Marana’s Brown, Santa Cruz’s Alaniz earn Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions

AllSportsTucson.com’s Andy and Javier Morales are two voting members of the Ed Doherty Award sponsored by the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club. The Ed Doherty Award signifies the Arizona high school football player of the year honor.

Marana junior receiver Sam Brown and Eloy Santa Cruz Valley senior running back Ricardo Alaniz increased the amount of Southern Arizona players receiving Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions to five with their performances in Week 9 recognized by the  Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club on Tuesday.

Brown joined teammate Elijah Joplin, a junior quarterback, as nominees for the Ed Doherty Award, presented to the state’s player of the year following the season at the Ed Doherty Award Luncheon on Dec. 18.

Brown had 14 receptions for 178 yards in the Tigers’ stirring 36-35 comeback win over Sunnyside last Friday.

Marana junior receiver Sam Brown had one of the best performances of the year in the state in the Tigers’ comeback win over Sunnyside (Andy Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Joplin earned his Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallion in Week 6 when he completed 17 of 26 passes for 338 yards and five touchdowns in a 56-7 win over Flowing Wells.  He added 27 yards rushing and another touchdown in the Tigers’ victory that week.

The quarterback earned AllSportsTucson.com APS Digital/Frog & Firkin Player of the Week honors last week with his 33-of-50 performance for 398 yards with five touchdowns in the win over Sunnyside.

Alaniz took over the running back duties this year at Santa Cruz after Ed Doherty Award finalist Hunter Ogle graduated.

Santa Cruz’s Ricardo Alaniz has four games with at least 200 yards rushing this season (Javier Morales/AllSportsTucson.com)

Alaniz, who has established himself as one of the top running backs in the state, delivered his fourth 200-yard or more rushing effort of the season with 241 yards on on 24 carries and two touchdowns in the Dust Devils’ 28-17 win over Sequoia Pathway last week.

The two other Southern Arizona players who have earned Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions this season are Desert View senior running back Serge Gboweiah (315 rushing yards on 24 carries and three touchdowns in the Jaguars’ win over Marana in Week 7) and Willcox junior running back Cristian Pando (rushed for 336 yards on 32 carries and tallied four touchdowns in a 48-14 win over San Tan Foothills in Week 4).

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