Gridiron Football Player of the Week (Week 9 Edition: 2024 EDGE Peyton McFarland, McDonogh 35 High School (La.)

Previous Gridiron Football Player of the Week Winners:

Week 1: LCA 2024 QB & LSU Commit Ju’Juan Johnson

Week 2: Westwood High School (TX) 2026 WR Kaysn Dial

Week 3: St. Martin’s Episcopal High School 2025 RB Harlem Berry

Week 4: Evangel Christian Academy 2024 WR Parker Fulghum

Week 5: Lafayette High School 2025 QB/ATH Kevon’te Landry

Week 6: Ascension Catholic High School 2025 RB Chad Elzy

Week 7: Hutto High School (TX) 2024 WR Alex Green

Week 8: Westwood High School (TX) 2027 QB Kavian Bryant

1. EDGE Peyton McFarland, McDonogh 35 High School (New Orleans), 2024; 17,911 votes

For the first time this season, our Gridiron Football Player of the Week is from the great city of New Orleans as edge rusher Peyton McFarland out of McDonogh 35 High School got the nod with 17,911 votes. 

The New Orleans area has always had some of the best athletes in not only the state but also nationwide. In the last 10 years, the city of New Orleans has produced two No. 1 overall recruits: St. Augustine High School running back Leonard Fournette (Class of 2014) and Isidore Newman School quarterback Arch Manning (Class of 2023).

However, the city also has some hidden gems in the city as well. Edge rusher Peyton McFarland out of McDonogh 35 High School is what you would consider a Diamond in the Rough. McFarland is one of the best pass rushers in the New Orleans Metro area, and on Oct. 26, he showed why. In the 4A-11 district title game against Douglass, McFarland had 11 total tackles, six tackles for loss and six sacks in a 31-0 victory.

2. Hamilton Christian QB Sammie Knight, Hamilton Christian (La.), 2024; 11,746 votes

One of the biggest shockers of this week’s poll was the amount of votes for Hamilton Christian quarterback Sammie Knight. Because some of the top performers on this week’s top 10 were from bigger schools, it was great seeing the Hamilton Christian community come out and support its quarterback as Knight received 11,746 votes.

Knight completed eight of his 12 passes for 194 yards and four touchdowns while rushing for 256 yards and four touchdowns on just six carries in the Warriors’ 54-44 win over East Beauregard High School.

Hamilton Christian 2024 ATH Sammie Knight

3. QB Caden Gautreaux, East Ascension (La.), 2025; 1,421 votes

East Ascension quarterback Caden Gautreaux came in third place with 1,421 votes. Gautreaux had one of the best performances not only in the Baton Rouge area but statewide. Although Gautreaux only completed eight of his 12 passes, it was enough for 250 yards and five passing touchdowns in the Spartans’ 48-9 victory over district foe Live Oak. Moreover, Gautreaux threw more touchdowns than incompletions.

East Ascension 2025 QB Cayden Gautreaux

4. ATH Reece Turner, Assumption (La.), 2024; 1,321 votes

One of the best stories of the 2023 Louisiana high school football season has been the Mustangs from Assumption High School in Napoleonville. The Mustangs are currently in first place in their division after finishing 4-5 and missing the playoffs the year before. Although they have been under the radar for most of the year, the Mustangs have been under a tight microscope after they defeated the defending district rival Lutcher, the Division II Non-Select state champions, 14-10.

The person who was responsible for both of Assumption’s touchdowns in its upset win over Lutcher was its quarterback Reece Turner. Although he is Assumption’s quarterback this season, Turner is considered an athlete due to his elite speed, hard-nosed running style and his experience as a wide receiver in the passing game. 

In the Mustangs’ victory over Vandebilt Catholic in Week 9, Turner completed 4 of his 13 passes for 185 yards and two touchdowns and rushed for 230 yards on 15 carries with two touchdowns.

Assumption 2024 QB Reece Turner

5. QB/ATH Juvari Singleton, Delta Charter (La.), 2024; 456 votes

Delta Charter quarterback Juvari Singleton came in fifth place with 456 votes, which was also a major shocker. However, Singleton’s performance was incredible. Singleton completed 15 of his 16 passes for 187 yards and three touchdowns while also totaling 220 yards and five touchdowns on the ground in their 60-42 victory over Delhi Charter.

Delta Charter 2024 QB Juvari Singleton (Photo taken by Andy Bryson)

6. QB/S Xavier “Tutt” McGlothan, North Webster (La.), 2024; 383 votes

North Webster High School in Springhill, Louisiana is probably most famous for being the alma mater for All-Pro linebacker Devin White of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and 1957 Heisman Trophy winner John David Crow of Texas A&M. However, there might be someone you need to watch out for this season. 

Quarterback/safety Xavier “Tutt” McGlothan had one of the best performances last week after he did a full Travis Hunter as he played a solid amount of snaps on both sides of the ball. McGlothan completed three of his four passes for 42 yards and a touchdown, rushed for 77 yards and a touchdown and scored two more times on defense as he returned two interceptions for touchdowns in the Knights’ 32-14 victory over Bastrop.

North Webster High School 2024 QB Xavier McGlothan

7. WR/CB Kaileb Rayford, Salmen (La.), 2024; 341 votes

For the second week in a row, there is a Player of the Week nominee from Salmen High School. Kaileb Rayford, who plays both wide receiver and cornerback for the Spartans, was a factor in all three facets of the game. Rayford had five catches for 107 yards and two touchdowns, had an interception on defense and returned a kickoff for an 81-yard touchdown in the Spartans’ 49-7 victory over Pearl River.

Salmen High School 2024 WR Kaileb Rayford (Photo taken by Andy Bryson)

8. QB Daniel Beale, Catholic (Baton Rouge, La.), 2024; 173 votes

Catholic High School in Baton Rouge, Louisiana has been one of the most dominant football programs in the state in the last 10 years as the Bears have won four state championships in 2015, 2017, 2020 and 2021. The quarterback who is responsible for the two most recent state titles is none other than four-year starting quarterback Daniel Beale.

Although the numbers may seem gaudy, it was just another day in the office for Beale. The UL-Lafayette commit completed 18 of his 27 passes for 327 yards and four touchdowns in the Bears’ 55-23 victory over Scotlandville.

Catholic High School 2024 QB Daniel Beale (Photo taken by Billy Metcalf)

9. QB Will Hammond, Hutto (Texas), 2024; 149 votes

Hutto High School’s senior quarterback Will Hammond came in ninth place with 149 votes, which is shocking considering the numbers he put up. The Texas Tech commit put up 480 yards through the air and four touchdowns while also totaling 191 yards scoring four more touchdowns on the ground.  

Hutto High School in Texas is no stranger to big-time performances as wide receiver Alex Green was our Week 7 Player of the Week after he had 16 catches for 300 yards and six touchdowns.

10. RB Travon Hadley, Thibodaux (La.), 2024; 46 votes

Coming in 10th place was Thibodaux High School running back Travon Hadley. Although he had the lowest vote total with 46, Hadley was part of one of the biggest upsets in the New Orleans area. In Thibodaux’s 26-21 upset victory over a talented Terrebonne team, Hadley had 208 rushing yards and two touchdowns. 

Thibodaux High School 2024 RB Travon Hadley

Honorable Mentions

RB Chad Elzy, Ascension Catholic (La.), 2025: 17 carries for 239 yards and 5 TDs in 67-26 win over St. John

RB Tucker James, Byron Nelson High School (Texas), 2025: 28 carries for 177 yards, TD in 34-17 win over Southlake Carroll High School

DB Matthew Escher, E.D. White (La.), 2024: 7 total tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 INTs

DT Brayden Bays, Boerne (Texas), 2025: 9 total tackles, 5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 pass deflection, 1 forced fumble

RB/LB Hut Hendricks, Boerne (Texas), 2025: 10 total tackles, tackle for loss; 10 rushes, 19 yards, 3 TD; 1-1, 12 yards

QB Zach Malveaux, Opelousas (La.), 2025: 10-12, 130 passing yards, 2 touchdowns; 8 carries, 92 rushing yards, 3 touchdowns 

RB Chase Jacobs, Assumption (La.), 2025: 15 carries 210 yards, 3 touchdowns

RB Mario Hopwood, Marlin (Texas), 2024: 13 carries, 170 yards, 3 touchdowns

RB Patrick Gosslee, Loyola College Prep (La.), 2025: 22 carries 220 yards 5 TD’s

RB Nick Clark, Daphne (Ala.), 2024: 15 carries for 223 yards 3 TD’s 

QB John Carney, Lafayette (La.), 2026:  22/39, 304 yards, 3 total touchdowns

RB Kam Casnave, Northlake Christian (La.), 2026: 25 carries for 120 yards and 3 touchdowns

RB Corey Broussard, Cecilia (La.), 2024: 4 rushes for 12 yards, touchdown; 1 catch, 54 yards, touchdown

LB Keidrick Richardson, De La Salle (La.), 2024:  10 tackles, 1 pass breakup