McNabb's three-way star quality highlights all-division lineup
Offense, defense, special teams … what didn't Connor McNabb do this season for the Scappoose High football team?
Coaches in Class 5A Special District 1 probably were hard-pressed to think of something.
They voted the Indians' senior running back/wide receiver/safety/kick returner to the all-West Division first team in all three phases of the game.
Oh, they forgot to mention that he served as the holder on Scappoose place-kicks, but that oversight can be forgiven, given that holder is not a position included in the awards.
McNabb's three-way recognition highlights a large batch of accolades that came to the Scappoose program.
The Indians, in their first season of Class 5A football after being one of the state's top 4A teams for years, finished second to Wilsonville in the West Division.
The Wildcats were ranked No. 1 at the end of an undefeated regular season. They captured the division title and had both division players of the year as well as the coach of the year.
But Scappoose came away highly decorated as well. Three Indians were named first-teamers on offense, three were picked for the first-team defense, and five players were voted to the second team (four of them on offense).
Joining McNabb on the all-division first-team offense: senior running back Quincy Cleveland and junior guard Tommy McKedy.
On the first-team all-division defense with McNabb: Scappoose senior end Gavin Larson.
Three other members of Scappoose's powerful offensive line wound up on the all-division second team: senior tackles Terrence Lewis and Liam McMullen and junior center Jerico Archer.
Indians quarterback Jakobi Kessi, a junior, also made the second team — ranking behind only Wilsonville senior QB Nathan Overholt, the first-team selection at that position and the Offensive Player of the Year.
And five Indians made the all-division honorable mention list: junior wide receiver Colton Frates, Larson at tight end, sophomore offensive guard Cutter Sandstrom, McKedy on the defensive line and junior Thomas Greiner at cornerback.
McNabb was the team's biggest threat to score from anywhere on the field.
"Connor is our playmaker," Kessi says. "He can make guys miss, he can run over guys, he can run away from guys. He does it all."
Coach Sean McNabb says his son worked hard to improve his game.
"He's worked hard in the weight room, and his change of direction has gotten a lot better," the coach says. "He has pretty good vision, a pretty good feel for finding that seam, and he can accelerate through there, too."
Connor McNabb was able to get the maximum number of votes in the postseason balloting despite having to make his way back from a knee issue that had given him problems since the 2017 football season and limited his summer workouts.
He was both a wide receiver and tailback this year for the Indians, and wants to play college football, perhaps at NCAA Division III standby Linfield or for D-II Western Oregon or for another D-III Northwest Conference team.
"I think he'll wind up being a slot receiver, or maybe as a running back in a system like Linfield's," Sean McNabb says.
Connor's main running mate this year was Cleveland, a big body who shifted into the backfield or at H-back after previously lining up in the offensive line.
"He had to be pretty versatile," Coach McNabb says. "He turned out to be our second-leading rusher and caught about 13 passes. A very good athlete, he picked it up real well. That was 237 pounds coming at you."
The coach predicts that Cleveland "will go on and play somewhere" after high school.
McKedy, a three-year starter and the son of O-line coach Brad McKedy, used his physical and mental tools to earn all-league respect while moving from center to guard.
"He understands schemes. Plus, he's 6-4, 305, very versatile, and worked hard in offseason to get better," McNabb says.
Larson gave the Indians "the kind of D-end you want — tall, rangy, can play the run and put pressure on the QB, and can both contain and chase down because of his speed," Coach McNabb says.
The coach says he thinks Larson can play at the next level, as well. "He probably weighs only 200 pounds, but he could get to 235 or 240. His natural position in college could be tight end, even though he's played mostly wideout. I think he can be physical enough to play tight end. He's got a lot of ceiling."
Second-team O-linemen McMullen and Lewis were returning starters this year.
"They're pretty athletic and move well in our system," Coach McNabb says.
Archer was a first-year starter in the middle of the front line.
"There was a lot of pressure on him, because so much can go wrong on a shotgun snap," Coach McNabb says. "But he handled it really, really well."
Kessi also moved into the starting lineup this year.
"He's probably worked as hard or harder than anybody," Coach McNabb says. "He threw a lot in the offseason, and as the season progressed he wound up throwing the ball really well. And he was a good runner all season."