Cubs earn all-league honors



November 12, 2012 - 12:00 AM

HUMBOLDT — A record-breaking offense, coupled with an equally impressive defense, led Humboldt High to a bi-district championship and the second round of the Kansas Class 3A postseason playoffs this year.
Seven Cub players were recognized with postseason honors over the weekend, being named to the All Tri-Valley League squad.
Earning first-team offense honors were Cub quarterback Nathan Whitcomb, who accounted for 44 touchdowns on the season.
“Nathan had an outstanding year,” Humboldt coach K.B. Criss said in an email.
Whitcomb passed for 2,773 yards and 34 touchdowns, while running for 471 yards and 10 more scores to key a Cub squad that averaged 38 points a game in the bruising Tri-Valley League.
A pair of frequent targets were senior receivers Tanner McNutt and Noah Thornbrugh. McNutt ended the year with 40 catches for 874 yards — more than 21 yards per catch — and 13 touchdowns. He earned first-team honors.
Thornbrugh received honorable mention, catching 28 passes for 594 yards — also at 21 yards per reception — and 10 touchdowns.
“Tanner was a big play threat every time he touched the ball,” Criss said. “Noah was a big target who really came on strong at the end of the season.”
One of the unsung stars of the offense was lineman Ryan Gean, who also earned first team honors. The 225-pound Gean was a three-year starter for Humboldt. “He anchored an offensive line that really improved throughout the year,” Criss said.
Gean also spearheaded a Humboldt defense that held five opponents to one touchdown or less in Humboldt’s 8-3 season. The senior led the Cubs with 18 tackles for loss.
Also earning first-team defensive honors were Thornbrugh at defensive end. He finished the year with 18 tackles, six sacks “and numerous quarterback hurries and pressures,” Criss said.
Jacob Carpenter, a sophomore linebacker, led Humboldt with 128 tackles.
“He continued to get better throughout the year,” Criss said. “Jacob has a lot of football moxie.”
Hunter Murrow, a junior defensive back, led Humboldt with five interceptions, including two he returned for touchdowns.
“He did a great job covering the other teams’ receivers,” Criss said “Hunter is also a solid tackler and a very smart football player.”
Rounding up the honors was special teams wizard Hayden Boring. The senior earned first-team honors as punter and kicker.
The powerful left-legged senior set a school record with a 47-yard field goal against Oswego and repeatedly set up opponents with lousy field position with his booming punts and kickoffs.
“Hayden is one of the finest kickers in school and league history, without a doubt,” Criss said.
Humboldt finished third in Tri-Valley League but qualified for the postseason with a perfect district mark. The Cubs defeated Central Heights to win the bi-district championship before losing to Pittsburg St. Mary’s Colgan in the regional round of the playoffs.

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