(KMAland) -- A trio of standouts on the offensive side are honored today with our announcement of the KMAland Offensive Players of the Year.
In Audubon, Skyler Schultes split time at quarterback and still found a way to rack up yardage in leading the Wheelers to the state championship game. Not far from there, Atlantic’s Tyler Moen had a breakout season that landed him a preferred walk-on spot with Iowa State. And in Glenwood, quarterback Zach Carr pushed the Rams back to the playoffs while perfectly executing a new scheme.
Those three take our top offensive honor of the football season. These are their stories…
Class 8-Man Offensive Player of the Year – Skyler Schultes, Senior, Audubon
The senior put together a strong junior season, finishing with 1,136 yards rushing, 954 yards passing and 40 total touchdowns. However, one of the first adjustments he had to make for his senior year was sharing snaps with sophomore Gavin Smith.
“(Coach Sean Birks) knows what he’s talking about,” Schultes told KMA Sports. “He knows what’s best for the team. You take it and you go with it. It worked out pretty well this year.”
It worked out so well that the Wheelers made their first Dome trip in 42 years and played for the state championship. In doing so, Schultes dwarfed his numbers from his junior year, finishing with 1,822 yards rushing, 774 yards passing and accounting for another 39 touchdowns.
“It was a really fun experience,” Schultes said. “We came up short in the end, but we played a lot of guys this year. We rotated some young guys in, and everybody played hard. It started with the senior leadership, but everyone stepped up this season.”
Audubon was coming off of a disappointing finish to the 2018 season, falling in their final game to narrowly miss the playoffs. Schultes said he and his teammates were determined to make a big mark in their final chance.
“Growing up in Audubon, there’s a standard that you’re expected to play well,” he said. “Making the playoffs is always the standard and every year the bar gets set higher and higher. Having missed the playoffs last year, we came in with the mentality of working hard, fighting together every day and hopefully we can take the next step. We were able to do that this year.”
Previous 8-Man Offensive Player of the Year Winners
2018: Drake Johnson, Stanton
2017: Thomas Hensley, CAM
2016: Jake Danner, Ar-We-Va
2015: Josh Hopkins, East Mills
Class A/1A/2A Offensive Player of the Year – Tyler Moen, Senior, Atlantic
Moen was more of a receiver in the 2018 season, finishing with 378 yards receiving to go with 416 yards rushing. However, a preseason conversation with Coach Mike McDermott told Moen things were about to change.
“Coach Mac told me they were going to rely on me pretty heavily this year,” Moen said. “I didn’t know (I was going to have this kind of season), though.”
This year’s season saw the Iowa State walk-on commit rush for 1,909 yards and 20 scores.
“I think I played pretty good all year,” Moen said. “I had a few rough games, but there were some other games where we were unstoppable.”
Moen scored at least one rushing touchdown in eight of nine games and rushed for at least 186 yards in six of them. One of his guttiest performances was going for 186 yards and a touchdown on 36 carries against eventual state champion OABCIG.
The lasting memory of Moen’s season, though, came in the final two weeks. The Trojans multi-sport standout rushed for 523 yards and five touchdowns against Shenandoah in Week 8 before another 320 yards and five more scores in Week 9 against Red Oak.
“(The Shenandoah game) is still pretty unfathomable to me,” Moen said. “I still look back on that night, and I thought it was just a 200-yard night. It didn’t feel like I piled up that many.”
Class 3A/4A Offensive Player of the Year: Zach Carr, Senior, Glenwood
Another senior and another breakout performance. Carr had just two passing touchdowns and 860 yards through the air as a junior.
Thanks to a switch in offensive schemes, Carr absolutely exploded. In fact, he more than doubled his passing touchdown total in his team’s opening win over Carroll, finishing with 387 yards through the air, 131 yards on the ground and five offensive – all passing – touchdowns.
That was merely a sign of things to come for Carr, who finished the season with 1,966 yards passing, 607 yards rushing and 28 total offensive touchdowns (22 passing, 6 rushing).
“I felt the offense really fit me well,” Carr said. “The offense fit perfectly, in my opinion. I had receivers around me that could catch and run with the ball, and the offensive line did a really good job all year.”
Carr gave credit to the Glenwood coaching staff, too, which decided to change their scheme in the offseason in order to fit his talents best.
“Last year, it was mostly under center,” he said. “Everything this year was mostly in the shot gun. I could call the shots and audible every play if I wanted to. Tell people where to go. There was a lot more flow on the offensive side.”
With that offensive flow, Glenwood also found their way back to the state playoffs. The Rams were just 4-5 in 2018 and went 7-3 with a trip to the postseason this year.
“We weren’t happy with the outcome of last year,” Carr said. “We’re still not very happy about this year because we thought we could go farther, but it was a really good season. Everybody gave their best, and we had fun.”
Previous 11-Man Offensive Player of the Year Winners
2018: Max Duggan, Lewis Central
2017: Nick Foss, Harlan
2016: Chase Shiltz, Creston/Orient-Macksburg
2015: Chase Shiltz, Creston/Orient-Macksburg
**This is the first year the award was split to A/1A/2A and 3A/4A
Previous KMAland Player of the Year Winners
2014: Ben Wellman, Tri-Center
2013: Austin Simmons, Lewis Central