2023 High School Football

Tanque Verde’s Gilbert & Morenci’s Casillas earn Week 10 Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallion

Tanque Verde senior RB Gavin Gilbert (Tanque Verde photo)

Tanque Verde senior running back/linebacker Gavin Gilbert and Morenci senior running back Mike Casillas have earned a Week 10 Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallion for their performances last week in victories for both schools.

Gilbert rushed for 206 yards and two touchdowns on 22 carries, while recording 10 tackles (seven solo) and one sack, in a 30-3 road win against Glendale Prep.

Casillas ran for 100 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries in a 31-28 victory over visiting Sabino. He currently stands 15th on Arizona’s career rushing list with 5,375 yards.

The Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission (ASEC) and its managed entity, the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club (GCSGC), made the announcement Tuesday night.

Morenci running back Mike Casillas (Morenci photo)

The nominees will be presented a medallion at their respective school this week and are now in the running for the 2023 Ed Doherty Award, annually recognizing Arizona’s most outstanding high school football player.

This year’s winner will be announced at a special luncheon on Dec. 9. For more information on the award or to purchase tickets to the ceremony, please visit www.azsportsent.com or call 480-517-9700.

Other outstanding performances from Week 10 medallion recipients include:

QB Cam Allen, Fr., Central

Playing just three quarters, Allen broke Central’s single-game record with six touchdown passes, completing 16 of 23 attempts for 355 yards in a 62-14 victory over Fairfax.

QB Jack Atkinson, Sr., Scottsdale Christian

Atkinson completed 18 of 23 pass attempts for 361 yards and five touchdown passes in the Eagles’ 68-12 win over Madison Highland Prep.

WR/DB Nikko Boncore-Montoya, Jr., Cactus

In the Cobras’ 48-45 triple-overtime win against Sunrise Mountain, Boncore-Montoya had 179 yards
and two touchdowns on 10 catches, closing in on a second consecutive 1,000-yard season.

QB Blake Heffron, Sr., Chandler

Heffron was 24 of 33 in passing for 330 yards and six touchdowns in a 47-42 loss to Basha.

RB Elijah Little, Jr., Thunderbird

Little had 222 yards on 25 carries with five touchdowns in the Titans’ 49-28 win over Buckeye.

WR Cooper Perry, Jr., Notre Dame Prep

In a 32-21 win over Cactus Shadows, Perry had 10 catches for 192 yards and two touchdowns.

QB Noah Petrauschke, Sr., Lee Williams

Petrauschke was 15 of 20 in passing for 301 yards and four touchdowns, adding another 67 yards and two touchdowns rushing, in the Volunteers’ 58-13 win over Flagstaff.

RB Junior St. Cyr, Sr., Mesa

St. Cyr ran for 258 yards on 22 carries with three touchdowns in a 42-18 win over Cesar Chavez. He is currently the leading rusher among 6A schools with 1,200 yards.

LB Keaton Stam, Sr., Liberty

Stam had 17 tackles (10 solo) and 1.5 sacks in a 31-3 win over Saguaro.

CB Cree Thomas, Jr. Brophy College Prep

Thomas had two interceptions in a 28-21 win over Corona del Sol.

Previous Southern Arizona Ed Doherty Award Nominees


QB Gabriel Smith, Sr., Walden Grove

Smith became the Red Wolves’ career leading passer with 5,075 career yards in a 42-7 victory over
Pueblo. He was 12 of 17 for 297 yards with five touchdowns in the first half.

Walden Grove QB Gabriel Smith is the school’s top passer in history (Walden Grove photo)

RB Christian Carter, Sr., Thatcher

Carter gained 194 yards on 27 carries while scoring all five Eagle touchdowns in a 35-14 win over rival Safford.

Thatcher senior running back Christian Carter (D’Andre Davis/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)


QB Dominic Norris, Sr., Ironwood Ridge
Norris set the single-game passing record for a Southern Arizona high school quarterback with 502 yards, completing 23 of 41 passes with four touchdowns in a 37-22 win over Tucson.

Ironwood Ridge QB Dominic Norris (Chris Hook/MaxPreps photo)


LB/RB Carlos Montoya Jr., Jr., Walden Grove
In a 35-21 win over Mountain View, Montoya had nine solo tackles (21 total with three tackles for loss) and a blocked extra-point attempt. He also rushed for 27 yards on three carries.

Carlos Montoya Jr. of Walden Grove


RB Kason Colbert, Sr., Mica Mountain

Colbert rushed 12 times for 246 yards and three touchdowns in Mica Mountain’s 42-27 win over Casa Grande to remain undefeated (5-0).

Kason Colbert of Mica Mountain (D’Andre Davis/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)


WR Shamar Berryhill, Jr., Sabino

Berryhill had 11 catches for 241 yards and four touchdowns in the win over Safford.

QB Cameron Hackworth, Sr., Sabino

Hackworth completed 29 of 38 passes for 453 yards and six touchdowns.

Sabino QB Cameron Hackworth and WR Shamar Berryhill have connected for 628 yards and 10 touchdowns through the first five regular-season games (Sabino photo)


RB Kayden Luke, Sr. CDO
Luke rushed for 241 yards and three touchdowns on just 12 carries in a 50-20 win over Desert View.

CDO running back Kayden Luke (Lexie Fegan/Special to AllSportsTucson.com)

About the Ed Doherty Award
Since its inception in 1987, the Ed Doherty Award has served as the State of Arizona’s highest individual high school football honor, annually recognizing the most outstanding player on and off the field. Recipients are selected for demonstrating athletic excellence and unwavering integrity, along with a commitment to academics, community, and school pride.
About the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club
The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is the most meaningful advocate of high school football in the State of Arizona. Its mission is to represent Arizona amateur athletics by bringing national attention to the extraordinary qualities of young people in their pursuit of athletic achievement, academic advancement, and greater social affinity.
About the Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission
The Arizona Sports & Entertainment Commission (ASEC) is a non-profit organization created in 1988. The Commission collaborates with hundreds of partners to help fulfill the mission of bringing national and international sporting events to the state; assisting in the promotion of existing events and Arizona sports teams; providing volunteer recruitment and organization for large-scale sporting events; and developing youth sports programs. In 2009, it assumed oversight of the Arizona Sports Hall of Fame, and in 2012, the Grand Canyon State Games and the Lori Piestewa National Native American Games. The ASEC was the founding organization and owner of the 2015 NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl. For more information on the Commission, call 480-517-9700 or visit www.azsportsent.com.

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