Rebels reap rewards, 5 named All-Conference

Ryan Peerboom - Enterprise Staff Writer
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
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Kaden Acosta

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Aidan Jenkins

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Dylan Flatt

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Hunter Sanderson

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Emmett Gilbert

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Mitch Ward

Five players from the Shields Valley Rebels football team have received postseason awards.

The talented group of players was integral to the Rebels Class C-Southern Conference Championship run and their postseason success, which saw them lose in the quarterfinal round to defending state champion Wibaux.

Senior RB/LB Emmett Gilbert was named First Team All-Conference and All-State. Gilbert was also selected to play in the Six-man Senior All-Star, which takes place in the spring.

Gilbert was the Rebels’ leading rusher on the season. He carried the ball 107 times for 1,043 yards and 17 touchdowns. As a receiver, Gilbert caught 18 passes for 197 yards and two touchdowns.

Gilbert was a force on the defensive side of the ball. He tallied 134 total tackles, intercepted three passes and fell on three fumbles.

Do-it-all junior Aidan Jenkins was selected First Team All-Conference and All-State.

Jenkins was a threat to score from anywhere on the field, even when the Rebels lined up on defense. Jenkins was most lethal catching the ball. On the year, he caught 52 passes for 771 yards and 12 touchdowns. Jenkins carried the ball 37 times for 539 yards and 14 touchdowns. Some of those rushes came on scrambles from the quarterback position, where Jenkins would occasionally line up. He completed 14 of 25 passes for 151 yards and a touchdown.

Defensively, Jenkins was second on the team with 97 tackles and intercepted opposing quarterbacks seven times, returning two of them back to the house for touchdowns. Jenkins also recovered six fumbles.

Sophomore QB/LB Dylan Flatt was also named First Team All-Conference and All-State.

Flatt went 33 of 65 passing for 520 yards and seven touchdowns to just two interceptions. Flatt also provided help at receiver, where he caught 26 passes for 174 yards and scored three touchdowns. Flatt carried the ball eight times for 67 yards.

On defense, Flatt had 73 tackles and picked off five passes. Flatt also fell on three fumbles.

Senior WR/DE Hunter Sanderson was selected Second Team All-Conference. Sanderson was also selected to participate in the Senior All-Star game.

Sanderson’s impact went beyond statistics. He often provided pass protection on offense and a pass rush on defense. Both are vital parts of the game that often fall to just one or two players in the sixman division. That being said, Sanderson caught 10 passes for 37 yards, often serving as the check down man to bail the Rebel quarterbacks out of trouble.

On defense, Sanderson recorded 69 tackles and recovered three fumbles.

Sophomore QB/DB Kaden Acosta was awarded Second Team All-Conference.

Acosta was the glue that filled in the cracks wherever he was needed for the Rebels. At quarterback, he was efficient as a passer, completing 30 of his 47 passes for 331 yards and eight touchdowns to just a single interception. Acosta caught only three passes for 52 yards, but his lone receiving touchdown came at a crucial time in the postseason.

On the other side of the ball, Acosta recorded 27 tackles, while intercepting two passes and falling on a fumble.

The players weren’t the only ones to receive postseason accolades. Head coach Mitch Ward was named the Southern Conference’s Coach of the Year as he led the Rebels to an 8-2 record and a home playoff win.