Lowe, Henderson-Brazie pace all-Metro League football honors
A year ago Jesuit two-way stars Trey Lowe and Isaiah Henderson-Brazie ended their seasons on the sidelines, the former nursing a multitude of injuries, the latter leaning on a pair of crutches.
On a 2016 team that most thought was a shoe-in for another Class 6A state title, the two then-juniors would've been huge boons on each side of the football. Afflictions ended their junior campaigns prematurely and the Crusaders exited the 6A playoffs in the quarterfinals.
But, man, did the pair of seniors make up for lost time.
Lowe, who some felt should have won the '16 Metro Offensive Player of the Year, was named the '17 Metro OPOY after accounting for 36 total touchdowns and more than 2,300 yards of total offense. Lowe also bagged five interceptions from his defensive back position and earned first-team all-Metro honors on defense as well.
Few players were as feared or revered throughout their varsity tenure as Lowe. In the first half alone against Lake Oswego in the 6A quarterfinals, the future University of Washington Husky ran for 181 yards and a score. The mega-matchup between two bluebloods got away from Jesuit due to a number of costly turnovers and penalties in the second half. The game script and double-digit deficit, as a result, forced the Crusaders to go to the air more than they would've preferred. Jesuit split Lowe out wide where he often faced two or more Laker defenders in his midst as Lake Oswego was willing to let literally anybody else beat them but the first-team all-Metro running back. That game, while it didn't work out in Jesuit's favor, was just one example of what Lowe was capable of on a weekly basis.
On the season, Lowe averaged a jaw-dropping 13.2 yards a carry and rushed for 1,542 yards on just 117 totes.
Henderson-Brazie, a three-year standout who, like Lowe, started on the '15 6A state championship team as a sophomore, was named Metro Defensive Player of the Year. The senior linebacker anchored Jesuit's ultra-aggressive, pressure-dependant front seven that caused waves of chaos and came up with ample sacks and tackles for a loss. Whether it was blitzing through gaps along the offensive line to get to the quarterback or seeking and destroying a running back in the backfield, Henderson-Brazie proved the knee injury that ended his junior year was a thing of the past.
Henderson-Brazie, too, was a multifaceted star, garnering first-team all-Metro honors at tight end. Henderson-Brazie was one of quarterback Will Spitznagel's favorite targets, a sure-handed pass catcher who sought out contact after the catch and rumbled through opposing defenses. The senior caught 16 balls and four touchdowns total. And in head coach Ken Potter's double tight end formation, Henderson-Brazie was a ferocious blocker, often helping clear the way for Lowe to run to daylight.
Jesuit's Metro reign ran up another banner season and a fifth Metro championship. Potter won his 300th career game and the Crusaders again reaped the spoils of being the league champ with seven first-team all-Metro selections, including Lowe and Henderson-Brazie's double dip.
Senior left tackle Travis Spreen — another three-year starter and two-way stud with all-Metro honors already on his résumé — was first-team all-Metro at offensive and defensive line. Jesuit senior first-team all-Metro kicker David Arndorfer had 21 touchbacks and averaged 53.1 yards a kickoff while making 62 extra points and five of six field goals. Senior cornerback Briceton Branch picked off three passes and brought two back for scores. Junior Joe Quillin broke out along the defensive line, providing a thumping presence at nose tackle. With Spreen shifting out to tackle, junior Joe Monahan stepped in at center and helped the offense run equally as smooth. Monahan, Branch, and Quillin were all first-team all-Metro.
Liberty, in its last year in Metro, tied Jesuit for the most first-team honors with seven. Sunset, who finished second in Metro, had three first-team picks in senior running back Gabe Leonard, senior defensive back Nick Cizik and senior wide receiver Ryan Olson. Cizik had a huge interception against Southridge to seal an improbable comeback victory during league play. The Apollo corner was a three-way standout, returning multiple kicks for scores on special teams as well as starring at wide receiver. Cizik had five touchdown receptions in the first half alone in the first round of the 6A playoffs against Oregon City. And Jesuit couldn't stop him when the two Metro squads locked horns. Leonard was a pass-catching, wiggly running back who flourished in Sunset's spread offense as a dual-threat runner. In similar fashion to Cizik, Leonard played all over the field. Against Westview, he popped a ball free to cause a game-ending fumble recovery in the fourth quarter.
Beaverton senior defensive tackle Vinny Niosi and linebacker Tanner Brown — both of whom started and played extensively over the past three seasons for head coach Bob Boyer — were first-team selections. Westview junior defensive lineman Ryan West earned first-team honors for the Wildcats.
Southridge senior quarterback Bradley Bickler had a huge year for the Skyhawks, helping take his school back to 6A playoffs with a number of big, late comebacks including two on the road against Beaverton and Westview. Bickler, who committed to Oregon State during the season, and juniors Kade Hustler and Keyvaun Eady, each were named first-team all-Metro. Hustler was picked for his work on both sides of the line at left tackle and defensive end. Eady was perhaps the best deep ball threat in Metro, an aerial jumper who could high point the ball better than any pass catcher in the league and come down with tough catches in traffic.
Brown also was second-team all-Metro at tight end along with senior offensive lineman Sonny Bonillas and senior defensive back Jack Laperle for Beaverton.
Jesuit sophomore fullback Andy Alfieri, junior linebacker Zach Carr, senior running back Alex Echevarria, senior wide receiver Ennis Ferguson and senior offensive lineman Max Imponenti were second-team all-Metro picks. Eady (defensive back) and fellow juniors Nathan Mercer (kicker) and Blake Sims (linebacker) led Southridge's second-team picks. Westview senior Patrick Maddox made the all-Metro second team.
Sunset had the most second-team all-Metro selections with 10 including Cizik at wide receiver, Olson at defensive back, Tyler Ganoung at offensive line, Nathan Kimball at linebacker, senior wide receiver Joel Bieber, senior offensive lineman Isaac Lovings, sophomore defensive end Ika Nguamo, senior offensive lineman Hayden Bean, senior defensive lineman Anthony Pasion and senior punter Alex Dillon.
Aloha junior offensive lineman Sam Telesa, sophomore running back Sir Charles Mitchell, senior fullback Gage Holman and senior defensive lineman Trey Hornbuckle headed the all-Metro third team. Bonillas (punter), senior defensive back Evan Kepner, senior defensive lineman Blaine Larson, junior defensive back Ben Mackinnon, junior running back Trevor McDonald, junior wide receiver Ethan Wilborn and senior linebacker Albert Yim were honored on the all-Metro third team for the Beavers.
Spitznagel, Quillin (offensive line), linebacker Blake Baldocchi, senior tight end Matthew Eichten made the all-Metro third team for Jesuit. Sims (running back), senior fullback Nico Koppy, senior defensive back Connor Fajardo and senior defensive lineman Steele Peterson also were third-team all-Metro.
Sunset senior offensive lineman Sam Carlson, junior linebacker Kaden Williams, senior quarterback Coleman Newsom and sophomore kicker Callum Craig rounded out Sunset's third-team picks. Westview senior linebacker Levi Adams, junior Luke Cuellar, and senior defensive back Gavin Lloyd made the all-Metro third team for the Wildcats.
Aloha senior slotback Adam Barrett, senior defensive lineman Taylor Leslie, senior center Terrance Merrill, sophomore defensive back Cesar Soto, sophomore quarterback Timmy Dennis Jr., sophomore wide receiver Regan Wilson and junior Elijah Vinzant were honorable mention all-Metro. Southridge junior center Anthony Valverde, junior linebacker Graham Auer and senior offensive linemen Eric Carlson and Tom Sawyer earned all-Metro honorable mentions distinction.