Sanders, Tillman lead All-Area defense

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, January 3, 2006

Linebacker Johnny Sanders of Hazlehurst and defensive end MarcusTillman of Franklin County helped make their respective defensesexcel. Blessed with talent and toughness, both seniors werestandouts on the gridiron.

For helping lead the Indians to the MHSAA Class 3A state title,Sanders has been named The DAILY LEADER’S All-Area Mr. Football andMost Valuable Player .

Tillman, a nationally-recruited standout, has been named as MostValuable Defensive Player of the Year on the All-Area Team.

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The All-Area Team is selected by members of the DL sports staffwith input provided by area high school and college coaches. Itincludes players outside of Lincoln County.

Also at linebacker are Dewayme Pittman of South Pike, CaseyHammack of Franklin County and Danny Pyles of Copiah Academy.

Joining Tillman in the line are Bo Tillman of Franklin County,Jazzman Guy and Kevin Holmes of Hazlehurst and Benton Bell ofWesson.

Defensive backs are Dundre Pendleton and DeArrion Wilbert ofHazlehurst and Chance Peets and Micah Davis of Wesson. Team punteris Jake Guess of Copiah.

Repeaters from last year’s squad are Tillman, Pittman andSanders.

Johnny Sanders (6-3, 2-5, sr.) finished theseason at Hazlehurst with 170 tackles. Sanders also recorded 12sacks and intercepted four passes.

“It felt good to go out on top,” said Hall. “I’d like to thankmy coaches.”

Marcus Tillman (6-5, 250, sr.) was recentlynamed to the 2005 Parade Magazine High School All-AmericanFootball Team. At Franklin, he finished with 52 tackles andrecorded five sacks.

“He got double teamed a lot this year,” said Franklin Countyhead coach Grady McCluskey. “He is a great player with a verybright future ahead of him.”

Tillman was named first-team All-State Class 3A at defensiveend.

Bo Tillman (6-7, 310, soph.) followed olderbrother Marcus working as a lineman. Tillman collected 45 tackles,made five stacks, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble.

Jazzman Guy (6-5, 250, jr.) contributed to theHazlehurst championship season making 73 tackles and 7 sacks.

Kevin Holmes (6-5, 265, sr.) was a big-timeplayer on the Hazlehurst defensive line.

Benton Bell (5-11, 250, sr.) worked atnoseguard for the Wesson Cobras. Bell made 27 solo tackles and 26assists. Bell was named to the 2005 All-District Team.

Dewayne Pittman (5-11, 205, sr.) was anoutstanding linebacker for South Pike. Pittman recorded 152 tacklesin a 13-1 season.

Casey Hammack (6-2, 200, sr.) collected 80tackles, made 2 stacks, recovered a fumble and intercepted a passfor Franklin County at linebacker.

Danny Pyles (6-1, 205, sr.) was a team leaderfor Copiah Academy. Pyles excelled at linebacker with 159 tacklesand 8 sacks.

Dundre Pendleton (5-9, 165, sr.) intercepted 6passes while playing defensive back for Hazlehurst.

DeArrion Wilbert (5-7, 150, jr.) made animpact, intercepting 5 passes at Hazlehurst.

Chance Peets (5-10, 165, sr.) was a standout atfree safety for Wesson. Peets made 46 solo tackles and was in on 29assists. He also intercepted 3 passes.

Micah Davis (6-1, 170, jr.) played cornerbackfor Wesson and made 27 solo tackles and had 9 assists. He recovered3 fumbles. He also played quarterback and was team punter.

Jake Guess (6-3, 199, jr.) will return toCopiah next year as team punter. This year, Guess had 42 punts for1,542 yards for a 35.7 yard average. His longest punt was 64yards.