Eight St. Mary’s Tigers earn All-District 3-1A football awards

Sophomores Ben Bienvenu, Drake Griffin and Payne Williams, and senior Graeme Fidelak, represented St. Mary’s as two-way first-team selections on the All-District 3-1A football team announced this week.

Senior lineman Cole Fisher was also honored on both sides of the ball. He was a first-team defensive pick and got second-team honors on the offensive line.

The Tigers filled 15 slots on the all-district roster, placing eight players on the team selected by the league’s head coaches.

Also earning all-district accolades were first-team senior offensive lineman Gavin LaGrange, second-team junior quarterback Adam Parker, and second-team junior linebacker Logan Watson.

At receiver, Bienvenu led the Tigers with 35 receptions for 415 yards, and five touchdowns. He added a pair of TDs on the ground. As a linebacker, he paced St. Mary’s with 56 tackles including a team-high 10.5 tackles for loss. He recovered two fumbles.

The versatile Fidelak earned first-team offensive honors at “athlete” since he pinch-hit at quarterback along with being a primary target at receiver, where he was a second-team all-district selection. Fidelak caught 30 passes for 277 yards, scoring twice, and ran for three TDs. At defensive back, he nabbed three interceptions, caused and recovered a fumble, broke up a pass and was third on the squad with 49.5 tackles.

Griffin was a first-team pick at running back and on the defensive line. As a tough-to-tackle runner, he was the Tigers’ leading ground gainer with 444 yards on 78 carries (an impressive 5.7 average) and scored seven touchdowns, while adding 57 yards on 11 receptions. On defense, Griffin posted 37 tackles, 6.5 for loss including 1.5 sacks, and caused and recovered a fumble.

Williams earned first-team honors as a defensive back, punter and kicker. In the secondary, he broke up an impressive nine passes, intercepted two, and recorded 22.5 tackles. As a kicker, he made 50 extra points, banged through four field goals and consistently boomed kickoffs to the goalline or beyond. His powerful left leg made him a weapon in the punting game, helping the Tigers win the field position battle.

Fisher and LaGrange were the top blockers as St. Mary’s averaged 31.3 points with a balanced attack that posted 1,355 rushing yards and 1,642 in the air.

Fisher earned his first-team defensive award with 3.5 tackles for loss among his 14.5 stops in the interior of the line.

Parker passed for 1,524 yards and 12 touchdowns, completing 55 percent (131-239) of his passes with only seven interceptions (one every 34 attempts). He showed toughness and agility running the ball, with 325 yards on 69 tries, and scored 78 points with the ball tucked under his arm.

Watson collected 50 stops, 7.5 for lost yards, and recovered four fumbles, a team high. He forced a pair and broke up a pass.

St. Mary’s finished 8-3 and was the district runner-up. The Tigers won their last four non-district games against opponents in larger classifications, losing only to the No. 3-seeded team in Class 3A, Abbeville, Their only district defeat came at Logansport, the No. 1 seed in the Class A playoffs and the favorite in this weekend’s state championship game.