POY: Kourtlan Marsh, senior, Mortimer Jordan 

Kourtlan Marsh was given the keys to the Mortimer Jordan offense as a sophomore. He scored three touchdowns, including a 64-yard run, in his first-career start in the 2017 season opener and he never looked back.

In three years as the team’s QB1, Marsh led the Blue Devils to a record of 32-8 to go with three region championships and a pair of Class 5A semifinal appearances in 2018 and 2019. He saved his best for last, passing for 2,027 yards and 17 touchdowns coupled with another 1,295 yards passing and 31 scores last season as Mortimer Jordan put together an 11-3 semifinal playoff run. 

That output was enough to warrant first-team all-state recognition in Class 5A. Marsh was listed as an athlete on the Alabama Sports Writers Association’s (ASWA) 2019 squad. 

“Kourtlan is everything any parent would want their son to be,” said Mortimer Jordan head coach Dusty Goode. “He has the highest level of character, or ethic and integrity that I’ve ever seen. 

Goode, who has spent eight years as a head coach, seven of them with the Blue Devils, also pointed to the rare talent Marsh displayed between the lines. 

“He is one of the best football players I’ve ever seen in person, and that is way down the list of things he gave to this program,” said G He will be missed in a ton of different ways, but his presence in the building will be missed greatly, school wide.” 

 

2019 All-North Jefferson News Football Team

OFFENSE

 

QB: Kourtlan Marsh (POY), senior, Mortimer Jordan

Marsh, the 2019 North Jefferson News Player of the Year, found the end zone 49 times while leading the Blue Devils to a Class 5A semifinal playoff run. He completed 161 of his 250 attempts for 2,027 yards and 17 scores as a senior while rushing at a clip of 156-1,295-31. 

RB: L.T. Sanders, sophomore, Gardendale 

He earned a few varsity carries as a freshman in 2018, and ascended into a prominent offensive role as a sophomore last season. In 12 games for Gardendale, Sanders carried the ball 169 times for 852 yards and 15 scores. He also reeled in 280 yards receiving to go with two more touchdowns. 

RB: Eyren Boyd, senior, Fultondale 

The Fultondale Wildcats won their fourth consecutive region championship last season, and Boyd was a big reason why. The senior ran for 1,143 yards on 115 carries (9.9 yard average). Boyd also earned All-NJN honors last season as a junior. 

WR: Keyonteze Johnson, senior, Pinson Valley

Johnson was a three-year starter for the Indians and a two-time member of the Alabama Sports Writers Association (ASWA) All-State Team. The Troy signee hauled in 1,439 yards receiving and 15 touchdowns on 80 receptions as a senior for Pinson Valley.

WR: William Hardrick, junior, Fultondale 

In what was primarily a running offense, Hardrick served as a reliable deep threat for quarterback Willie Smith, who found him 27 times for 447 yards (16.5 yards per reception). Hardrick ended his junior season with a six-catch, 156-yard, two-score game against B.B. Comer in the first round of the playoffs. 

TE: Bailey Parsons, senior, Gardendale 

Parsons recently signed with Stanford as a long snapper, but before that he played the role of versatile tight end for Geardendale head coach Chad Eads quite nicely. When he wasn’t blocking on the edge, Parsons was securing 31 receptions for 270 yards and a touchdown for the Rockets last fall.

OL: Donny Hawkins, senior, Pinson Valley 

A Sanford signee, Hawkins held down the right tackle position for Pinson Valley for the last two years as the Tribe won eight playoff games, including the 2018 Class 6A state championship. 

OL: Braylun Smith, senior, Corner 

The senior center anchored Corner’s offensive line as the Yellow Jackets marched on to their fourth consecutive playoff appearance. Smith received credit for 21 knockdown blocks and graded out at 88% in 2019. 

OL: TQ Mullins, senior, Mortimer Jordan 

The Mortimer Jordan Blue Devils moved the ball at a rate of 352 yards per game last year, and Mullins was a was a major piece in that puzzle. According to stats provided by the team, Mullins came through with 34 knockdowns and allowed only one quarterback sack in 14 games. 

OL: Josh Underwood, senior, Fultondale 

Underwood represented the Wildcats at High School Football Media Days last August and now represents his team as a member of the All-NJN Team. The right tackle graded out at over 87% as a senior. 

OL: Rayvon Crum, junior, Pinson Valley 

Standing at 6-foot-5 and weighing well over 300 pounds, Crum is an ideal fit at left tackle. He was named a first-team member of the All-Class 6A, Region 6 Team, which is chosen by league coaches. 

ATH: Will “Goose” Crowder, junior, Gardendale

The scholarship offers have begun adding up for the Gardendale quarterback, and for good reason: He went for more than 2,700 all-purpose yards and 16 touchdowns in 12 games last season. Crowder, known by many as “Goose”,  will enter his third year as a starter with Power-5 offers from Arkansas, West Virginia and Kentucky. 

 

DEFENSE

 

DL: Dorian Henderson, senior, Pinson Valley 

In his second year as a starter for Pinson Valley, Henderson came off the edge for 8.5 tackles for loss and 6.5 sacks. The senior helped his unit average 13 points per game allowed on its way to the Class 6A semifinals. 

DL: Jeb Jones, junior, Mortimer Jordan 

According to Mortimer Jordan coaches, Jones, a junior, was the team’s top defensive lineman. He recorded 39 solo tackles and 14 tackles for loss for the Blue Devils last season. 

DL: Cole Fuller, junior, Corner 

Fuller, a defensive end for the Jackets, secured 80 total tackles as a junior, including 13 for loss and eight sacks. As a team, Corner held six opponents to 14 points or less in its second year under head coach Jon Clements. 

LB: Antoine Williams, senior, Pinson Valley 

The ASWA voted him a first-team all-state linebacker in 2019 for his 54 solo tackles and 13.5 tackles for loss. He also showed up as a pass rusher with four quarterback sacks for a dominant Pinson Valley defense. 

LB: Josh Myrick, junior, Corner 

The junior recorded 186 tackles and thee interceptions for the 7-4 Corner Yellow Jackets last year. Myrick’s nose for the football earned him a slot on the ASWA’s first-team Class 5A all-state roster. 

LB: Kenny McShan, junior, Gardendale 

Mcshane led the Rockets with 104 solo tackles to go with another 44 assists. The 6-foot-1 junior got in the backfield for 6.5 tackles for loss, including three sacks as Gardendale advanced into the second round of the playoffs. 

LB: Garret Helm, senior, Mortimer Jordan 

He earned a starting position on the Mortimer Jordan defense as a sophomore in 2017 and held his starting post at linebacker for the next three years. As a senior last season, Helm tracked down 81 solo tackles, matching Zack “Boo” Prisoc for the team lead. He also recorded 27 stops behind the line of scrimmage and broke up seven passes. 

DB: Kendale Allen, senior, Gardendale 

Allen was the proverbial do-it-all athlete for Gardendale. His first-team all-state recognition came as a defensive back, but he also stood out as a return man (two touchdown returns) and a receiver (652 yards and two scores on 36 grabs). As a leader in the Rockets’ secondary, Allen totaled 53 tackles and an interception.

DB: Ga’Quincy “Kool-Aid” McKinstry, junior, Pinson Valley 

This Pinson Valley prospect might be the most decorated multi-sport athlete in the Class of 2021. Known as “Kool-Aid” by players and coaches, McKinstry holds major college scholarship offers as both a defensive back and a basketball guard. Last fall, he scored 12 touchdowns and pulled down an interception for the indians. 

DB: Cameron Blaylock, junior, Corner 

Blaylock led the NJN coverage area with seven interceptions, which landed him on the Class 5A first-team all-state roster. The junior also showcased his willingness to defend the run with 115 tackles on the year.

DB: Logan Duffner, sophomore, Mortimer Jordan

Despite being an underclassman, Duffner is described as the quarterback of the Blue Devils’ defense. The 5’10” safety broke up 22 passes and intercepted four more for a defense that allowed 19 points per game. He also went for 56 solo tackles and nine quarterback hurries. 

 

K/P: Lane Gilchrist, senior, Corner 

His booming left leg added wins to Corner’s final tally last year. The senior transfer out of Homewood went 14 for 18 on field goal attempts and averaged 46.4 yards per punt for the Yellow Jackets. His 45-yard make helped Corner beat region rival Hayden in Week 7. 

 

COACH: Dusty Goode, Mortimer Jordan

Goode just completed his seventh season with the Blue Devils, and it ended in very familiar territory—deep in the playoffs. He led his 2019 team to the school’s fourth straight region title and sixth overall. Goode is 69-22 in seven years at MJHS; 14 of those victories have come in playoff play.   

 

Honorable Mention

QB: Willie Smith, senior, Fultondale.

RB: Keondrick Hankins, senior, Mortimer Jordan; Kenji Christian, junior, Pinson Valley.

WR: Stephen Lewis, senior, Gardendale.

OL: Noah Hamilton, sophomore, Fultondale.

DL: Julian Peterson, junior, Pinson Valley; Jeremy Sims, sophomore, Fultondale; Amil Williams, senior, Gardendale.

LB: Zack “Boo” Prisoc, senior, Mortimer Jordan; Dorian Henderson, senior, Pinson Valley; Ryan Madison, sophomore, Fultondale; Kaniji Chandler, junior, Gardendale; Brady Benefield, junior, Mortimer Jordan.

DB: Eli Moore, sophomore, Gardendale; Brandon Sims, junior, Fultondale; Jamari Daily, senior, Pinson Valley. 

K: Jonathon Victoriano, senior, Fultondale; Landon Erbrick, senior, Gardendale.

Erik Harris is the sports editor for The North Jefferson News. He can be reached at sports@njeffersonnews.com

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