5NEWS and the Northwest Arkansas Touchdown Club are launching a brand new high school football awards banquet called “Friday Night All-Stars.” The event will be held on Jan. 18 with Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema as the guest speaker. A special television broadcast of the event can be seen on Ch. 5 Saturday, Jan. 25 at 11:30 a.m.
Here are the nominees for offensive lineman/ tight end of the year:
1. Isaac Johnson- Har-Ber
2. Nick Houston- Greenwood
3. Jack Kraus- Bentonville
Har-Ber’s Isaac Johnson helped pave the way for an offense that rushed for more than 3,000 yards in his senior season including four games in which the Wildcats ran for more than 300 yards.
“We just kind of clicked on all cylinders,” said Johnson. “It’s always disappointing when you can`t win a championship. That`s the expectation here but we did break a couple records. Our running back broke the rushing record here.”
The 6-6, 265 pound tackle made it easy to see why the Wildcats averaged more than 35 points a game.
Greenwood`s Nick Houston dominated on the offensive front with his 6-7 and 325 pound frame. In an offense built on the passing game, the junior helped the Bulldogs rush for more than 2,500 yards and find the end zone 40 times on the ground.
“This year I knew what to expect and just came out and just tried my hardest,” said Houston.
Houston will be back for the 2014 season and could be one of the biggest lineman prospects in the area.
Bentonville`s Jack Kraus isn`t your normal high school tight end. Kraus did have the luxury of catching 10 passes but he dominated the end of the line of scrimmage for the Tigers, and he caught a touchdown in the 7A state title game.
“I`m so proud the way they’ve rebounded from the last two seasons,” said Kraus. “We weren’t going to stop this year. We weren’t going to stop until we finally got this championship and I`m glad we all did it.”
Kraus finished the year with an 87 percent grade and 38 pancake blocks.