Athens quarterback Joey Moore stiff arms a Nelsonville-York players (Yukia/WOUB.
(Yukai Peng/WOUB)

Gridiron Glory Announces Final Seven Player of the Year Candidates

Posted on:

< < Back to

It’s playoff time. That means some teams are in, and others just missed the cusp. With the regular season coming to a close, the fight for Gridiron Glory Player of the Year intensifies as it narrows down from ten to seven. 



Joey Moore (QB, Athens Bulldogs)

Despite losing all four non-conference games, Joey Moore has led the Athens Bulldogs through the TVC-Ohio to a share of the title for the second year in a row. In conference play, Moore completed 74 of 107 passes (72%) for 1,145 yards and 11 touchdowns. He also rushed for 481 yards against his conference foes while running into the end zone nine times. After his outstanding performance against Wellston, it was clear that Moore deserved a spot on the Player of the Year list.

  • 148/233 (64% Completion) 2,321 passing yards, 24 passing TDs, 137 carries, 657 rushing yards, 9 rushing TDs

Rylan Molihan (RB/DB, Wellston Golden Rockets)

For the first time since 2006, the Wellston Golden Rockets will make the playoffs. A major reason for this is the work of star running back and defensive back, Rylan Molihan. In an intense loss against Athens, Molihan had 25 carries for 109 yards and two touchdowns. Despite a rough end to the year where the Golden Rockets were denied a share of the TVC-Ohio title, Molihan’s performance on both sides of the ball does not go unnoticed.

  • 160 Carries, 1,160 rushing yards, 11 rushing TDs, 5 interceptions, 10 receptions, 101 receiving yards, 1 receiving TD, 1 passing TD

Frontier Athletic Conference

Jayden Spires (RB/OLB, Jackson Ironmen)

Spires continues to lead the Ironmen on an undefeated season. The Ironmen (10-0; 5-0) finished the season undefeated for the first time since 2014. The Ironmen average 39 points per game and Jayden Spires has been a huge aspect of that offensive success. Spires isn’t only one-dimensional either. He proves to be an essential part of a defense that gives up an average of only 13 points per game. In his last game of the season against Chillicothe, Spires had 12 carries for 107 yards and four touchdowns.

  • 156 Carries, 1281 rushing yards, 19 rushing TDs, 1 receiving TD

Eli Lynch (WR/DB/Punter, Washington Court House Blue Lions)

Lynch continues to add to an impressive record-breaking year. Lynch uses his height to his advantage as he “mosses” smaller defensive backs. Lynch averages a first down per reception and 68 receiving yards a game. Lynch continues to be the primary target for Ethan Rogers-Wright and proves to be very reliable. In the final game of the regular season, Lynch had 7 receptions for 106 yards and 2 touchdowns.

  • 66 receptions, 709 receiving yards, 9 receiving TDs, 32 Punts, 1110 yards

Muskingum Valley League 

Reece Perkins (WR/DB, John Glenn Little Muskies)

Perkins is seemingly Evan Williams’s go-to guy. Against Tri-Valley, Williams completed 12 passes and connected with Perkins eight times for 88 yards and one touchdown. As long as Perkins gets open, Williams is sure to find him, and with good reason. He’s got all the traits you want from a number one receiver.  

  • 48 Receptions, 647 receiving yards, 11 receiving TDs, 2 interceptions


Sawyer Koons (LB/FB, Trimble Tomcats)

Koons constantly shows how he is the best player on the best defense. The 2018 Division VII Defensive Player of the Year has not let up as the Trimble Tomcats (10-0; 7-0) prepare for the playoffs. The Tomcats have shut out all conference opponents so far and only allowed six points of the season. Koons’ stats continue to show why he is a strong Player of the Year candidate. Koons and the Tomcats have been so dominant that he no longer plays a full game.

  • 71 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries, 2 interceptions, 10 carries, 104 rushing yards, 2 rushing touchdowns, 4 receptions, 65 receiving yards, 1 receiving touchdown

Connor Wright (RB/LB, Trimble Tomcats)

Along with an impressive defense is an incredible offense. The Tomcats offense is highlighted by the work of the run game, and star running back Connor Wright. Wright leads an offense that averages 42 points a game. Against Southern, Wright rushed for 230 yards in six carries while making it into the end zone four times. During the last game of the season, Wright had 9 carries for 147 yards and three touchdowns. Similar to Koons, Wright is playing at such an elite level that he does not play a full game.

  • 131 carries, 1503 rushing yards, 29 rushing touchdowns


Trey McNickle (RB, Southern Tornados)

McNickle has been such a crucial aspect to the Tornados offense that he tops every defenses list for players to watch for. The Tornados had a very difficult end to the season losing their last four games of the season.

Ethan Rogers-Wright (QB, Washington Court House Blue Lions

Rogers-Wright has led his offense to an incredible 7-3 season. However, his completion percentage is low and he has some problems with interceptions. A lot of his success comes from his connections to his go to man, Eli Lynch, who uses his size to overtake smaller defenders. 

Blake Sands (RB, Tri-Valley Scotties)

Blake Sands has been a monster at the running back position. However, he shares the backfield with another impressive player in Jordan Pantaleo which, while an undeniable benefit for the Scotties, cut into both players’ personal numbers.

Keegan Wilburn (RB, Nelsonville-York Buckeyes)

Wilburn has done a lot for the Buckeyes on both sides of the ball. He was a crucial role in the Buckeyes goal to spoil the Athens senior night and claim a share of the TVC-Ohio trophy. However, with how competitive the field of players has been, Wilburn fell a game short.