT and a defensive TD. Was a monster on offense, too, with 43 catches for 609 yards, 8 TDs. Also took a punt back for a TD.
ATH Angelo Philpot, Westside, Sr.
Breakout season for hybrid safety/linebacker. Had 181 tackles, 17 sacks, 10 TFL, 6 FF, 3 FR. Also had 4 receiving TDs.
P Garret Godfrey, Fleming Island, Sr.
Averaged 46.4 yards per punt with a long of 60 on 25 attempts. Also went 8 of 12 on field goals with a long of 39 yards. Had game-winning kicks in games against Lake Minneola and First Coast.
SECOND TEAM OFFENSE
QB Carson Beck, Mandarin, Sr.
Was 136 of 278 passing for 1,843 yards, 20 TDs, 9 INT. Also 6 rushing TDs. Georgia signee and Mr. Football in 2018.
QB Chad Dodson, Bartram Trail, Sr.
Returned from torn ACL to pass for 2,390 yards, 20 TDs and complete 67% of his passes.
RB Scooby Graham, Baker County, Jr.
More than 1,500 all-purpose yards and 15 TDs for the Wildcats.
RB Max McClendon, University Christian, Sr.
Rushed for 1,436 yards, 20 TDs on 176 carries in 11 games before injuries slowed him down in the playoffs.
WR Terrance Anthony, Oakleaf, Jr.
Had 51 catches for 1,014 yards, 10 TDs for Knights.
WR Tyree Saunders, First Coast, Sr.
Bright spot in down season for Bucs. Had 781 yards receiving, 7 TDs on 38 catches. Virginia Tech signee.
WR Andrew Tabor, Bishop Kenny, So.
Bright spot for Crusaders, he led the area in regular season receiving (62 catches, 1,059 yards, 7 TDs).
OL Austin Barber, Trinity Christian, Jr.
Helped clear the way for first-team RB Kyjuan Herndon.
OL Anthony Harrell, Menendez, Sr.
Helped lead the way for a Falcons team that rushed for nearly 3,200 yards.
OL Trey McCullough, West Nassau, Jr.
Veteran on the Warriors line had 39 pancake blocks.
OL Cam Neal, Bolles, Jr.
On a very young line, he was a standout for Class 4A state runner-up.
OL Cole LeClair, Middleburg, Sr.
Veteran anchor on the Broncos line. Also played along defensive front.
TE Shane Calhoun, Creekside, Sr.
East Carolina signee had 34 catches, 433 yards, 3 TDs. Stellar blocker, too.
ATH King Benford, Menendez, So.
Rush-first QB had 1,352 yards, 15 TDs on the ground for 7-3 district champs.
ATH Ke’shawn Hughes, Palatka, Sr.
Excellent season for versatile athlete. Had 710 yards, 10 TDs on 36 catches. Rushed for 195 yards, 3 TDs. Added 650 yards, 3 TDs on kick and punt returns.
K James Hawkes, Fletcher, Jr.
Hit 9 of 11 field goals with a long of 37. Also a 37.9-yard per punt average.
SECOND TEAM DEFENSE
DL Reginald Harden, Raines, Sr.
Force on a younger Vikings defense all season. Had 50 tackles, 7 sacks.
DE Ahmon Jefferson, Bradford, Sr.
Had 108 tackles, 35 TFL, 15.5 sacks on a relentless Tornadoes pass rush.
DL Ralph Mency, Lee, Sr.
High motor player off the edge had 51 tackles, team-high 6 sacks, 2 FF, FR. Middle Tennessee State signee.
DL Tyson McClendon, Baldwin, Jr.
Had 16 sacks, blocked a FG and had 34 tackles for the Indians.
DL Hayden Schwartz, Bolles, So.
Had 42 tackles, 8 sacks, 5 TFL for state runner-up Bulldogs.
LB Travis Moss, Mandarin, Sr.
Had 133 tackles, 9 TFL, 4 sacks, INT for 7-4 Mustangs.
DB Miles Brooks, Trinity Christian, Sr.
Georgia Tech signee had 43 tackles, FR for Conquerors.
DB Darrell Bryant, Parker, Jr.
Solid in the secondary for rejuvenated Braves, who won first district title since 2000. Had 5 INTs.
DB Keonta Jenkins, Ribault, St.
Virginia Tech signee had 36 tackles, 2 INT, 2 FR, 6 passes defensed.
DB Craig Sinclair, Bartram Trail, Sr.
Had 67 tackles, team-best 6 INT, FR for 11-1 Bears. Also blocked a FG.
DB Larry Smith, Lee, Jr.
Second on team with 52 tackles and tied for first with 5 INTs.
DB Tommy Zitiello, Ponte Vedra, Sr.
Safety had 45 tackles, INT in 8 games for 7-3 Sharks.
ATH Orel Gray, University Christian, Fr.
Had 7 picks and 36 tackles; also 380 yards of offense and a pair of TDs.
ATH Dequan Stanley, St. Augustine, Jr.
Had 638 yards receiving, 5 TDs; took 4 kicks back for TDs. Also 2 INTs, defensive TD, 11 PBU on defense.
ATH Zorian Stanton, West Nassau, Sr.
Do-it-all player for the Warriors led team in receiving (53 catches, 718 yards, 7 TDs) and picks (4 INT). Also 3 FR
P Jai Robinson, Lee, Jr.
Had 33 punts for a 46.9 yard average. Also a stellar player on the defensive line (41 tackles, 15 TFL, 4 sacks).
Atlantic Coast: QB Ridge Jacobs, Jr.; CB Jordyn Williams, Jr.
Baker County: QB Alex Bowen, Sr.; S Ronnie Ellis, So.; LB Toby Kinghorn, So.; LB Camilo Rollins, So.
Baldwin: WR Xavier McGriff, Sr.; WR Christian Sanderson, Sr.; QB Bryce Tompkins, Jr. DL Dale-Darius Walker, So.
Bartram Trail: DL Phillip Burnett, Sr.; LB Clarke Hamilton, Jr.; OL Jacob Otts, Sr.; WR Zach Rhodes, Sr.; ATH Eric Weatherly, So.
Bishop Kenny: TE John Godwin, Sr.; K Sean Meisler, Jr.; OL Michael Myslinksi, Jr.; DL Neil Politano, Sr.
Bolles: OL David Adewale, Jr.; TE Simon Brackin, Sr.; TE Justin Cayenne, Jr; WR Davis Ellis, Jr.; RB Kade Frew, So.; LB Mack Marrone, Sr.; DB Will Netting, Sr.
Bradford: ATH Nathaniel Davis, Sr.; LB/S Malik Hankerson, Sr.; RB Erric Smith, Jr.
Christ’s Church: QB Ben Anderson, Sr.; OL Matt Jarsozeski, Sr.; RB Cadence Lampp, Sr.; LB Zac O’Connor, Jr.
Clay: RB Al’querious Ray, So.
Columbia: WR Lanadrick Bradley, Sr.; CB Shyheim Brown, Jr.; RB Kylen Callum, Sr.; OL Marvin Farmer, Sr.; OL Darius Kimble, Sr.; DL Daylon Lumpkin, Sr.; LB Marlon Pollock, Sr.;
Creekside: QB Will Aaronson, Jr.; WR Jack Goodrich, Jr.; LB Tucker Owens, Jr.; DL DJ Makauskas, Sr.; QB Quinn Seiger, Sr.
Englewood: ATH Jahquez Shaw, Sr.
Episcopal: K Charlie Hansen, Jr.; DE/TE Langston Hardy, Jr.; RB Ershod Jasey, So.; QB Tucker Tomberlin, Jr.
Fernandina Beach: ATH Chase Boyd, Sr.; S Ernest Cortez, Jr.; LB Jeremiah Giedrys, Sr.; OL Sam Loper, Jr. QB Cam Miller, So.; LB/DE Josiah Rauls, So.; OL Hampton Tanner, Jr.; LB AJ West, Jr.
First Coast: DB Mike Smith, Sr.
Flagler Palm Coast: DL Guy Burkley, Sr.; LB Tobin Hackett, Sr.; WR Jonathan Richard, Sr.
Fleming Island: ATH T.K. Kocak, Jr.; DB Isiah Blair, Sr.; WR Broden Domenico, Sr.; QB Dean Hyams, Sr.; DL Zach Little, Sr.; LB Zachary Payne, Sr.; RB Timothy Thomas, Jr.
Fletcher: OL Mike Bartilucci, Jr.; DL Josh Davis, Jr.; RB/LB Aaron Hester, So.; OL Chandler Kirton, Jr.
Fort White: LB Aaron Byrnes, Sr.; LB Derrick Roberson, Sr.
Hilliard: ATH DJ Coston, So.; RB Tywuan Lee, Jr.; LB Seth O’Neal, Sr.
Keystone Heights: LB/TE Andrew Cox, Sr., RB/FS Dalton Hollingsworth, So.; WR Kade Sanders, Keystone Heights, So.; DB Colton Tibbetts, Jr.; FB/DT/K Colby Townsend, Jr.; OL Cody Wells, Sr.
Lee: RB Cobie Bates, Jr.; LB Maurice Heath, Jr.; WR Terry McKinney, Sr.; CB Jaheim Singletary, So.; QB Cale Zarah, So.
Mandarin: QB Carson Beck, Sr.; DL Matthew Craig, Jr.; DL Karlos Jackson, Jr.; S Jerome Jolly, Sr.; K Hudson Levine, Sr.; RB Martranius Mack, Jr.; WR Tristen Riley, Jr.; WR Jaylen Smith, Jr.; OL Nick Wilbur, Jr.
Menendez: RB Duane Graham, Jr.
Middleburg: P/K Joe Justino, Sr.
Nease: WR Joe Bradshaw, Sr.; QB Joe Nieves
Oakleaf: OL Seger McKisick, Sr.; LB Korei Sheppard, Sr.; S Donovan Thomas, Sr.; WR Sean Washington, Sr.
Orange Park: WR Sean Dixon, Sr.; S Spencer Kirkham, Sr.
Palatka: CB William King, Sr.
Parker: TE/DE Jerahmi Gordon, Sr.; ATH Artis Maddox, Sr.; ATH Tabari Rollins, Sr.; RB/S Jajuan Turner, Sr.; ATH Tyrone Williams, Sr.; QB/P William Wyche, Sr.
Ponte Vedra: LB Shane Bloss, Sr.; DL Will Frank, Sr.; QB R.J. Glod, Sr.; OL Andrew Lewis, Sr.; RB Campbell Parker, Jr.
Ribault: CB/WR Anthony Green, Sr.; CB/S Tyss Harris, Sr.; TE/DE Chris Johnson, Jr.; RB Josh Jones, Jr.; DE/LB Eugene Vickers, Sr.; ATH Cedric Woodson, Sr.
Ridgeview: QB/P Max Monroe, Jr.
St. Augustine: OL Chris Camper, Sr.; QB Sam Edwards, Jr.; OL Zavion Ferguson, So.; LB Darrell Myers, Jr.
St. Joseph: S Patrick Lane, Sr.; LB Dillon Ott, Jr.; UT Sam Ryan, Sr.; UT Ethan Senderling, Sr.
Sandalwood: OL Maurice Daniels, Jr.; CB/S Christian Ellis, Fr.; WR Jhaylin Embry, Sr.; DL J’Quan Hicks, Jr.; RB Jeremiah Huntley, So.; QB Jeff Sims, Sr.
Stanton: OL Carson Blank, Sr.
Suwannee: RB Jaquez Moore, Jr.; QB Tyree Taylor, Sr.
Trinity Christian: S Corey Coley, Jr.; LB CJ Ross, Jr.; DL William Tippens, Sr.
Union County: LB Paden Clyatt, Jr.; MLB Trevor Holtzendorf, So.; DT/OL Solomon Jones, Jr.; SS/WR Allan McClellon, Sr.; RB Hosea Robinson, Sr.; WR/FS Cortez Slocum, Jr.; QB Lance Thornton, Sr.; LB/FB Curran Webb, So.
University Christian: LB/RB Joe Carter, Jr.; LB Jackie Dinh, Sr.; QB Desirrio Riles, Fr.; LB/RB Arthur Walker, So.
Westside: OL Ray Bolden, Sr.; LB Jeremiah Dawson, Sr.; WR Jared Ealey, Jr.; RB Amari Mahan, Sr.; DE Chadwick Martin, Jr.; QB D.J. Otis, Jr.; DB Nalej Williams, Sr.
West Nassau: TE Eli Canode, Sr.; QB Chaz Hirschman, Sr.; RB Ethan Johns, Sr.; WR/CB Centari Mitchell, Sr.; QB Blayze Padgett, Sr.; LB Bryson Williams, Sr.
White: RB/LB Ray McArthur, Sr.; OL Xavier Hall, Sr.; RB Jaison Patterson, Jr.; RB Kentrelle Williams, Sr.
Wolfson: RB Clyde Holland, Sr.; DL Christian MacCauley, So.
Yulee: LB Kalik Albertie, Sr.
Note: The All-News4Jax team was compiled by sports editor Justin Barney. Area coaches were solicited for nominations and their input went in to helping determine the team.