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2018 All-WNY first-team offense: Record-setting talents highlight this potent unit

Here are the members of the All-Western New York first team offense as selected by The Buffalo News in consultation with Dick Gallagher and area coaches.

Aaron Chase

School: Starpoint Position: QB

Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 170 Year: Senior

Intelligent player on and off the field (99 average), the four-year starter matched Joe Licata’s Western New York record for passing touchdowns in a season (36). Directed offense that averaged 45.7 points and 490 yards per game, both school records. Set seven school records during his career, including single-season marks for passing yards (3,053), total TDs (40) and completions in 2018. Connolly Cup finalist led Spartans to third straight division title. Also kicked 42 extra points and averaged 35 yards per punt. Credits parents, coaches and teammates for his success.

D’Jae Marcellus Perry

School: Bennett Position: RB

Ht.: 5-10 Wt.: 185 Year: Junior

Explosive, big-play threat averaged 14.2 yards per carry and finished with 1,175 yards and 10 touchdowns for team that split carries between four running backs. Most memorable game came during Week 5 win over Lancaster in which he rushed 13 times for 275 yards and two touchdowns. Rushed for three touchdowns in division-clinching win over Niagara Falls. Scored on 91-yard run on Bennett’s first play of sectional final. Recorded five sacks as a linebacker.

Aaron Wahler, a running back at Cleveland Hill High School, was named to the Buffalo News All-Western New York first team. (Harry Scull Jr./ Buffalo News)

Aaron Wahler

School: Cleveland Hill Position: RB

Ht.: 6-0 Wt.: 235 Year: Senior

A repeat selection, the fast and powerful Wahler fueled the Golden Eagles' run to their second straight state Class C semifinal appearance. Scored a school-record 33 touchdowns, averaged 11.6 yards per carry and rushed for 1,929 yards. Rushed for 330 yards and three touchdowns in sectional final win over Southwestern. Set school records for career rushing yards (4,907) and touchdowns (78). Two-time Connolly Cup finalist. Also a member of Cleveland Hill’s 4 x 100 state championship-winning relay team.

Michael Rigerman

School: Pioneer Position: RB

Ht.: 6-3 Wt.: 235 Year: Senior

Fourth-year starter thrived in shift to running back from tight end, setting six school records. Rushed for a Western New York-high 2,118 yards on 218 carries and scored 32 touchdowns to help Panthers win division title and reach Section VI Class B final for the first time since 2001. Rushed for 250 yards and four touchdowns in Week Four win at Cheektowaga. On defense, Rigerman made 101 tackles and three interceptions.

Malik Brooks

School: Lockport Position: WR

Ht.:  6-2            Wt.: 180 Year: Senior

Perhaps the fastest receiver in the area, the Lions’ top play-maker gave opposing defenses problems. Despite being double- and triple-teamed, the University at Buffalo verbal commit broke the Western New York record for receiving yards (1,244) in a season. Set school record for receptions (47) and touchdowns (17) in a season. All-American in track as a sophomore. Placed fourth in the 400-meters dash at the state track and field championships last spring.

Alex Card, a receiver for Southwestern High School, was named to the Buffalo News All-Western New York first team. (Harry Scull Jr./ Buffalo News)

Alex Card

School: Southwestern Position: WR

Ht.:  5-11            Wt.: 170 Year: Senior

Three-year starter set nine school records during career, including single-season marks for receptions (66) and yards (1,105). Led Western New York in receptions. Finished with a school-record 222 receiving yards in win over Olean. Caught 17 of school-record 27 career touchdown passes this year to help Southwestern reach third straight sectional final. Connolly Cup finalist made 45 of 46 extra-point kicks. Volunteer fireman and member of National Honors Society.

Stephen Boyd Jr.

School: Cardinal O’Hara Position: OL

Ht.:  6-3            Wt.: 290 Year: Senior

Four-year starter, three-time All-Catholic and last year’s Trench Trophy Underclassman of the Year is a finalist for the main Trench Trophy awarded to the area’s top senior two-way lineman. Boyd helped lead a balanced Hawks attack that won Monsignor Martin Class B championship. O’Hara averaged nearly 300 yards per game. On defense, he made 65 tackles, including 10 for losses, and 7.5 sacks. Forced and recovered three fumbles, returning one for a touchdown. Also plays the trombone.

David Gaca

School: Lancaster Position: OL

Ht.:  6-1            Wt.: 240 Year: Senior

Three-sport athlete and three-year football starter helped Legends win third straight Section VI Class AA title. Trench Trophy finalist and team captain played left tackle for offense that averaged 32.1 points per game. On defense, he made 34 tackles, including seven for losses, two sacks, an interception and blocked two PAT kicks. Also a member of Legends’ state semifinalist lacrosse team and a sectional wrestling champion, Gaca has won five Section VI championships.

Joe Powers

School: Lewiston-Porter Position: OL

Ht.:  6-1            Wt.: 235 Year: Senior

Four-year starter and Trench Trophy finalist was top underclassman last year. Strong, athletic player notched 42 tackles (31 solo) and 4.5 sacks for Lancers. Favorite memory from a game this season came in 28-0 win over East Aurora when he forced a fumble and returned it 95 yards for a touchdown. Receiving interest from Patriot League and Division II schools. Powers also plays basketball for Lancers football coach Matt Bradshaw.

2018 All-WNY first-team defense: Relentless unit features its share of impact players

Tyler Doty

School:    St. Joseph’s Position: OL

Ht.: 6-5          Wt.: 296 Year: Senior

Trench Trophy finalist and University at Buffalo commit anchored Marauders' offensive line, which paved the way for a crew that averaged 278 yards rushing per game. Three-year starter considers his first touchdown, scored in a Week Eight win over Chaminade College (Ont.), as his most memorable moment of the season. Doty also is the reigning New York State Catholic High Schools Athletic Association champion in the shot put and discus.

Nick Hamme

School: West Seneca East Position: OL

Ht.: 6-0                      Wt.: 260 Year: Senior

Trench Trophy finalist anchored exceptional offensive line for Trojans, who reached state Class A final. Highlights include 506-yard rushing day in win over Starpoint and 290-yard effort in state semifinal win over Indian River. Two-time division all-star considers East’s triumph over rival West Seneca West in the Section VI final as his most memorable game of the season. Also served as goalkeeper for West Seneca East’s boys lacrosse team, which won first sectional title and reached state Class C semifinal.

Jon Stevens of Clarence High School was named Buffalo News All-Western New York first team as a utility player. (Harry Scull Jr./ Buffalo News)

Jonathan Stevens

School: Clarence Position: Utility

Ht.: 5-10         Wt.: 175 Year: Senior

Three-year starter ends career as one of most versatile players in Clarence history. Three-sport athlete’s favorite moment came in Week Nine win over Hutch-Tech in which he finished with two pick-sixes, rushed for 187 yards and two scores, and set the school record for points in a game (28). Scored school-record 155 points, finishing season with 20 touchdowns, including school-record nine receiving. Also nailed 18 of 20 PAT kicks and 3 of 4 field goals. Made 42 tackles and three interceptions at cornerback.

Cole Snyder

School: Southwestern Position: Utility

Ht.: 6-2          Wt.: 200 Year: Senior

Repeat first-team selection, Rutgers commit and three-sport standout broke Western New York record for touchdown passes in a season (37). Completed 63.1 percent of his passes for 2,069 yards and rushed for 482 yards and six TDs. At safety, recorded 63 tackles, defensed three passes and made an interception. Averaged 32 yards per punt. Set 23 school records, including career passing yards (5,302) and touchdowns (75) as four-year starting quarterback. Connolly Cup finalist.

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