Here are the nominees for this week’s Charlotte Observer high school football player of the week award.
The #BIG5 list of finalists will be released Monday and fans can begin voting. A winner will be selected and profiled on Thursday.
Isaiah Bess, Shelby: senior QB was 13-for-22 for 311 yards and five touchdowns in a 55-20 win over Forest City Chase. Receivers Diavonni Daley (5-135, 2 TDs) and Ja’hari Mitchell (4-132, 2 TDs) had big nights.
Jayden Birchfield, Morganton Freedom: completed 17-of-30 passes for 355 yards and four touchdowns in a 46-42 win over Alexander Central. Birchfield ran 13 times for 94 yards and two touchdowns. Freedom rallied from a 42-25 deficit in the final nine minutes. Birchfield’s 2-yard run with 26 seconds left was the game-winner.
Nolan Cary, Harrisburg Hickory Ridge: running back caught six passes for 148 yards in a 27-13 win over Rocky River, scoring on passes of 68- and 50-yards. He had a 3-yard touchdown run as well.
Jaheim Covington, Richmond Senior: ran 13 times for 187 yards and four touchdowns in a 59-28 win over Fayetteville Britt. He averaged 14.2 yards per carry.
LJ Currie, Northwest Cabarrus: In a 62-35 win over Concord Robinson, Currie ran 14 times for 213 yards and four touchdowns. On defense, he had 15 tackles and a sack.
Ryan Jackson, Mooresville: in a narrow 20-14 loss to No. 3 Vance where the Blue Devils narrowly missed one of the biggest upsets of the season, Jackson blocked a punt, recovered a fumble and scored on a 23-yard pass reception.
Jared Joseph, Ardrey Kell: 14-of-22 passing for 333 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-14 win over West Meck. He ran 12 yards for another score. He found teammate Cedric Gray five times for 183 yards and two scores.
Drake Maye, Myers Park: 18-for-25 passing for 236 yards and two touchdowns in a 31-13 win over No. 8 Butler. He ran for another touchdown.
Stephen Payne, Charlotte Country Day: three interceptions, two returned for touchdowns in a 45-7 win over Raleigh Ravenscroft.
Ethan Rhodes, Maiden: completed 8-of-12 passes for 237 yards and six touchdowns in a 56-0 win over Lake Norman Charter.
Ricky Saunders, Charlotte Country Day: 29 carries, 210 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-7 win over Raleigh Ravenscroft.
Cameron Smith, Olympic: Surpassed the 1,000-yard rushing mark in a 28-16 win over Berry. Smith, a 5-foot-9, 175-pound junior averages 150 yards per game and nearly eight yards per carry.
Tahleek Steele, Rock Hill South Pointe: 20-for-25 passing for 377 yards and three touchdowns over Lancaster. He also ran for two scores.
Dylan Tucker, Vance: safety picked off two passes to stop Mooresville drives in a 20-14 win Saturday.
JT Whitmore, Mallard Creek: defensive lineman had nine tackles in a 36-0 homecoming win over West Charlotte. He had seven primary tackles, two assists and three sacks.
Jamal Worthy, Butler: ran 23 times for 136 yards and two touchdowns against nationally ranked Myers Park.