Pioneer League announces All-Conference teams
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The PFL North honors were split as San Diego’s senior quarterback Eric Rasmussen was named the division’s "Offensive Player of the Year." Butler defensive back Brandon Martin was the North’s "Defensive Player of the Year" and Valparaiso head coach Tom Horne earned "Coach of the Year" honors, his second such award.
Morehead State dominated the PFL South honors, as was indicative of the Eagle’s undefeated run through divisional play. Head coach Matt Ballard received his second consecutive PFL South "Coach of the Year" citation. MSU quarterback David Caudill was the division’s "Offensive Player of the Year." The South’s "Defensive Player of the Year" award was split between Morehead State’s Craig Unger and Davidson’s Darryl Childers.
Rasmussen, a 6-3, 217-pound senior quarterback from Sacramento, Calif., currently leads the PFL in all of Division I in passing efficiency (174.5). He set new Torero single-season marks in passing yards (2,982 yards), pass completions (195) and touchdowns (35). He finished the season with just three interceptions in 318 pass attempts and threw for 200 or more yards in eight of his 10 games.
Martin, a 5-11, 180-pound senior defensive back from Springville, Ind., is the current Division I-AA leader in interceptions, recording eight in 11 games this season and finished as Butler’s all-time leader with 17 career pass thefts. He also led the Bulldogs with 82 total tackles, including 71 solo stops.
Horne earns the PFL South’s "Coach of the Year" honor after leading Valparaiso to a 7-4 mark and a share of the PFL North title with a 3-1 mark. The Crusaders will be competing in their first-ever conference championship game and enter that contest with a No. 7 ranking in the Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major poll.
Caudill, a 6-2, 210-pound senior quarterback from Van Buren, Ind., led the South Division in passing yardage per game (232.9 ypg), was 10th overall in the PFL in rushing yardage (42.6 ypg) and fourth in total offense per game (275.5 ypg). He has led Morehead State to back-to-back PFL South titles.
Childers, a 5-11, 225-pound senior defensive lineman from China Grove, N.C., led the PFL and was fifth among all I-AA pass rushers with 1.00 sacks per game. He finished the season with 11 of Davidson’s 17 sacks. He also was fourth in the PFL in tackles for loss with 1.09 per game, totalling 12.0 tackles for loss through 11 games.
Unger, a 6-2, 214-pound junior linebacker from Greenfield, Ohio, was the PFL’s leading tackler for the second consecutive year, averaging 10.8 tackles per game, 17th best in Division I-AA in 2003. He also was tied for eighth in interceptions with three on the season (0.30 pg), including one returned for a touchdown.
Ballard earns the PFL North’s "Coach of the Year" honor after leading Morehead State to a 8-2 mark, the PFL South championship with a 3-0 mark, a PFL Championship berth and a consensus No. 1 ranking in the three mid-major polls. He led Morehead State to its fourth consecutive winning season and second PFL South divisional title in just the division’s third year of existence.
North Division - Offense: WR - Adam Hannula, San Diego; WR - Rob Giancola, Valparaiso; TE - Jeff Incerty, San Diego; QB - Eric Rasmussen, San Diego; RB - Jonathan Taylor, Drake; RB - Evan Harney, San Diego; OL - Nate Moore, Dayton; OL - Nick Sellet, Dayton; OL - Grant Knowles, Drake; OL - Mark Wilke, Drake; OL - Keith Zapalaca, San Diego.
North Division - Defense: DL - John Leininger, Butler; DL - Chris Dearth, Dayton; DL - Brook Leonard, Drake; DL - Josh Noga, San Diego; LB - Brian Heizman, Dayton; LB - Mike Short, Dayton; LB - Andy Guzenski, San Diego; DB - Brandon Martin, Butler; DB - Doug Jones, Dayton; DB - Gavin Ng, San Diego; DB - Chris Daniels, Valparaiso.
North Division - Special Teams: PK - Andrew McCawley, Valparaiso; P - Ryan Horvath, Drake; RS - Justin Campbell, Butler.
South Division - Offense: WR - Barrett Johnson, Davidson; WR - Ralph Delsardo, Morehead State; TE - Jimmy Willman, Jacksonville; QB - David Caudill, Morehead State; RB - John Leverett, Davidson; RB - Emmett Hunter, Jacksonville; OL - Adam Rector, Austin Peay; OL - Matt Meyer, Jacksonville; OL - Charles McGowan, Morehead State; OL - Pete Wagner, Morehead State; OL - Justin Farrar, Morehead State.
South Division - Defense: DL - Joe Bell, Austin Peay; DL - Darryl Childers, Davidson; DL - Ryan McKenzie, Morehead State; DL - Dean Anderson, Morehead State; LB - Tim Hasse, Jacksonville; LB - Craig Unger, Morehead State; LB - Odi Anyanwu, Morehead State; DB - Bryan Flowers, Jacksonville; DB - Charles Byrd, Morehead State; DB - Kwesi Williams, Morehead State; DB - Jahmaine Wells, Morehead State;
South Division - Special Teams: PK - Chris Costello, Davidson; P - Ryan Long, Jacksonville; RS - Matthew Loy, Morehead State.