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Johnston, Paige, Sanchez, Stallworth & Thrower Earn Week 9 Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions

PHOENIX, Ariz. – October 18, 2022 – The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club (GCSGC) is pleased to announce the recipients of the Week 9 Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions™. Five players are recognized for outstanding play during their respective games on Friday, October 14, 2022: Austin Johnston (Sr. WR – Eastmark); Elijah Paige (Sr. OL – Pinnacle); Tristen Sanchez (Jr. DL/TE – Morenci); Richard Stallworth (Sr. QB – Yuma Catholic); and Gavin Thrower (Sr. RB/LB – Poston Butte).

Two of the five players were named on the 71-player Week 3 Watch List™ released on September 6, 2022. All five players will receive their Nomination Medallions at an upcoming school event this week. By earning Ed Doherty Award Nomination Medallions, they will attend the end of season Ed Doherty Award Luncheon on December 17, 2022, where one athlete will become the recipient of the Ed Doherty Award.

Details on their individual performances on October 14th are as follows:

Austin Johnston – Sr. WR – Eastmark

Johnson hauled in 10 catches for 226 yards and a TD. He also returned a punt 51 yards for a score in a 56-19 win over Sabino. He went over the 1,000-yard mark (has 1,004) and has scored 15 TDs this year.

Elijah Paige – Sr. OL – Pinnacle

Paige has been one of the dominant forces in the trenches for the Pioneers over the past two seasons and a key part of their current 5-game winning streak after a 27-21 win over Chaparral. Whether the offense is scoring on the ground or through the air, Paige, a USC commit, is the man responsible for the open holes and pass protection for the Pioneer playmakers.

Tristen Sanchez – Jr. DL/TE – Morenci

In a 49-6 win over Miami, Sanchez had 11 tackles, 6.5 sacks (a school record), three QB hurries and two pass deflections. He added 4 catches for 87yds and a TD.

Richard Stallworth – Sr. QB – Yuma Catholic

Stallworth was 22-of-37 for 385 yards and 6 TDs in a 48-45 win over Buckeye. He became the all-time leader in TD passes with 142 and is just 480 yards away from becoming the all-time yardage leader.

Gavin Thrower – Sr. RB/LB – Poston Butte

Thrower had 17 carries for 225 yards and 2 TDs in a 28-14 win over Apache Junction, along with a 13 TD reception and 2 tackles. He is also approaching the 1,000 yard mark (has 917 yards) and has rushed for 10 TDs.

To learn more about the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club and to purchase tickets to the Ed Doherty Award Luncheon, visit

About Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club

The Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is the steward of the Ed Doherty Award and is the most meaningful advocate of high school football in the State of Arizona. The mission of the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club is to represent Arizona amateur athletics by bringing national attention to the extraordinary qualities of our young people and serve in the pursuit of athletic achievement, academic advancement and greater social affinity.

About the Ed Doherty Award

For 37 years, the Ed Doherty Award has been the State of Arizona’s highest individual high school football honor and is awarded annually to the state’s most outstanding high school football player by the Grand Canyon State Gridiron Club. The Ed Doherty Award recognizes the player whose performance best exhibits the pursuit of excellence with integrity. The winner of the award epitomizes great ability combined with diligence, perseverance, and hard work. In addition to on-field performance, the Ed Doherty Award recognizes the well-rounded accomplishments of community involvement, school pride, and academics.

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