Five Cats named to AP all-state squads

Clovis’ Brian Mead, left, shattered the Wildcats career records for rushing yards (4,250), touchdowns (59) and carries during his career. He helped Clovis reach the state playoffs three straight years. (CNJ staff photo: Andy DeLisle)

Staff and wire reports

ALBUQUERQUE — After a record-breaking season, Clovis running back Brian Mead was named to the Associated Press Class 5A all-state first team for the second straight year Thursday after rushing for 2,165 yards and leading the Wildcats to a 7-4 record and a state playoff appearance.

Mead broke school records for career rushing yards (4,250), touchdowns (59) and carries. He also fell 32 yards shy of the single-season rushing record of 2,197, set by Doug Cavanaugh in 1992.

Senior center Brandon Ayers was Clovis’ other first-teamer, leading a line that Mead credited throughout the season for his success.

“Brian deserves it,” Clovis assistant coach Darren Kelley said. “If you had an MVP or top offensive player award, he’d probably be it. And Brandon was our leader on the line for two years.”

Senior Michael Lewis was named to the second-team defensive line, and was an honorable mention selection at tight end.

Junior running back Manuel Robles and senior defensive end Luke Masters also earned honorable mention status for the Cats.

Sandia senior Derris Jackson was so good and so versatile this year that Matadors coach Kevin Barker had the luxury of playing him at quarterback, halfback, wide receiver and linebacker.

Jackson was named all-state first team at running back and linebacker, leading the Matadors to the Class 5A semifinals.

“He’s like a hybrid,” said Barker. “He’s got a cannon of an arm, has a lot of power when he runs and a heck of a stiff arm. He’s going to be the best football player I’ve ever coached”

The 5-foot-9, 205-pound Jackson — whom Clovis coach Eric Roanhaus said is so tough to bring down it’s like “tackling a coke machine” — seems destined to end up at a major college program someday. He’ll get there through the junior college route and right now there is no shortage of two-year schools pursuing him.

Teammate Michael Scarlett made the AP first team at wide receiver and defensive back.

Scarlett (6-2, 175) has verbally committed to play at New Mexico, where Barker predicts he’ll be catching passes instead of knocking them down.

Joining Jackson in the all-state first team backfield were quarterback Matt Sandoval of state champion Mayfield and backs Jeff Acosta of Rio Grande and C.J. Oakley of state runner-up Alamogordo.

Oakley scored 18 touchdowns and had over 1,100 yards rushing as part of Alamogordo’s deep backfield as the Tigers made it to the state finals for the first time since 1984.

Acosta (5-5, 145) was an explosive runner for Rio Grande, which made the playoffs and lost to Alamogordo in the quarterfinals. He rushed for more than 1,100 yards this season.

Sandoval rushed for 1,382 yards and passed for 1,489 and accounted for 22 touchdowns.

The all-state team was determined on the basis of voting by the state’s Class 5A coaches.