If Cole Edmiston were one-dimensional, he would have been a force. As a dual threat, he was unstoppable.
Gatesville’s senior quarterback passed for 2,876 yards, ran for 1,232 yards and played a role in 54 of the team’s 71 offensive touchdowns, leading the Hornets to the second-most wins (13) in program history during its centennial season.
Edmiston easily established himself as the best player on the area’s best team. And, by the end of Gatesville’s playoff run to the Class 3A, Division II regional final, he clearly separated himself from the competition to be named Killeen Daily Herald’s All-Area Offensive Player of the Year.
“Being a quarterback, it is just inside of me,” the District 8-3A MVP said. “It kind of gives me a thrill to want to take (adversity) on.”
After capturing to the school’s first district championship in over a decade by defeating each District 8-3A opponent by at least 20 points, Edmiston helped the Hornets overcome seemingly insurmountable odds at times in the playoffs before a subpar second half against Graham ended an undefeated run.
Edmiston completed 198 of 319 passes for 32 touchdowns, and only threw five interceptions. When the pocket collapsed, he was elusive enough to create something from nothing as he produced 22 rushing touchdowns and a 6.5-yards-per-carry average.
But even when Edmiston’s intentions were clear, stopping him from leading the Hornets to a win still proved difficult.
“I don’t think there was ever a doubt in their mind,” he said. “We were definitely put in some situations where we shouldn’t have come back or the stats say we shouldn’t have come back or the time of the clock said we shouldn’t have come back, but we pulled together and stuck together. When you have guys doing that, with that many of them, they can make it happen.”
All-Area First-Team Offense
QB: Zach Allen, Temple, Sr. — The Syracuse-pledge was an honorable mention All-State and first-team All-District selection after throwing for 2,175 yards and 24 touchdowns and running for 941 yards and 9 scores.
WR: Rashaun Gibson, Copperas Cove, Sr. — On a team known for rushing, Gibson gave the Bulldawgs an added dimension by finishing the regular season ranked second among District 8-5A receivers. The all-district first team member caught 49 passes for 827 yards (16.9 yards per catch) and 11 touchdowns.
WR: Tyler Jaynes, Gatesville, Sr., — Serving as the Hornets’ most prolific receiver (50-1,040, 15 TDs), Jaynes caught fire in the playoffs, recording 17 receptions for 343 yards and six touchdowns during Gatesville’s run to the regional final.
TE: Durham Smythe, Belton, Sr. — Ranked among the nation’s top tight ends, the District 8-5A first teamer lived up to his billing despite early season injuries, finishing fifth in 8-5A with 36 catches for 547 yards and six TDs.
RB: Daniel McCants, Killeen, Jr. — The All-State honorable mention and All-District 8-5A first-team selection was the district’s leading rusher and set a school single-season record with 1,925 yards and 20 touchdowns.
RB: Johnny Jefferson, Shoemaker, Sr. — The Baylor-commit ran for 1,580 yards and 18 touchdowns and was an honorable mention All-State selection in his final season. He had two 300-yard games, including 314-yard performance in a preseason game and a 297-yard night against Ellison in the Grey Wolves’ season finale.
OL: Trevor Barton, Gatesville, Sr. — The 6-foot-4, 280-pound All-State honorable mention center anchored the offensive line, helping the versatile unit average 405.4 total yards per game (208.0 passing, 197.4 rushing).
OL: Les Sakaria, Copperas Cove, Sr. — The Bulldawgs scored the second-most points among District 8-5A teams during the regular season (408), including 291 during district play.
OL: Freddie Johnson, Temple, Sr. — The All-State honorable mention and All-District 8-5A first-team selection, who’s committed to SMU, helped Temple average 531 yards a game.
OL: Justin Greene, Copperas Cove, Sr. — The All-State honorable mention helped the Bulldawgs generate 4,470 total yards this season.
OL: Nigel Leota, Harker Heights, Jr. — First-team All-District 8-5A selection, the 295-pound junior graded out at 92 percent with 37 pancakes and 12 knock downs.
K: Sebastian Corrales, Gatesville, Sr., K — The Hornets’ offense was so efficient this season, it was rarely forced to settle for field goals, but when it did, Corrales delivered, making 11 of 12 attempts, including a 35-yarder to beat Monahans in overtime of the regional round. The all-state first team selection also made 66 of 71 extra point attempts.
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org