ST. CLAIRSVILLE - One of the key cogs to the success of the Red Devils' football team has earned an impressive individual award.
It was announced Thursday morning that Red Devils' junior tailback Jaylon Brown won the National Guard JJ Huddle Ohio High School Player of the Week for Week 5 after his brilliant performance in last week's win against Bellaire.
"To win an award that's statewide is really exciting," Brown said. "I was shocked when I heard I won."
The award is decided by an online vote on the website JJHuddle. Brown received 7,142 votes, which was more than 5,000 votes better than runner-up Nick Lombardy of Kenston.
Many of Brown's teammates and friends used the power of social media to help their teammate's campaign. That support meant more than the actual award, according to Brown.
"It was awesome to see that my friends, teammates and even people from all over the Ohio Valley were supporting me," Brown said. "To get support from all over the Ohio Valley even though we're rivals on the field was really nice. It was nice to see that everyone cared to see that I was recognized."
The ballot, which included some 10 players from around the Buckeye State, was announced on Monday afternoon.
"When I saw that my name was even on the list I was surprised and honored," Brown said. "I really didn't know much about the award, but anytime you're recognized statewide, it's exciting."
Brown, who's having a huge season for the Red Devils, put together a fantasy-like evening last week against the Big Reds.
He ran for 224 yards and five touchdowns on 19 carries. He caught three passes for 101 yards and a touchdown.
"All of the credit goes to my line," Brown said of Cole Stephen, Tom Parker, Joel Giffin, Corey Ernest and Nick VanVoltenburg. "I wouldn't be able to do anything if it's not for the blocking of the line."
Brown will receive a trophy and a banner to be displayed at the school in the coming days. The awards are presented by a member of the Ohio National Guard.
The Red Devils return to the field this evening at Richmond against 1-5 Edison. Don't expect Brown or anyone else to take the Wildcats lightly.
"Our goal is to make it to week 15," Brown said. "Every game is a big game. It's just part of the process to achieve our ultimate goals. Hopefully, we'll get the win and just keep moving forward."
Staskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org