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Mid-States Football Association honors top performers

by | Nov 16, 2018 | Football Blogs, Headlines, RRSN News | 0 comments

FINDLAY, OHIO – The leading rusher and the No.1 tackler in the Mid-States Football Association are among the players of the year in voting by coaches in the Mideast and Midwest leagues.

Concordia University’s Joe Conner, who is averaging an Association-leading 139.9 yards rushing, is the Mideast League Offensive Player of the Year, while Olivet Nazarene University’s Caleb Coe, the leading tackler with 122 stops, is the Midwest League co-Defensive Player of the Year along with Saint Xavier University’s Josh Hettiger. The coaches’ choice as the Mideast Defensive Player is Chad Scaggs of Marian University, and the Midwest choice as the offensive player of the year is Justin Hunniford of Saint Xavier.

The 6-foot, 215-pound Conner, who has earned all-league three straight seasons, 1,259 yards on 185 carries to date with 16 rushing touchdowns, in helping Concordia finish as Mideast runner-up at 5-1, 9-2 overall and earn its second straight post-season appearance. Conner is a three-time Mideast Player of the Week, honored twice after a 279-yard effort against Trinity International and 267 yards vs. Siena Heights. The junior is also No.1 in scoring with 17 total TDs and 102 points.

Conner, Hettiger, Hunniford and Scaggs will continue their 2018 seasons as Concordia, Saint Xavier and Marian, along with two-time defending champion University of Saint Francis (Ind.), have advanced to the NAIA Championship Series.

All Coe (6-1, 210), a senior, has done is rack up 55 solo tackles, 67 assists, a pair of quarterback sacks with four interceptions, two returned for touchdowns and 122 yards from his linebacker spot. Hettiger (6-2, 220), a junior, has 107 total tackles (45 solos) and ranks No.1 in the MSFA with 18.5 tackles for a loss to go along with 11 sacks.

Scaggs, a senior defensive lineman, was a main defensive cog for Marian which rolled to an unbeaten regular season (6-0 MEL, 10 overall) and will be seeking its third national title, beginning Saturday. The 6-foot-3, 240-pound Scaggs has been slowed by injury in recent games, but still has 12 tackles for a loss of 69 yards among 35 total stops with 9 sacks good for 30 yards.

Hunniford (5-10, 190) posted a 5-0 mark and a title in Midwest play as Saint Xavier’s backup quarterback during an 8-3 Cougars campaign. All he has done is complete 208 of 338 passes for 2,240 yards, 203.6 per game and 22 touchdowns with 9 interceptions. He ranks No.2 in MSFA passes, completions and yards passing and sports a 133.4 passing efficiency.

Marian’s Mark Henninger and Mike Feminis of Saint Xavier are the Mideast and Midwest coaches of the year, respectively. Henniger, who coached Marian to the NAIA championship in 2015, is 57-14 overall at Marian and the Knights’ 6-0 Mideast mark equals the same record in 2016. It is the first time Henninger has earned the coaching honor and Marian’s defensive coordinator, Brock Caraboa, is the assistant coach of the year.

Feminis, 174-65 in 20 seasons, coached Saint Xavier to its third Midwest title in four campaigns and its 19th straight league winning season. Feminis, who won a national title in 2011, earned his second Midwest coach of the year honor to go along with three when Saint Xavier competed in the Mideast League.

Overall, SXU coach Mike Feminis is 174-65 in 20 seasons. The Cougars just posted their 19th straight league winning season and are 102-44 in league games since becoming a charter member of the MSFA in 1994.

The 2018 MSFA coaches all-league voting has also produced a pair of four-time honorees in Piercen Harnish of Saint Francis (Ind.) and Brennan Mulroe of the University of St. Francis (Ill.). Harnish is a 6-0, 220-pound senior linebacker from Ossian, Ind. and Mulroe is a 6-2, 280-pound senior offensive lineman.

Mulroe’s teammate, junior wide receiver Brandon Ruffin (6-4, 175) is a three-time all-league selection along with Conner.

In post-season play Saturday, Concordia treks to Reinhardt, Ga., Saint Xavier and Marian will square off in Indianapolis and Saint Francis will host former MSFA entrant William Penn University (Iowa).

Mideast League

First Team Offense

QUARTERBACK: Matt Crable (Loveland, Ohio), St. Francis, Ind., 6-3, 200, Soph.

RUNNINGBACKS: ***Joe Conner (Flat Rock, Mich.), Concordia, 6-0, 215, Jr.; Charles Salary (LaPorte, Ind.), Marian, 5-7, 185, Jr.

WIDE RECEIVER: **Johnny William (Indianapolis, Ind.), Marian, 5-11, 170, Soph.; Rocky James (Xenia, Ohio), St. Francis, Ind., 6-2, 162, Jr.; Roderick Dailey (Detroit, Mich.), Concordia, 5-9, 171, Jr.; Dan Ricksy (Lafayette, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 5-10, 178, Jr.

TIGHT END: **Brandon Dillon (Bringhurst, Ind.), Marian, 6-5, 250, Sr.

LINEMEN: Donovan Corlew (Cleveland, Ohio), Concordia, 6-2, 291, Soph.; **Jarin Bush (Flora, Ind.), Marian, 6-5, 295, Sr.; Dalton Button (Winamac, Ind.), Marian, 6-2, 290, Jr.; Nick Shoemaker (Avon, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 6-3, 266, Jr.; Steven Vallot (Abbeville, La.), Concordia, 6-2, 325, Soph.

PLACKICKER: **Gavin Gardner (Van Wert, Ohio), St. Francis, Ind., 5-10, 175, Jr.

RETURN SPECIALIST: Omar Sinclair (Norcross, Ga.), Concordia, 5-8, 180, Fr.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF YEAR: Joe Conner, Concordia, Running Back

First Team Defense

LINEMEN: Chad Scaggs (Mooresville, Ind.), Marian, 6-3, 240, Sr.; Mac Dutra (Brownsburg, Ind.), Marian, 6-0, 230, Jr.; James Jamicich (Fort Wayne, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 6-3, 260, Jr.; **Malik Edwards (Port Huron, Mich.), Siena Heights, 5-11, 285, Sr.

LINEBACKER: **Eric Dunten (Fort Wayne, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 6-1, 215, Sr.; ****Piercen Harnish (Ossian, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 6-0, 220, Sr.; Nickai Poyser (Round Lake, Ill.), Marian, 6-1, 240, Jr.; **Andrew O’Hara (Cleveland, Ohio), Concordia, 6-4, 230, Sr.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: **Wilmer Cole (Indianapolis, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 6-1, 198, Sr.; Trevon Claybourne (Redford, Mich.), Siena Heights, 6-2, 195, Jr.; TJ Comer (Indianapolis, Ind.), Marian, 6-0, 175, Soph.; Gennaro Penn (Indianapolis, Ind.), Marian, 6-3, 180, Jr.; Blake Schumacher (Fort Wayne, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 5-11, 180, Jr.

PUNTER: **Andrew O’Hara (Cleveland, Ohio), Concordia, 6-4, 230, Sr.

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF YEAR: Chad Scaggs, Marian, Defensive Lineman

Second Team Offense

QUARTERBACK: Ethan Darter (Schererville, Ind.), Marian, 6-6, 230, Jr.

RUNNING BACK: Daries Davis (Wyandotte, Mich.), Siena Heights, 5-8, 190, Sr.; P.J. Dean (Butler, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 6-1, 191, Jr.

WIDE RECEIVER: Damon Wright (Detroit, Mich.), Siena Heights, 6-2, 175, Sr.; Isaiah King (Fairview Heights, Ill.), Missouri Baptist, 6-0, 170, Jr.; Mykelti Armstrong (Gastonia, N.C.), Marian, 6-2, 195, Sr.; Donte Desalle (Nashville, Tenn.), Concordia, 6-0, 175, Sr.

TIGHT END: Will Walker (Dansville, Mich.), Siena Heights, 5-11, 260, Jr.

LINEMEN: Ryan Carlson (Gilbraltar, Mich.), Siena Heights, 6-6, 320, Sr.; Landon Myers (Fort Wayne, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 6-3, 312, Jr.; Stanley Fink (Westphalia, Mich.), Siena Heights, 6-1, 270, Jr.; Rece Roney (Columbus Grove, Ohio), St. Francis, Ind., 6-4, 265, Soph.; Tyler Lotz (Cloverdale, Ind.), Marian, 6-4, 275, Jr.

PLACEKICKER: Matt Plesac (Hobart, Ind.), Marian, 5-11, 160, Jr.

RETURN SPECIALIST: Tyler Gerig (Fishers, Ind.), Taylor, 5-11, 180, Sr.

Second Team Defense

LINEMEN: Nick Edney (Garden City, Mich.), Concordia, 6-2, 267, Soph.; Izayah Newsom (South Bend, Ind.), Siena Heights, 6-3, 275, Sr.; Matt Swartz (Fort Wayne, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 6-1, 280, Jr.; DeVonte Collins-Anderson (Columbus, Ohio), Siena Heights, 5-11, 285.

LINEBACKERS: Griffin Sobol (Morris, Ill.), Siena Heights, 6-4, 215, Jr.; Bailey Bennett (Greenwood, Ind.), Marian, 6-0, 210, Soph.; Jay Koski (Portage, Mich.), Concordia, 5-11, 212, Sr.; Nick Stalworth (Clarkston, Mich.), Siena Heights, 6-0, 210, Soph.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Ryan Johnson (Xenia, Ohio), St. Francis, Ind., 5-10, 160, Jr.; Jaylen Cowley (Kansas City, Mo.), Missouri Baptist, 5-10, 190, Soph.; Tim Koehler (Belvidere, Ill.), Concordia, 5-11, 202, Sr.;  Jackson Bronkema (Middeville, Mich.), Taylor, 6-0, 205, Jr.

PUNTER: Luke Frain (Indianapolis, Ind.), Marian, 6-1, 205, Jr.; Joe Knepper (Fort Wayne, Ind.), St. Francis, Ind., 5-11, 181, Jr.

Honorable Mention

CONCORDIA: Tarek Dalou (Dearborn Heights, Mich), 5-9, 175, Jr., DB; Ryan Fish (Allen Park, Mich.), 6-2, 186, Soph., DB; Ed Merhi (Canton, Mich.), 6-3, 284, Sr., OL.

LINDENWOOD-BELLEVILLE: Lance Winkler (Springfield, Ill.), 603, 235, R-Fr., LB; Trecion Bell (Los Angeles, Calif.), 6-1, 175, Sr., CB; Jaquay Owens (Decatur, Ill.), 5-8, 190, Jr., RB.

MARIAN: Owen Gilbert (Brownsburg, Ind.), 6-1, 230, Sr., LS; Andrew Wood (Swayzee, Ind.), 6-4, 285, Jr., OL; Darrell Wilson (Warrenville, Ill.), 6-3, 205, Soph., DB.

MISSOURI BAPTIST: Chris Baldwin (Chicago, Ill.), 5-10, 210, Jr. RB; Anthony Taele (Oceanside, Calif.), 6-2, 257, Jr., TE; Cacorey McGee (Center, Texas), 5-11, 210, Soph., LB.

  1. FRANCIS, IND.: Marcus Stepp (Fort Wayne, Ind.), 6-1, 218, Sr., DB; Wil Chrisman (Waterloo, Ind.), 6-6, 230, Jr., WR; Jordan May (Fishers, Ind.), 6-2, 246, Sr., DL.

SIENA HEIGHTS: Adam Glanders (Elkhart, Ind), 6-2, 190, Sr., WR; E.J. Shaah (Ypsilanti, Mich.), 5-11, 215, R-Sr., LB; Jax Gasaway (Livonia, Mich.), 6-3, 265, Fr., OL.

TAYLOR: Tyler Gerig (Fishers, Ind.), 5-11, 180, Sr., DB; Brandon George (Eaton, Ohio), 6-2, 280, Sr., OL; Hunter Brooks (New Harmony, Ind.), 6-0, 215, Sr., LS

COACH OF THE YEAR: Mark Henninger, Marian

ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR: Brock Caraboa, Marian, Defensive Coordinator

Midwest League

First Team Offense

QUARTERBACK: Justin Hunniford (Frankfort, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 5-10, 190, Sr.

RUNNINGBACK: Jayvion Daniels (Lima, Ohio), Olivet Nazarene, 5-11, 190, Fr.; Dwayne Milton (Machesney Park, Ill.), St. Francis, Ill., 5-8, 175, Jr.

WIDE RECEIVERS: ***Brandon Ruffin (Peoria, Ill.), St. Francis, Ill., 6-4, 175, Jr.; Harold Davis (Joliet, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 5-11, 185, Jr.; **Rashaan Gaymon (Ft. Myers, Fla.), Olivet Nazarene, 6-0, 178, Sr.; Elliott Pipkin (Owsego, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 6-2, 175, Soph.

TIGHT END: Matt Brachmann (Elmhurst, Ill.), St. Francis, Ill., 6-3, 255, Sr.

LINMEN: James Officer IV (Indianapolis, Ind.), Olivet Nazarene, 6-4, 270, Jr.; ****Brennan Mulroe (New Lenox, Ill.), St. Francis, Ill., 6-2, 280, Sr.; Bruce Mesa (Pewaukee, Wis.), Saint Xavier, 6-2, 280, Soph.; Zach Buikema (Bourbonnais, Ill.), St. Francis, Ill., 6-6, 300, Jr.; Anthony Saro (Niles, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 6-1, 255, Soph.

PLACEKICKER: Mike Iturbe (Palos Heights, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 5-11, 175, Fr.

RETURN SPECIALIST: Omari Ferguson (Joliet, Ill.), Robert Morris, 5-7, 145, Fr.

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF YEAR: Justin Hunniford, Saint Xavier, Quarterback

First Team Defense

LINEMEN: Dmitri Joe (LaGrange Park, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 6-3, 285, Sr.; Jaleel Holloway (University Park, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 6-0, 250, Fr.; Arinze Ekowa (Plainfield, Ill.), Olivet Nazarene, 6-0, 245, Soph.; Sam Kaburek (O’Fallon, Ill.), St. Ambrose, 6-1, 260, Jr.

LINEBACKERS: **Josh Hettiger (Oak Lawn, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 6-2, 220, Jr.; **Caleb Coe (Cedarville, Ohio), Olivet Nazarene, 6-1, 210, Sr.; Brody Crossin (Valparaiso, Ind.), Olivet Nazarene, 6-2, 220, R-Jr.; Omar Salazar (Plainfield, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 5-9, 185, Sr.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Kevin Block (Plainfield, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 6-0, 175, Soph.; Tim Walsh (Evergreen Park, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 5-11, 175, Sr.; Malik Thurman (Bellwood, Ill.), St. Francis, Ill., 5-10, 185, Sr.; Brenton Johnson (Bolingbrook, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 5-7, 170, Sr.

PUNTER: **Josh Anderson (Arvada, Colo.), Olivet Nazarene, 6-0, 200, R-Jr.

CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF YEAR: Josh Hettinger, Saint Xavier, Linebacker & Caleb Coe, Olivet Nazarene, Linebacker

Second Team Offense

QUARTERBACK: Jordan Lawton (Lakewood, Calif.), Olivet Nazarene, 6-0, 178, Jr.

RUNNINGBACK: Vance McShane (Freeport, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 5-6, 175, Fr.

WIDE RECEIVER:  Tanner Champley (Taylorville, Ill.), St. Ambrose, 6-1, 195, Jr.; Omari Ferguson (Joliet, Ill.), Robert Morris, 5-7, 145, Fr.; Devonta Archer (Chicago, Ill.), Trinity International, 6-4, 225, Sr.; Jimmy Campbell (Fortville, Ind.), Trinity International, 5-9, 180, Jr.

TIGHT END: Michael Berry (Beavercreek, Ohio), Robert Morris, 6-1, 235, Jr.

LINEMEN: Zach Gadbury (Tolono, Ill.), St. Ambrose, 6-2, 275, Jr.; Sean Galligar (Columbus, Ind.), Olivet Nazarene, 5-11, 300, Jr.; Davis Clay (Parker, Colo.), Olivet Nazarene, 6-5, 310, Sr.; Fred Bush (Spring Grove, Ill.), Robert Morris, 6-6, 290, Soph.; Justin Moore (Omaha, Neb.), Robert Morris, 6-6, 340, Jr.

PLACEKICKER: Josh Anderson (Arvada,Colo.), Olivet Nazarene, 6-0, 200, R-Jr.

RETURN SPECIALIST: Nick Czeszewski (Oak Forest, Ill.), Saint Xavier, 6-0, 190, Jr.

Second Team Defense

LINEMEN: Godfrey Collins (Naperville, Ill.), Trinity International, 5-10, 285, Sr.; Bernard Buhake (Arlington, Texas), St. Ambrose, 6-7, 225, Soph.

LINEBACKERS: Taylor O’Donnell (Lockport, Ill.), St. Ambrose, 5-11, 210, Sr.; Jalon Simpson (Portland, Mich.), Olivet Nazarene, 6-3, 230, R-Soph.; Mason Delong (Bourbonnais, Ill.), St. Francis, Ill., 6-1, 210, Soph.; Kareem Hammond (Richton Park, Ill.), Robert Morris, 5-10, 210, Jr.

DEFENSIVE BACKS: Brad Mowbray (Redlands, Calif.), Trinity International, 5-9, 185, Sr.; Kobe Easley (Glendale Heights, Ill.), St. Ambrose, 6-0, 155, Jr.; Keyon Lansdown (Chicago, Ill.), Robert Morris, 5-11, 180, Sr.; Griffin Zajac (Oswego, Ill.), St. Ambrose, 5-8, 165, Soph.

PUNTER: Carter Andrade (Las Vegas, Nev.), Trinity International, 5-10, 170, Soph.

Honorable Mention

OLIVET NAZARENE: Mason Southall (Wilmington, Ill.), 6-1, 208, Sr., LS; Jared Allen (Valdosta, Ga.), 6-1, 290, Soph., OG; TJ Layne (Morris, Ill.), 6-1, 240, Jr., DT.

ROBERT MORRIS: Michael Moss (Chicago, Ill.), 6-4, 200, Sr., WR; Kenny Kirkland (Minooka, Ill.), 6-0, 185, Jr., LB; Christopher Rocha (Rancho Cucomonga, Calif.), 5-10, 225, Sr., DL

SAINT XAVIER: Joe Cosenza (Oak Lawn, Ill.), 5-11, 200, Sr., LB; John Ivlow (Channahon, Ill.), 6-2, 290, Soph., OL; Tionte McDaniel (Markham, Ill.), 5-9, 175, Jr., DB.

  1. AMBROSE: Jake Romani (Bloomington, Ill), 6-3, 225, Sr., QB; Carter Himmelman (Bettendorf, Iowa), 6-3, 235, Sr., TE; Dillon Valdez (Wheaton, Ill.), 5-9, 205, Jr., LB.
  2. FRANCIS, ILL.: Don Butkus (Dyer, Ind.), 6-0, 190, Sr., QB; Antonio Jameson (Plainfield, Ill.), 5-11, 205, Jr., LB; Kody Randa (Sandwich, Ill), 5-11, 215, Jr., LB.

TRINITY INTERNATIONAL: Ardel Christian (Ettrick, Va.), 6-0, 300, Fr., TD; Joey Ruscio (Colorado Springs, Colo.), 6-3, 292, Jr., OL; Derek Lowe (Chicago, Ill.), 5-8, 170, Soph., RB.

COACH OF THE YEAR: Mike Feminis, Saint Xavier

ASSISTANT COACH OF THE YEAR: Nick Cemeno, Saint Xavier, Defensive Line

**** — 4-Time Selection           ***– 3-Time Selection              ** — 2-Time Selection