Clevenger, Whelan earn All-State nods from MFCA

By Will Johnson, Sports Editor
Posted 12/29/21

Ending their season two wins shy of their goal of reaching the state championship, Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen football team saw two of their players earn All-State recognition from the …

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Clevenger, Whelan earn All-State nods from MFCA


Ending their season two wins shy of their goal of reaching the state championship, Nathan Cabot’s Owensville Dutchmen football team saw two of their players earn All-State recognition from the Missouri Football Coaches Association (MFCA) in recent voting.

Named to the Class 3 MFCA All-State Third Team was junior kicker Charlie Whelan and junior offensive lineman Chance Clevenger.

Kicking off 79 times throughout their 12-game season, Whelan averaged 49.6 yards per kickoff while booting 14 of them into the end zone for touchbacks.

“Charlie worked hard over the summer to really improve his kicking game and that work paid off,” Cabot said. “Over the course of the season, Charlie was able to kick the ball deep allowing our coverage guys to get down the field.”

His season-high for touchbacks in a game was five on the road in St. James during Owensville’s 60-11 victory over the host Tigers.

“He also kicked 14 touchbacks taking away the return game altogether,” Cabot said. “Having an athlete that can do that is a huge boost to a defense.”

In the extra-point department, Whelan kicked a season-high six against St. Clair helping the Dutchmen to a 48-44 senior-night victory over the Bulldogs.

Whelan also kicked five extra points against Potosi, Cuba, Hermann and in the district semi’s against Sullivan back in early November.

Even with no individual stats to show for his efforts, Clevenger and his fellow offensive linemen helped the Dutchmen offense amass 4,837 yards between rushing and passing.

“Chance put in a lot of work this summer,” Cabot said. “In particular, he greatly improved his speed and not many defensive ends and outside linebackers could beat him off the edge on a pass rush.”

That broke down to 2,529 rushing yards and 2,308 yards passing via the arm of senior quarterback Brendan Decker.

Posting at least 400 yards of total offense in six games, Clevenger and the offensive line teamed up to help OHS amass a season-high 521 yards of offense in their season-opening come-from-behind 38-34 victory over Potosi at Dutchmen Field.

“Having such a physical offensive lineman like Chance is great when you know you need a yard or two or 30. He’s going to do everything he can to get it for his team.”

That broke down to 288 yards passing and 233 yards rushing.

Owensville’s season-high on the ground came in week four at St. James with 316 yards rushing.

They also broke the 300-yard rushing mark in the district championship game against Priory with 309 yards on the ground.

Also breaking the 500-yard mark in total offense one more time, the Dutchmen amassed 514 yards of total offense against St. Clair in a 48-44 senior-night victory.

In addition to Owensville’s All-State duo, the Dutchmen had 11 football players earn All-District honors from the MFCA.

On defense, OHS had four players earn accolades including senior linebacker Alan Kopp, sophomore defensive lineman Garrett Crosby, senior defensive lineman Brent Helmig and junior defensive lineman Hunter Boyer.

Second on the team in total tackles with 121 behind Derek Brandt’s 129, Kopp recorded a season-high 16 tackles against Pacific as one of five games with at least 12 total tackles.

He also posted a season-high three tackles-for-loss against Sullivan in the district semifinals.

Having a nose for loose footballs, Kopp recovered a team-leading four fumbles with recoveries against Pacific, Union, Sullivan (district semifinals) and Cardinal Ritter.

Crosby shined late in the season recording a season-high nine total tackles and a fumble recovery against Sullivan in early November.

Against Priory in the district championship game, Crosby recorded two tackles-for-loss, a sack and a fumble recovery.

Finishing third on the team with 103 total tackles, Helmig posted six games of at least 10 tackles while recording a season-high 15 stops against Hermann and Eldon.

Helmig also had two of his seven tackles-for-loss against Priory.

Second on the team with four sacks behind Boyer’s six, Helmig had two of them against Priory.

Boyer ended his season with 55 tackles including a season-high 10 against St. Clair.

He also had a huge season opener against Potosi with two sacks and two tackles-for-loss.

Earning MFCA All-District honors on offense for the Dutchmen included Logan Evans, Bryce Payne, Austin Lowder, Decker, Brandt, Whelan and Clevenger.

Evans was also another integral part of a Dutchmen offensive line that continually opened holes for OHS running backs in addition to providing time for Decker to orchestrate the offense.

Payne’s best game of his junior season came against Hermann where he caught five passes for 149 yards and a touchdown. He also had two receiving touchdowns against Cuba.

Rushing for 1,154 yards as a senior, Lowder’s season-high came against Potosi in OHS’ opener with 165 yards rushing on 28 carries.

Throwing for 2,308 yards as a senior, Decker’s high-water mark came in the opener against Potosi with 288 yards on 14-24 passing with three touchdowns.

Leading the OHS receiving corps with 995 yards, Brandt’s best game also came against Potosi catching seven passes for 172 yards and a pair of touchdowns. He also had a season-high nine catches in regular-season action against Sullivan.


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