WAHOO – Defense wins championships and it was the Wahoo stop unit which nearly punched the Warriors ticket into the school’s first ever championship game.
The Warriors allowed less than 13 points a game during their 10-2 campaign. Both of Wahoo’s losses came at the hands of the Class C-1 state champ Aurora.
Wahoo wasn’t the only area team with a stout defense.
Bishop Neumann allowed just 17.9 points a game and Ashland-Greenwood was even better, allowing just 12 points per contest.
Here is a look at the Wahoo Newspaper First Team Defense.
Caden Johnson, Sr.
Johnson anchored the Cavalier stop unit from his defensive end spot.
The 6-foot-2, 250-pound South Dakota State recruit fought through persistent double-teams to finish second on the team with 93 tackles (16 for loss).
Johnson also led Neumann with seven sacks, three fumble recoveries and three forced fumbles.
“Caden is extremely aggressive and was a force for us on both sides of the ball last season,” said Bishop Neumann Coach Tim Turman.
Jacob Ludwig, Jr.
Speaking of aggressive…that would be a good word for the Bluejays 215-pound defensive end.
Ludwig spent the majority of the season in the opposing team’s backfield while piling up 110 tackles, seven sacks and 13 tackles for loss.
Ludwig also helped bolster the Bluejay offense while starting at tackle and paving the way for an offense that averaged nearly 350 yards a game.
Brandon Swahn, Jr.
Opposing teams did their best to avoid this guy, but he still found his way onto the bottom of almost every pile.
Despite weighing just 190 pounds, Swahn often overwhelmed his opponent with superior footwork and quickness.
A state wrestling qualifier, Swahn would often out-leverage the man across from him to get into the backfield. He finished with 52, tackles, two sacks and a fumble recovery.
Grant Kolterman, So.
Kolterman is the lone sophomore to earn All-Area honors in 2018.
The 180-pound outside linebacker got better as the season wore on and by the playoffs was one of the team’s top playmakers.
Kolterman finished as the team’s third leading tackler with 73 stops. He also scored the Warrior’s lone defensive touchdown when he brought back an interception against Milford in the playoffs.
Luke Fairbanks, Sr.
Fairbanks used a combination of speed and power to become one of the leading tacklers in the area during a stellar senior season.
The 180-pound senior piled up 87 tackles, a sack and forced fumble for the 9-3 Cavaliers.
He also rushed 698 yards and nine touchdowns while starting at fullback.
David Lilly, Jr.
Lilly, a 170-pound linebacker, led all area players in tackles in 2018 while coming up with 144 while roaming sideline to sideline all season long for the Cavaliers.
He was at his best in the Cavaliers playoff upset of undefeated Pierce. Lilly came through with a season-high 19 tackles and kicked the game winning field goal with just four seconds remaining.
Lilly also rushed for 484 yards and six touchdowns on offense.
Kole Bordovsky, Jr.
180-pound junior led the Warriors in tackles in 2018.
Bordovsky was in on 127 stops while playing linebacker for one of the top defenses in the state.
He led the team with 50 solo tackles and added seven tackles for loss, three sacks, an interception and a forced fumble.
Bordovsky led the Warriors in special teams tackles and also had a blocked kick on his resume.
Wade Wright, Jr.
Wright is a key part of a talented junior class which helped East Butler advance into the Class D-1 playoffs.
He was in on 83 tackles, recovered four fumbles and came up with an interception while starting at linebacker all season for the Tigers.
He also rushed for 505 yards and five touchdowns on offense.
Sam Kolterman, Sr.
After earning All-State honors last season as a junior, this guy was on the radar of every opposing coach.
Coaches would scheme away from this 190-pound one-man wrecking crew.
Often times it didn’t matter, as Kolterman still managed 101 tackles, 10 tackles for loss, seven sacks, two forced fumbles and two blocked kicks.
Hunter Washburn, Jr.
Two-way starter for Jays at quarterback and defensive back, this guy was a playmaker on both sides of the ball.
He finished with 52 tackles and three interceptions on defense and accounted for nearly 1,700 yards and 19 touchdowns while playing QB.
Washburn is one of many talented juniors who will return off a Bluejay team which won eight games in 2018.
Clayton Nelson, Sr.
Nelson was the Chieftains top playmaker on both sides of the ball in 2018.
Nelson started the season at receiver, but was moved to quarterback to finish the season. He finished with nearly 1,000 total yards and nine touchdowns.
He added 67 tackles and four interceptions from his safety spot defensively.
Second Team Defense:
DE: Nolan Makovicka, East Butler Jr.
DE: Dalton Haase, East Butler Jr.
LB: Caden Egr, Yutan So.
LB: Aidan Mongan, Mead Sr.
LB: Easton Albrecht, Raymond Central Sr.
LB: Austin Pierce, East Butler Jr.
LB: Ethen Abraham, Yutan Sr.
DB: Connor Kreikemeier, Raymond Central Fr.
DB: Sawyer Buller, Ashland-Greenwood Sr.
DB: JT Haag, Mead Jr.
DB: Luke Partridge, Wahoo Jr.