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BOWLING GREEN – Dre Farris’ tear-stained cheeks told the story.
After the conclusion of Highlands’ 47-0 victory over Collins in the Class AAAA state final, Farris, a Titans junior, feigned a smile for photographers as he was presented with the National Guard’s Best & Brightest player of the game award for his team.
However, it definitely wasn’t the piece of hardware with which he had hoped to leave Western Kentucky University’s L.T. Smith Stadium on Friday night.
Farris finished the 4A final with 125 yards of total offense. He had 10 carries for 60 yards (an average of 6 yards per rush) and eight receptions for 65 yards.
And even though Farris was visibly upset immediately after the loss, it was difficult to diminish an otherwise outstanding season.
Farris, who was the District 3 Player of the Year, finished with more than 2,000 yards of total offense and 31 touchdowns. He rushed 138 times for 997 yards and 17 TDs and had 68 receptions for 1,039 yards and 13 touchdowns. He also returned a punt for a TD.
Farris wasn’t the only offensive statistical standout for the Titans this season. Here is a look at a few of the others:
Junior quarterback Lawson Page completed 197 of 372 passes (53 percent) for 2,931 yards and 36 touchdowns with nine interceptions.
Junior wide receiver Nathan Sames finished with 62 receptions for 994 yards and 16 TDs.
Senior running back Logan Bailey rushed for 498 yards and five touchdowns.
Junior running back Masai Whyte rushed for 10 TDs.
Junior wide receiver Landon Forrest finished with 34 catches for 501 yards and two touchdowns.
Sophomore kicker Blanton Creque booted 67 extra points and five field goals.
On the defensive side Whyte, a linebacker, capped off a huge season with a team-high 12 tackles in the loss to the Bluebirds. He finished the season with 185 tackles (70 solo stops, 56 first hits and 59 assists). He had two tackles for loss, one sack, two interceptions, four fumbles caused and two fumble recoveries. Those stats may be even more impressive considering that Whyte sat out two games late in the regular season as he nursed an injured ankle.
Sames, a strong safety who often moved up to a linebacker-type position in the Titans’ defensive scheme, finished second on the team with 110 tackles. He also tied classmate Elijah Jones, a cornerback, with a team-high five interceptions. Forrest, a linebacker, led the team in recovered fumbles (four) and finished third in tackles (94) and quarterback sacks (five). Junior defensive end Zach “Buck” Wilson finished fourth on the team with 92 tackles, which included his team-best 11 sacks.
Like father, like son
Highlands senior running back Colin Seidl, whose father, Steve, was a standout football and baseball player at Shelby County in the early 1980s, played a big role in the Bluebirds’ sixth straight state championship, and their 22nd overall.
A 5-foot-7, 170-pound senior, he had a game-high 156 all-purpose yards. He returned the opening kickoff 41 yards, then followed that up with six rushes for 115 yards (an average of 19.2 yards per carry). Seidl had a long run of 40 yards and also had a 30-yard TD run in the second period that pushed Highlands’ lead to 26-0.
“They’re a solid football team,” Seidl said of Collins. “We knew we were going to have to run the ball to win the game.”
Led by Seidl the Bluebirds rushed for 323 yards on 41 carries (an average of 7.9 per run).
“My dad told me, ‘It’s your senior year, and you’re playing against a school from the county where I used to live,’” Seidl said. “He said, ‘Do your best and don’t let anything go to waste.’”
The elder Seidl moved into Shelby County in the early ‘80s and played on the Rockets’ 1981 team, which lost to eventual Class 4A champ Henry Clay in the state playoffs.
“It was a great time,” Steve Seidl said.
After graduating from SCHS, Seidl played college baseball. He finished his playing career at Northern Kentucky University, where he met his wife. The two eventually settled in the area.
After Friday night’s game, the older Seidl celebrated his son’s victory but also paid tribute to the Titans.
“Collins played very hard,” he said. “They are a great program, especially since they have only been open for three years.”
With the victory, Highlands, the winningest program in the state, improved to 842-213-26 in its history, and Collins fell to 33-9 in its 3-year history. The Titans can still take solace in the fact that they have a 78.6 winning percentage, compared to the Bluebirds’ 77.9.