The Semoball Awards football defense finalists:
The nose guard and defensive tackle racked up 72 solo tackles and assisted on 14 others. He recorded a remarkable 33 tackles for loss, eight sacks and two fumble recoveries while also forcing two fumbles and blocking a kick.
The senior defensive end had nine sacks for the Indians, who advanced to the Class 5 state quarterfinals. He also had 74 total tackles, 20 of which were for a loss, to go along with one fumble recovery.
Morehead, the SEMO South Conference lineman of the year, excelled on both sides of the line for the Red Devils during his junior season. On the defensive side, he made 79 total tackles, had eight sacks and recovered one fumble.
Cape Central senior
Patrick, a senior linebacker, made team-high 100 tackles for the Tigers’ defense during a season that included a trip to the Class 4 final four. He also recorded two interceptions, a sack and a fumble recovery.
Porter made 98 tackles for the Bulldogs from his linebacker position during his senior season. He also recorded eight tackles for a loss and had two sacks.
East Prairie junior
Shands did much of the work for the Eagles’ defense from his inside linebacker position. He made 112 tackles, four of which were for a loss, and had one sack. He forced a whopping seven fumbles and recovered four.
New Madrid County Central senior
Smith made the most of his 49 tackles this season by forcing his opponent to lose yardage on 33 of them. The lineman added in four sacks and forced two fumbles for the Eagles during his senior campaign.
Poplar Bluff senior
The senior defensive lineman made 91 tackles for the Mules, including 19 for a loss of yards. He also had seven sacks and was named the SEMO Conference’s most outstanding defensive player after the season.
The Bulldogs’ defensive back routinely made quarterbacks regret throwing his way. Story recorded an impressive 11 interceptions during his senior season and scored three defensive touchdowns. He also made 41 tackles.
Stricklin is the only player be both an offense and a defense finalist this year. He made 113 total tackles on the season, 13 of which were for a loss, and had seven sacks. He also forced six fumbles and recovered one.