Frisco Liberty Keldric Luster

Frisco Liberty sophomore Keldric Luster, right, leads the city in passing yardage and is second in rushing yardage.

The city of Frisco annually produces some of the area’s top statistical performers on the gridiron, and the 2020 season is no different.

Last year, Frisco ISD football included a historic year from Lone Star alum Marvin Mims, whose prolific senior season set state records for career (5,485) and single-season (2,629) receiving yardage.

Tough as an act as that is to follow, several FISD student-athlete have already risen to prominence through the first half of the 2020 season.

Offense

Although the city sports two teams ranked among the top 10 in Class 5A — Frisco is No. 5 in Division II and Lone Star is No. 9 in Div. I — one of the area’s biggest developments this season has been the resurgence of Liberty.

That’s doubly true on offense, where the Redhawks entered the week averaging 463.7 yards and 42.8 points per game — numbers that stack up among the best in the Metroplex.

One of the key factors in that outburst has been the rise of sophomore quarterback Keldric Luster. The dual-threat quarterback leads all Frisco schools in passing yardage at 1,603 yards — and by a considerable margin, too, distancing from Reedy junior AJ Padgett’s 1,280 yards through six games played. Just last season, the Redhawks totaled 1,846 passing yards over an entire 10-game regular season.

Luster doubles as one of the city’s most electric weapons on the ground as well, having already run for 790 yards and 13 touchdowns. Coupled with his gaudy passing numbers, Luster accounts for 398.8 yards per game — a total that’s more than the entire team output for programs like Reedy, Memorial and Wakeland.

Fittingly enough, Luster’s two favorite targets through the air have impressed so far with junior Evan Stewart and senior Connor Hulstein checking in among the city’s top five receivers. One of the top prospects in the state for the 2022 class, Stewart’s 693 receiving yards are tops among all FISD pass-catchers, while Hulstein (434) ranks fourth. Stewart doubles as FISD’s leader in receiving touchdowns with eight, tied with Heritage junior Carsten Brewer.

Stewart has been responsible for eight of Luster’s nine passing touchdowns, with Heritage junior Easton Swetnam in front for the overall passing score mark with 14.

On the ground, impressive as Luster has been, he trails Wakeland junior Jared White for the top in city-wide rushing yardage. White’s 809 yards on the ground double as the most in the area among 5A rushers, even though he has two fewer rushing scores (13) than Luster (11).

Defense

Impressive as the offensive numbers have been for Heritage and Liberty, those two programs sport a few of FISD’s top tacklers as well. Heritage senior Norman Nyamandi holds a narrow lead over Liberty junior Daniel Ajayi for city’s top tackle mark, 67-66, with Ajayi’s teammate, senior Will Glatch, not far behind at 63 tackles. Glatch has impressed since committing to the defensive side of the ball after playing two ways last season as Liberty’s starting quarterback.

However, in terms of per-game impact, the city’s top tackler resides at Lone Star. Although senior Alessio Russolillo has been in on 60 tackles this season, the Rangers have played two fewer games than Liberty and Heritage — thus putting the all-area linebacker’s per-game tackle clip at 15 per contest. Nyamandi and Ajayi, by comparison, average 11.2 and 11.0 tackles per game, respectively.

Lone Star’s pass rush has impressed as well. Despite playing just four games, senior Blake Gotcher (4.5 sacks) and junior Caden Fankhauser (4.0) are both averaging at least one sack per game. The city’s sack leader, however, resides at Reedy where senior Brooks Griffith has tallied six on the year. Griffith was particularly stout in the Lions’ recent win over Independence, sacking senior quarterback Braylon Braxton four times in a 38-21 victory.

Meanwhile, Frisco has amassed one of the state’s elite defensive campaigns — having only surrendered 10.2 points per game so far. Part of that is because of a steady advantage in turnover margin, a credit to the Raccoons’ ball-hawking secondary. Senior Chase Lowery, the reigning District 7-5A Division II MVP, is at the forefront of that unit with a city-high four interceptions, while teammate and senior Myles Mays is among four players with three picks on the year.

Frisco ISD stat leaders

(Entering Friday, stats via MaxPreps.com)

Passing Yards

Keldric Luster (Lib.) 1,603

AJ Padgett (Rdy.) 1,280

Easton Swetnam (Her.) 1,167

Peyton Lewis (Wake.) 1,139

Ethan Lollar (Mem.) 1,048

Passing Touchdowns

Easton Swetnam (Her.) 14

Peyton Lewis (Wake.) 11

AJ Padgett (Rdy.) 10

Garret Rangel (LS) 10

Keldric Luster (Lib.) 9

Ethan Lollar (Mem.) 9

Braylon Braxton (Ind.) 8

Rushing Yards

Jared White (Wake.) 809

Keldric Luster (Lib.) 790

Shawn Wara (Her.) 629

Bradford Martin (Fr.) 496

Jaden Nixon (LS) 426

Rushing Touchdowns

Keldric Luster (Lib.) 13

Jared White (Wake.) 11

Shawn Wara (Her.) 6

Jaden Nixon (LS) 6

Bradford Martin (Fr.) 5

Jackson Marshall (Cent.) 5

Garren Huey (Mem.) 5

Jacob Smith (Rdy.) 5

AJ Padgett (Rdy.) 5

Receiving Yards

Evan Stewart (Lib.) 693

Carsten Brewer (Her.) 522

Zion Steptoe (Mem.) 482

Connor Hulstein (Lib.) 434

Elijah Arroyo (Ind.) 344

Receiving Touchdowns

Evan Stewart (Lib.) 8

Carsten Brewer (Her.) 8

Elijah Arroyo (Ind.) 6

Drew Donley (LT) 4

Jack Mayer (Wake.) 4

Jaylen Fuksa (Rdy.) 4

Trace Bruckler (LS) 4

Tackles

Norman Nyamandi (Her.) 67

Daniel Ajayi (Lib.) 66

Will Glatch (Lib.) 63

Alessio Russolillo (LS) 60

Jake Herzog (Mem.) 60

Sacks

Brooks Griffith (Rdy.) 6

Gavin Yates (Mem.) 5

Blake Gotcher (LS) 4.5

Caden Fankhauser (LS) 4

Max Honsaker (Mem.) 4

Interceptions

Chase Lowery (Fr.) 4

Myles Mays (Fr.) 3

Gabriel Price (Cent.) 3

Johnny Kousa (Wake.) 3

Davion Woolen (Wake.) 3

For continued news and coverage on the local sports scene, follow Matt Welch on Twitter.

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