Platte County earns 15 all-state picks from coaches, media

Ruhnke, Mitchell repeat selections on both teams, while Butcher, Scott, Smith and Filger join them as unanimous picks.
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Platte County’s unique back-to-back state runnerup appearances yielded 15 total selections to the Missouri Football Coaches Association and Missouri Media all-state teams — 7 unanimous and two repeat picks.

Becoming the first team in state history to finish as state runnerup in consecutive seasons playing in different classes, Platte County went 12-2 and lost 42-7 to Jackson in the Class 5 Show-Me Bowl. The Pirates lost in the 2019 Class 4 Show-Me Bowl to Webb City before moving to Class 5 for the first time in program history.

Platte County senior wide receiver Dayton Mitchell became a two-time first team selection on the media teams, while senior quarterback Chris Ruhnke joined him as a two-time second team MFCA selection. Ruhnke was also named to the media’s second team at quarterback behind Jackson senior Cael Welker.

However, senior offensive lineman Trey Butcher was the only other selection on offense for Platte County — second team on both the coaches’ and media list. The Pirates’ defense had five total players honored, including unanimous first-team picks in junior linebacker Trevor Scott and senior safety Collin Tyson. In addition, senior defensive lineman Keaton Smith (unanimous second team), senior safety Luke Filger (second team media, third team coaches) and senior defensive lineman Alex Stearns (third team coaches) were also first time all-state honorees.

The MFCA selects three teams, while the media only has two.

A two-year starter, Ruhnke finished his career as the leading passer in Platte County history with 5,979 yards, completing 421 of 814 passes for 52 touchdowns — third in program history behind Justin Mitchell’s record of 59 from 2014-16 and Brandon Gutshall’s 56 from 1998-2000. Ruhnke went 208 of 411 for 3,046 yards, 28 touchdowns and 19 interceptions as a senior. He passed Mitchell’s career yardage record in a comeback win over Grain Valley in the Class 5 quarterfinals and went on to become the Pirates’ first-ever nominee an finalist for the Simone Award, given annually to the top player in the Kansas City metro area.

Mitchell started the past two years and was a key part of the receiver corps as a sophomore when he caught three touchdowns, including a memorable game-winner against Smithville. He set career-highs in all categories as a junior and finished with a solid senior campaign while missing one game due to injury and splitting targets with a deeper group. He finished his career with 132 receptions (second most in program history) for 1,946 yards and 21 touchdowns.

A nominee for the Otis Taylor Award (top wide receiver in the metro), Mitchell had 47 catches for 722 yards and eight touchdowns this season. The touchdowns led the Pirates, while senior wide receiver Colby Rollins had team-highs of 48 catches for 941 yards.

Platte County’s offense averaged 31.9 points per game and put up 24 more in every game until the Show-Me Bowl. Butcher came into the season as the only returning starter on the offensive line, and he ended up starting at three different positions this season — mostly at center and left tackle — while injuries and other complications forced the Pirates to use seven different offensive line combinations. The Pirates ran for more than 1,600 yards in addition to Ruhnke’s prolific passing totals.

On defense, Platte County only allowed two opponents more than 24 points — 42 in a baffling loss to North Kansas City in Week 4 and the Show-Me Bowl.

Scott led the Pirates in tackles with 88 (8½ for loss) and sacks with 10, while adding a forced fumble and a fumble recovery her nearly returned for a touchdown in a win over Grandview. He made it two consecutive years with a unanimous first team all-state linebacker after Gabe Harmon did it as a senior in Class 4 in 2019.

In addition, Scott was Platte County’s first-ever nominee for the Buck Buchanan Award, given annually to the top defensive player in the Kansas City metro area in the two largest classifications on either side of the state line.

One of three productive safeties in Platte County’s 4-2-5 defense, Tyson played at his best in the Pirates’ second straight playoff run he finished with 58 tackles (five for loss), two forced fumbles, two fumbles recovered, a sack and a key blocked punt against Grain Valley. He moved positions after starting at cornerback as a sophomore and junior.

Smith started at defensive tackle for a third straight season and served as the heart and soul of line that accounted for 29½ sacks and helped the Pirates put up a state record three safeties in one game during a 41-0 win over Raytown South. He totaled 51 tackles (one for loss), four sacks and a pass breakup.

Filger, a hybrid safety/linebacker in most looks, had a breakthrough season after starting the second half of his junior year. He put up career-highs of 72 tackles (6 ½ for loss), five sacks, two interceptions, one forced fumble and two pass breakups. His best game came in a state semifinal win over Webb City with five tackles, two sacks and a key forced fumble that stopped an early potential scoring drive.

Stearns missed most of his junior season due to an elbow injury but his return helped key Platte County’s run to the Class 4 championship game. He played all 14 games as a senior with 62 tackles (10 for loss), 7½ sacks (most among defensive lineman), two forced fumbles and a fumble recovered. His Week 3 performance in a win over Grandview included four tackles (one for loss), a forced fumble and three sacks.

In addition to the state championship game appearance, Platte County won its first Class 5 district title in program history, reached the playoffs and state semifinals for the fourth time in three seasons and claimed its first outright Suburban Conference Blue Division title since 2012 after earning a share of each of the past two.

MISSOURI FOOTBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION ALL-STATE

Class 5

First Team

Defense

LB — Trevor Scott, Jr.

DB — Collin Tyson, Sr.

Second Team

Offense

QB — Chris Ruhnke, Sr.

WR — Dayton Mitchell, Sr.

OL — Trey Butcher, Sr.

Defense

DL — Keaton Smith, Sr.

Third Team

Defense

DL — Alex Stearns, Sr.

DB — Luke Filter, Sr.

MISSOURI MEDIA ALL-STATE

Class 5

Defense

First Team

LB — Trevor Scott, Jr.

DB — Collin Tyson, Sr.

Offense

WR — Dayton Mitchell, Sr.

Second Team

Defense

DL — Keaton Smith, Sr.

DB — Luke Filger

Offense

QB — Chris Ruhnke, Sr.

OL — Trey Butcher

MISSOURI FOOTBALL COACHES ASSOCIATION ALL-CLASS 5 DISTRICT 8

QB — Chris Ruhnke, Sr.

RB — Cayden Davis, Sr.

WR — Dayton Mitchell, Sr.; Colby Rollins, Sr.

OL — Trey Butcher, Sr.

K — Cole Rhoden, Jr.

DL — Keaton Smith, Sr., Alex Stearns, Sr., Jaydon Walls, Jr.; Forrest Boynton, Sr.

LB — Trevor Scott, Jr.

DB — Luke Filger, Sr.; Collin Tyson, Sr.; Cade Fowler, Jr.

ALL-SUBURBAN CONFERENCE BLUE DIVISION

First Team

Offense

QB — Chris Ruhnke, Sr.*

RB — Cayden Davis, Sr.

WR — Dayton Mitchell, Sr.; Colby Rollins, Sr.

OL — Trey Butcher, Sr.

K — Cole Rhoden, Jr.

Defense

DL — Keaton Smith, Sr.; Alex Stearns, Sr.

LB — Trevor Scott, Jr.*

DB — Luke Filger, Sr.; Cade Fowler, Jr.

Second Team

Defense

LB — Blaine Keuhn, Jr.

P — Chris Ruhnke, Sr.

Offense

OL — Joe Nicholson, Jr.

Honorable Mention

Defense

DL — Forrest Boynton, Sr.; Jaydon Walls, Jr.; Chandavian Bradley, So.

DB — Collin Tyson, Sr.

Offense

OL — Colby Guffey, Sr.

WR — Joey Schultz, Sr.; Carter Salzman, So.

Offensive player of the year — Chris Ruhnke, Sr.

Defensive player of the year — Trevor Scott, Jr.

Coach of the year — Platte County staff

* — Unanimous selection

ALL-SIMONE

First Team

Defense

LB — Trevor Scott, Jr.

Second Team

Offense

QB — Chris Ruhnke, Sr.

WR — Dayton Mitchell, Sr.

Thomas A. Simone Award finalist (top player in KC metro) — Chris Ruhnke, Sr.

Otis Taylor Award nominee (top receiver in KC metro) — Dayton Mitchell, Sr.

Buch Buchanan Award nominee (top defensive player in Classes 5 and 6) — Trevor Scott, Jr.

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