An exemplary football season by Mustang High School’s first-year coaching staff has earned Lee Blanken-ship selection as The Oklahoman’s District 6A-1 Coach of the Year.
Blankenship guided the Broncos to a 7-4 record and their first postseason appearance since 2016.
“It’s an honor to be selected coach of the year,” Blankenship said. “There are so many deserving coaches in our district.
“I wish the award was named coaching staff of the year instead. I am very thankful for these men in our office and their hard work. Without their hard work and dedication, our team would not be what it was this year.”
Mustang’s season ended in a 55-28 setback to eventual 6A runner-up Jenks on Nov. 15.
Among 10 Bronco seniors receiving all-district honors were Connor Leeper and Khary Brown.
Leeper, a 6-foot-3, 310-pound returning starter at left guard, was selected district offensive lineman of the year.
He helped the line clear the way as Mustang averaged 33.2 points and 389.3 total yards per game, with 237 yards rushing per outing.
“Connor Leeper proved each and every week that he was one of the best offensive linemen in our district,” Blankenship said. “I am not surprised at all at the result.”
Brown was named district special teams player of the year.
The 5-10, 175-pound tailback/receiver was a slippery kickoff returner and explosive just about every time he touched the football.
“Khary Brown is an outstanding athlete,” Blankenship said. “I think that coaches in our district were absolutely terrified to see him standing back there to kick the ball off to.”
The elusive, quick Brown also rushed 94 times for 856 yards and 15 touchdowns and caught 22 passes for 299 yards and two TDs — an average of nearly 10 yards per touch with a team-high 17 TDs.
Brown had MHS’ longest play from scrimmage, a 99-yard touchdown run in the season opener against Yukon.
Eight other Bronco seniors were chosen all-district at their positions — four players on
offense and four on defense.
All-district offensive picks were running back Harvey Phillips, quarterback Hayden Conrad, tackle Cade Williamson and wide receiver Jordan McFadden.
The steady Phillips, 5-10 and 185 pounds, led MHS in rushing with 1,293 yards and seven touchdowns on 210 carries — 6.5 yards per tote.
Conrad, 6-foot-6 and very intelligent about operating Mustang’s multiple scheme, orchestrated a high-scoring offense that turned the ball over just nine times.
Conrad completed 119 of 228 passes for 1,534 yards, 13 TDs and six interceptions.
Williamson, the 6-2, 250-pound left tackle, played alongside Leeper and helped protect Conrad’s blind side.
The speedy McFadden was part of a veteran receiving corps. He had 17 receptions for 201 yards and three touchdowns.
All-district defensive picks were safety Liam Krivanek, linebackers Judson Rowland and Colt Humphrey and tackle Jett Woodward.
The 6-1, 205-pound Krivanek was a team captain and Mustang’s leading tackler for the second straight season. He had 123 tackles, 89 were solo stops, and six tackles for loss. He also had three interceptions, one on a two-point conversion.
The 6-3, 230-pound Rowland, MHS’ middle linebacker, was second with 101 tackles, four tackles for loss and five quarterback hurries.
Humphrey, a 6-2, 210-pound outside linebacker, paced the Broncos with seven takeaways — three interceptions and four fumble recoveries, one returned for a touchdown. He made 74 tackles and blocked a field goal.
Woodward, a 6-3, 260-pound defensive tackle, had 42 tackles, seven sacks and six quarterback hurries.
Moore quarterback Daniel Hishaw was named the district’s most valuable player. He has committed to play for the University of Kansas.
Co-defensive players of the year were linebackers Zach Dortch of Putnam City North and Jake Rogers of Union.
Co-offensive players of the year were quarterback Cole Duggar and tight end Mario Kirby, both of unbeaten Owasso.
Owasso rallied to defeat Jenks, 14-6, for the 6A state title last Saturday at the University of Central Oklahoma’s Wantland Stadium in Edmond.