Greene County's Nate Black (28) earned first team, all-state honors as a punter this past fall, leading the state 39.8 yards per punt average. He was joined by kick-returner Richard Daugherty (11) on the first team.  BRANDON HURLEY | JEFFERSON HERALDGreene County senior linebacker Bradyn Smith (51) was named to the IPSWA's second team, all-state after leading the Rams with 54.5 total tackles and 12.5 tackles for loss.  BRANDON HURLEY | JEFFERSON HERALD

FOOTBALL: Greene County’s special teams duo snags first team, all-state honors

Four others placed on second, third teams

By Brandon Hurley
Managing Editor


Special teams played an instrumental role in Greene County’s gridiron success this past fall.

The state of Iowa took notice.

Ram punter Nate Black along with kick-returner Richard Daugherty were honored with first team, all-state selections Tuesday courtesy of the Iowa Print Sports Writer’s Association.

A throng of four other Greene County athletes joined the aforementioned pair, with seniors Bradyn Smith (linebacker), Jackson Morton (defensive back) and sophomore defensive lineman Michael Rumley earning selections to the second team while senior quarterback Bryce Stalder was placed on the third team as an offensive utility player.

The all-state distinctions mark the fourth straight year in which at least one Ram secured the annual, prestigious postseason honor.

Greene County produced an overall record of 8-2, capturing the first district title in GCHS history, running off a 5-0 run in Class 2A, District 8. The Rams secured a playoff win for the third straight year before losing to OA-BCIG, 34-14 in the second round.
Black led the state among punters with at least 10 punts, securing an average of 39.8 yards per punt. His season-best boot game in the playoff win against Roland-Story Oct. 22, a kick which sailed 52 yards. Black also rushed for 575 yards and seven touchdowns for a per carry average of 6.8 yards.

Daugherty returned one kick 88 yards for a touchdown against Clarinda on Sept. 24 in a 41-0 win.  
The junior tallied a state-best 48.5 yards per kick-return among players with at least five returns. He also averaged 18.6 yards per return on five punt returns. Daugherty hauled in the second-most receptions among Greene County athletes this fall, catching 21 balls for 367 yards and five touchdowns, also second on the team.

Defensively, Rumley led the state with 19.5 tackles for loss while his three fumble recoveries tied for fourth most. The sophomore also tallied 4.5 sacks, tying him for 15th-most in the state.
Smith also recorded 4.5 sacks in addition to 12.5 tackles for loss (T-22nd), two fumble recoveries and a team-leading 54.5 total tackles to go with two fumble recoveries and an interception.

Jackson Morton hauled in a pair of interceptions, one of which he returned for 21 yards for a touchdown in a 49-0 win over Clarke on Oct. 1. The senior also tallied 38 tackles (third-most on the team) to go with 7.5 tackles for loss, two sacks and a fumble recovery.
Stalder, Greene County’s senior quarterback, was one of the most proficient offensive players in the entire state. He produced 2,183 yards (11th-most in 2A) and 30 total touchdowns (sixth in the state) anchored by 1,464 passing yards (14th) and 19 passing touchdowns (sixth). He also rushed for 719 yards and 11 touchdowns (T-18th) with a yards per carry average of 7.8 (12th). Stalder completed 61.7 percent of his passes while throwing just seven interceptions for a  passer rating of 148.9 (fifth-best in 2A).  

Greene County was first in the state in scoring as a team (42.6 ppg), scoring defense (8.9 ppg) and scoring differential (+33.7) while they were second in total touchdowns (62), sixth in total yards (4,001), seventh in rushing yards (2,507), sixth in rushing touchdowns (38), third in rushing yards per carry (7.3), tied for fifth in passing touchdowns (20), fourth in total sacks (21), second in tackles for loss (85), first in interceptions (20), third in successful PATs (42) and second in yards per kick return (22.5).
Southeast Valley captured the school’s first state title last weekend, defeating West Lyon, 30-13 at the UNI Dome in Cedar Falls.


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