D’Wayne Moran, Canadian football, Sr.
On the field: At 5-foot-8, 165 pounds, Moran is hardly one of the more imposing physical specimens who’ve suited up for powerful Canadian over the years. But that didn’t matter in last week’s 45-10 win over Wall in the Class 3A Division II state quarterfinals. Playing defensive end against Wall’s prolific running attack, Moran performed much bigger than his listed stature. He led the Wildcats with a whopping 17 tackles up front as Wall’s ground game never got established. Moran has been a big factor in the line all season for Canadian, as he has 179 tackles and 12 sacks on the season. The win was the 10th straight victory for 12-2 Canadian, which is making its eight appearance in the last nine years in the state semifinals this Friday at 6 p.m. against undefeated Gunter in Abilene.
Coach Chris Koetting: “D’Wayne has a very high motor. He plays hard every play no matter what. He’s just been really impressive on our defensive line. He’s a very aggressive kid and sometimes we need to dial him back a little bit. He’s just done a really good job. He can play really low to the ground and that makes it hard for people to block him. He’s not 200 pounds or anything but he plays like it. I know our defensive coaches will put our players in the best possible spots and we’ll have a really good game plan for them.”
Moran: “Just having a good game plan from our coaches telling us what to do week by week to prepare really helped out. I didn’t think I played that great. I thought I played decent. At first (Wall) kind of had us at that rough patch. I had to adjust and see what I needed to do to improve. I think setting the edge defensively, not getting too wide and letting that pitch get outside helped. Definitely working on using my hands is big because those guys are a lot bigger than I am down there. I need to come off the ball hard and get the first punch and lower my hips and get small. You need to set the line and fall in when you need to and bounce out when you need to. I was pretty excited to move on to the next round. A lot of seniors started to put it together after losing last year to Abernathy.”
Favorite band or musician: AC/DC
Favorite social media platform: Snapchat
Favorite athlete: Aaron Rodgers
Bet you didn’t know: Is color blind
Parents: Manuel and Neisa Hernandez