Tioga County Sports Report
NEWARK VALLEY — Newark Valley's Caden Bennett has earned all-state honors for a second straight year. Joining him as New York State Sportswriters Association Class C All-state selections are the Cardinals' Jake Armstrong and Raidyn Ford.
Bennett, an honorable mention at running back in 2018, was named a first-team defensive back this season. The 6-foot-2, 185-pound senior played in eight games this season and had seven interceptions. In those eight games, opposing quarterbacks combined to go 28-for-100 for 349 yards and two touchdowns.
He added a defensive TD on a 50-yard scoop-and-score fumble recovery.
Bennett was valuable on offense and special teams as well, As a running back, he had 104 carries for 926 yards (8.9 yards per carry) and caught 17 catches for 324 yards, five going for TDs. He also returned a kick-off for a TD.
"Caden is very fast, and prides himself on finishing runs physically," NV coach Ted Hardenstine said. "He does a great job using his 6-2 frame to his advantage to win on 50-50 balls, both on offense and defense."
Armstrong, a junior, received an honorable mention at linebacker.
"On defense, he has the ability to play with his hand down on the edge and control the line of scrimmage, or walk away on a slot receiver and make plays in space," Hardenstine said. "Jake's physicality allows him to be a force on both sides of the ball. He continues to get stronger and faster, which allowed him to make more explosive plays for us this year."
Armstrong was also a dangerous blocker and receiver from the tight end position. He led the team in receiving with 13 catches for 493 yards (37.9 yards per reception) and scored five TDs.
Ford, a junior, was selected an honorable mention at defensive back.
Hardenstine called him a "very good coverage corner on defense."
Ford had two interceptions for the Cardinals this season.
"Raidyn is a dynamic playmaker, and plays the game physically," Hardenstine said. "He made many big plays for us this year, including some outstanding contested catches that he came down with and finished for long TDs.
As a running back, Ford had 102 carries for 704 yards (6.9 yards per carry) and eight TDs. He also had 14 catches for 312 yards and four TDs.
IN PHOTO 1: Caden Bennett. ... IN PHOTO 2: Jake Armstrong. ... IN PHOTO 3: Raidyn Ford.
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