Here’s the fifth edition of the #ArgusPreps Elite 45 watch list, focusing on players across the state who will be the best candidates for our year-end Elite 45 team. You can nominate players by tweeting to @ianmcfrazer or @ArgusSports or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Here are the lists from week one, week two, week three, week four and week five.
Dalton Kinsley, RB, Philip
Kinsley continued to put up some of the biggest offensive numbers in the state with a 294-yard, seven-touchdown game against Lyman on Friday, which Philip won 54-0. Six of those touchdowns came on the ground, and another came on a punt return.
Kadin Wolff, RB, Baltic
Baltic blanked Alcester-Hudson 48-0 on Homecoming night to move to 5-0 on the season, and Wolff, the Bulldogs’ senior running back, had 132 rushing yards and three touchdowns on 11 carries, as well as a 63-yard touchdown catch.
Mason Leighton, WR, Madison
The Bulldogs took down Sioux Falls Christian on Friday to stay undefeated and hand the Chargers their first loss, and that game was another example of how Leighton is one of the most dangerous and feared players in the state. He had 95 receiving yards on 10 catches, regularly turning screen plays into large gains, and the Chargers were loath to kick to him. He also had an interception, which he returned 41 yards.
Marcus Vanden Bosch, DL, Madison
The Bulldogs’ defensive line put up an extremely stout performance on Friday, holding Sioux Falls Christian to 105 rushing yards on 45 carries, and Vanden Bosch was the high-activity, high-energy heart of that effort. The senior had nine tackles, with one-and-a-half going for a loss, and broke up two passes.
Jayden Johannsen, QB, Washington
Johannsen was the lesser-utilized quarterback in Washington’s 57-41 win at Pierre T.F. Riggs on Friday night — he threw ball 29 times to the 53 attempts split between the Governors’ Jack Maher and Peyton Zabel — but he was a good deal more productive, completing 17 of those passes for 343 yards and four touchdowns. Johannsen has averaged more than 227 yards passing per game this year.
Logan Uttecht, WR, Washington
Uttecht continued his development into one of the state’s top receivers on Friday, grabbing five passes for 133 yards and a touchdown. He leads the Warriors with eight touchdowns this year.
Jazz Dominguez, QB, Chamberlain
Chamberlain took its lumps against Winner in week five, losing 60-6, but the Cubs rebounded with a 51-0 win against Todd County on Friday. Dominguez, a sophomore, set a school record with 291 yards passing and had five touchdown throws.
Cole Gassman, RB, Bridgewater-Emery/Ethan
The Seahawks are 3-3 in their second season playing 11-man football, with all three of those losses coming to Class 11A schools. Gassman, a junior running back, has been one of B-E/E’s offensive leaders this season, and he had two touchdowns in Friday in a 16-14 win over McCook Central/Montrose.
Chase Grode, WR, Brandon Valley
The Lynx have been inconsistent in utilizing Grode this year, but he still shows flashes of being one of the best deep threats in the state. He had three receiving touchdowns in a 41-10 win over Rapid City Central on Friday, with one going for 34 yards and another for 46 yards.
Cameron Kuil, RB, Winner
The Warriors were off this past week, giving area schools a brief reprieve from a likely stomping and Kuil a break from his prolific offensive season. In Winner’s game in week five against Chamberlain, which ended after two quarters due to the mercy rule, Kuil had 111 rushing yards and two touchdowns on seven carries and returned a punt and interception for two more scores.
Landon Freeman, RB, Tri-Valley
The Mustangs smashed Beresford 52-14 in their last game before a bye week, after which they face West Central and Sioux Falls Christian to finish the regular season. Freeman, a junior, has been a reliable offensive presence for Tri-Valley all season, and he had one of the best individual performances of the season against the Watchdogs, gaining 384 yards on 20 carries and scoring six touchdowns.
Jeremiah Makahununiu, LB, Tea Area
The Titans moved to 6-0 on the year with a 39-6 win over Vermillion on Friday, and Makahununiu further established his reputation as a menace at linebacker, picking up eight tackles, one-and-a-half sacks and another tackle for a loss.
Torren Devericks, QB, Roosevelt
Devericks has been an exceptionally steady presence at quarterback for Roosevelt, who has yet to win a game by fewer than 20 points. He had completed 64 percent of his passes on the season and had his most accurate game yet against Brookings, going 16-for-24 for 309 yards and four touchdown passes.
Nate Varns, WR, Roosevelt
Varns’ transformation into an exceptionally dangerous big-play threat doesn’t appear to be a fluke. Against Brookings, he averaged more than 20 yards per catch for the third straight week, hauling in three catches for 96 yards. He scored a touchdown on each grab, the longest of which went for 59 yards.
Bradley Dean, WR, Pierre T.F. Riggs
The Governors leaned hard on their passing game in last week’s 57-41 loss to Washington, throwing the ball 53 times, and Dean, a senior, helped that strategy pay off by catching nine passes for 146 yards and two touchdowns. The senior had 140 yards on eight catches the previous week against Yankton.
Zach Bolden, CB, Washington
The Warriors have shown one of the strongest passing attacks in the state this year, and they also have one of the best cornerbacks in area in Bolden, who had an interception and a pass breakup on Friday, along with four solo tackles. The senior leads Washington in interceptions (3) and has five breakups this season.
Logan Warzecha, LB, Harrisburg
The Tigers finally got a win in their three-game swing against Class 11AAA opponents, walloping Aberdeen Central 35-7, and Warzecha led them on defense by racking up seven solo tackles, chipping in on one more and grabbing an interception.
Jack Anderson, RB, Harrisburg
Aberdeen Central’s defensive line hasn’t been a pushover this year, but that didn’t stop Anderson, a junior, from putting up another 100-yard performance. He had 139 yards on 26 carries against the Golden Eagles, with none going for a loss, and scored three touchdowns on the ground.
Preston Arity, QB, St. Thomas More
The 6-0 Cavaliers give West River a counterpart to Madison and Tea Area, Class 11A’s two other unbeaten squads. St. Thomas More beat Douglas of Class 11AA 28-7 on Friday to get that sixth win, and Arity went 14-for-26 with 174 yards passing.
Follow Ian Frazer on Twitter at @IanMcFrazer .