2012 Patriot League Football Season Review

PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG Gavin McCarney led Colgate to the 2012 Patriot League Football title and finished fifth in the Walter Payton Award voting.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG
Gavin McCarney led Colgate to the 2012 Patriot League Football title and finished fifth in the Walter Payton Award voting.
PATRIOTLEAGUE.ORG

Jan. 16, 2013

Patriot League Football Release - 2012 Season Review Get Acrobat Reader

CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - A resurgence for one of the top programs in the Patriot League and outstanding performances from three individuals headlined the 2012 football season.

Colgate won its first League title since 2008, and seventh overall, by recovering from a 1-3 start with a seven-game winning streak that included an unbeaten run through the Patriot League. The Raiders were led by junior quarterback Gavin McCarney, who finished fifth in the Walter Payton Award voting and earned All-America honors.

McCarney wasn't the only name to remember, as Georgetown linebacker Robert McCabe and Fordham placekicker/punter Patrick Murray turned in outstanding senior seasons. McCabe was a first-team All-American from three organizations and placed fourth for the Buck Buchanan Award, while Murray earned consensus first-team All-America status.

Lehigh also enjoyed an outstanding year with its third-straight 10-win season, though the Mountain Hawks were left out of the FCS postseason. Lehigh finished at No. 14/16 in the national poll, while Colgate came in at No. 25 to give the Patriot League multiple teams in the final rankings for the first time since 2009.

Patriot League Twitter Notebook - @PatriotLeagueFB
*Colgate won its first Patriot League title since 2008.
*Lehigh and Colgate each finished in the FCS top 25, giving the Patriot League a pair of teams in the final rankings for the first time since 2009.
*Colgate junior quarterback Gavin McCarney placed fifth in the Walter Payton Award voting and was an All-American from The Sports Network and AP.
*Georgetown senior linebacker Robert McCabe was fourth for the Buck Buchanan Award and a first-team All-American from Sports Network, AP and AFCA.
*Fordham senior placekicker Patrick Murray earned consensus first-team All-America honors and won the 2012 Fred Mitchell Award.
*Head Coaches Dick Biddle (Colgate) and Joe Moorhead (Fordham) were finalists for the Eddie Robinson Award.
*Colgate's Jordan McCord and Ryan Risch also earned All-America status.
*Eleven Patriot Leaguers earned ECAC All-Star honors, with McCabe as the organization's Defensive Player of the Year.
*Colgate's Chris Looney and Lehigh's Zach Barket were named Capital One Academic All-Americans, with Looney making the first team.
*Looney was one of five Patriot Leaguers on the FCS ADA Academic All-Star Team, and is one of six finalists for a post-graduate scholarship from the FCS ADA.
*Five Patriot Leaguers led the FCS in a statistical category in 2012.
*Lehigh's Ryan Spadola concludes his career second in receptions and receiving yards in Patriot League history. *Both players will compete in major postseason all-star games in coming weeks.

Patriot League Notebook

COLGATE RUNS ITS WAY TO THE PATRIOT LEAGUE TITLE
Colgate sat with a 1-3 record through four games, but the Raiders turned it on from there to win their final seven contests and capture the 2012 Patriot League Football championship. It was Colgate's seventh League title, and first since 2008. Colgate finished in the top five nationally in rushing, total and scoring offense, and scored 35 points or more in nine consecutive contests entering the postseason.

LEHIGH, COLGATE RANKED IN FINAL FCS TOP 25
For the first time since 2009, multiple Patriot League teams were ranked in the final Football Championship Subdivision polls as Lehigh came in the top 20 in both national rankings and Colgate was the No. 25 team in The Sports Network poll. The Mountain Hawks earned the No. 14 ranking in the FCS Coaches Poll, and No. 16 in The Sports Network top 25. Lehigh finishes in the polls for the third straight season after going 10-1 for the year. The Mountain Hawks were left out of the postseason despite their 10-1 finish. The Raiders were ranked in the final poll for the first time since 2009, when Holy Cross finished at No. 14 in both national rankings while Colgate was at No. 20/21 and Lafayette was No. 24/25. A Patriot League team has now finished in the top 15 of at least one national poll in four consecutive seasons.

McCARNEY, McCABE AND MURRAY THE NAMES TO REMEMBER FROM 2012
It was a good season to have an "M" at the start of your last name in the Patriot League as Colgate quarterback Gavin McCarney, Georgetown linebacker Robert McCabe and Fordham placekicker/punter Patrick Murray had memorable years. McCarney finished fifth in the Walter Payton Award voting and earned second-team All-America honors from The Sports Network and third-team from the Associated Press. McCabe was the fourth-place finisher for the Buck Buchanan Award, the ECAC Defensive Player of the Year and a first-team All-American from The Sports Network, AP and American Football Coaches Association. Murray was the 10th Patriot Leaguer to earn consensus All-America honors as he was a first-team pick by all four major awarding organizations, adding the Walter Camp to the Sports Network, AP and AFCA. He was also named the Fred Mitchell Award winner as the top placekicker outside the Football Bowl Subdivision.

LOONEY LEADS PATRIOT LEAGUERS HONORED FOR WORK IN THE CLASSROOM
Colgate's Chris Looney was named the Patriot League Scholar-Athlete of the Year, and continued to receive praise for his success on the field and classroom as a first-team Capital One Academic All-American and one of six finalists for two post-graduate scholarships given out by the FCS Athletic Directors Association. Looney was one of five Patriot Leaguer named FCS ADA Academic All-Stars along with Lafayette's Mark Ross and Brad Bormann, Fordham's Patrick Murray and Lehigh's Zach Barket, who also joined Looney as a Capital One Academic All-American with a third-team pick. Looney, Ross and Barket were named to the College Sports Journal All-Academic Team along with Lehigh's Ryan Spadola and Lafayette's Greg Kessel.

MORE POSTSEASON HONORS
Colgate's Jordan McCord and Ryan Risch concluded their senior seasons as All-Americans, receiving third-team praise from The Sports Network. Ten Patriot Leaguers received All-Star selections from the ECAC, with Murray, McCarney, McCabe and McCord on the list along with Lehigh offensive lineman Mike Vuono, defensive lineman Sajjad Chagani and linebacker Billy Bokyo, Georgetown defensive back Jeremy Moore, Bucknell defensive lineman Samuel Oyekoya and Holy Cross return specialist Kalif Raymond. Murray was honored as both the placekicker and punter by the ECAC.

SPADOLA, McCABE AIM TO CONTINUE CAREERS PROFESSIONALLY
Lehigh's Ryan Spadola and Georgetown's Robert McCabe have opportunities to impress scouts ahead of April's NFL Draft. Spadola will play in the Texas vs. The Nation game on Feb. 2 and compete in the NFL combine later in the month, while McCabe will compete in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday. Spadola finished second in Patriot League history in both receptions and receiving yards, while McCabe stands fifth all-time in tackles.

PATRIOT LEAGUERS FINISH HIGH IN FCS STATISTICS
Multiple Patriot Leaguers finished at or near the top of FCS statistics. Fordham's Patrick Murray was first in field goals made per game, and second in the nation in punting average. Georgetown's Robert McCabe easily finished at the top spot in tackles per game, while Colgate's Gavin McCarney tops the charts in scoring just ahead of teammate Jordan McCord.. Fordham's Michael Martin and Georgetown's Jeremy Moore were tied for the FCS lead in fumbles forced and recovered, respectively.

Team Notebooks

Bucknell Seven Bison made the All-Patriot League Team...Fullback Travis Friend, defensive lineman Samuel Oyekoya and defensive back Matthew Steinbeck were on the first team, with defensive linemen Sean Sellers and Tracey Smith and linebackers Evan Byers and Beau Traber on the second team...Oyekoya was also an Academic All-Patriot League selection, and was later named as one of the Patriot League's ECAC All-Star picks...Bucknell won its season finale for the fifth time in the past seven years, and finished with two wins in the final three games...The Bison finished the year in the top 10 nationally in both rushing defense and sacks per game.

Colgate The Raiders had a storybook season with seven consecutive wins and a Patriot League title, their seventh overall and first since 2008...Colgate's ride came to an end with a 31-20 loss at Wagner in the first round of the NCAA Division I Football Championship on Nov. 24...The Raiders still finished at No. 25 in The Sports Network rankings, earning a spot in the final poll for the first time since 2009...The Raiders received three major awards from the Patriot League as Gavin McCarney was named Offensive Player of the Year, Dick Biddle took home the Coach of the Year award and Chris Looney earned the Scholar-Athlete of the Year honor...McCarney continued to rack up awards throughout the postseason as he was named a second-team All-American by The Sports Network and a third-team choice by the Associated Press, and also garnered ECAC All-Star status...The junior quarterback placed fifth in the voting for the Walter Payton Award as the Most Outstanding Player in the nation...He finished the year completing 159-of-256 passes for 2,372 yards with 16 touchdowns and eight interceptions and rushing 193 times for 1,406 yards and 23 touchdowns...He led the nation in scoring with 11.67 points per game, and also placed fourth in points responsible for per game, eighth in passing efficiency, ninth in total offense and 12th in rushing...Running back Jordan McCord and offensive lineman Ryan Risch each earned third-team All-America honors from The Sports Network following stellar senior seasons, with McCord also joining McCarney on the ECAC squad...McCord finished the year with 1,708 rushing yards, the fifth best single-season performance in Patriot League history, and was second in the nation in scoring and fifth in rushing yardage per game...Six Raiders made the first-team All-Patriot League offense, with McCarney, McCord and Risch along with fullback/H-Back Ed Pavalko and offensive linemen Craig Capodiferro and Brian Crockett...Looney was a second-team wide receiver, while Patrick Friel made the second team at linebacker...Looney also earned a spot on the Academic All-Patriot League Team in addition to his Scholar-Athlete of the Year award...He was further awarded for his work in the classroom and on the field with a first-team spot on the Capital One Academic All-America team and as an FCS ADA Academic All-Star...Looney is one of six finalists for the two postgraduate scholarships offered by the FCS ADA...Colgate Head Coach Dick Biddle won the Patriot League Coach of the Year honor and was a candidate for the Eddie Robinson Award...Colgate finished in the top five nationally in rushing, total and scoring offense, and scored 35 points or more in nine consecutive contests entering the postseason...Colgate won its Patriot League games in decisive fashion as it took down Holy Cross (51-35), Georgetown (57-36), Bucknell (47-33) and Lafayette (65-41) before winning at Lehigh (35-24) to secure the League title and an undefeated Patriot League campaign on Nov. 10....The Raiders completed an undefeated run against Patriot League opponents with a 41-39 victory at Fordham on Nov. 17, holding on by denying a two-point conversion attempt with 43 seconds left...It was Colgate's first Patriot League title and first undefeated League campaign since 2008.

Fordham The Rams finished the season with a five-game improvement from last year, going 6-5 in the first year for Head Coach Joe Moorhead...Moorhead was honored for the success when he was named a candidate for the Eddie Robinson Award... Fordham had 11 selections to the All-Patriot League team, tying Lehigh for the most in the League...The Rams also shared League honors with seven first-team picks, with Koonce at running back, Wetzel at wide receiver, tight end Dan Light, offensive lineman Lloyd Morrison, Martin at linebacker and Murray as both the placekicker and punter...On the second team, Chris Watkins was on the offensive line, Wetzel at return specialist, Nick Womack made it on the defensive line and Ian Williams was at defensive back...Murray, Light and Brendan Melanophy were all named to the Academic All-Patriot League Team...Murray had one of the best seasons for a field goal kicker in FCS history, and was honored for it with multiple awards in the offseason...He became the 10th consensus All-American in Patriot League history, and eighth with consensus first-team status, as he made the lists from Sports Network, Associated Press, Walter Camp and AFCA... Murray was named the 2012 Fred Mitchell Award winner as the top placekicker from the FCS, Division II, Division III, NAIA or NJCAA and also received the FCS Placekicker of the Year award from College Football Performance Awards...He was named an ECAC All-Star as both a punter and placekicker...He went 25-of-30 to shatter the single-season Patriot League record of 19 made field goals and come within just one of the FCS record...He was also honored as an FCS ADA Academic All-Star.

Georgetown The Hoyas missed finishing over .500 for the second year in a row by one game, but their season will be most remembered for the play of senior linebacker Robert McCabe...McCabe was named the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year and ECAC Defensive Player of the Year and finished fourth in the voting for the Buck Buchanan Award as the Top Defensive Player in the FCS...He was named a first-team All-American by The Sports Network and Associated Press as well as the AFCA...McCabe finished the year with 159 tackles, 14.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks....The 159 tackles were 28 more than any other FCS player at the end of the regular season, and tied for fourth in League history as the top mark for any player in a single season since 1995...He finishes his career with 407 tackles, becoming the first Hoya to break 400 career tackles and the first Patriot Leaguer to do it since 1997...McCabe will play in the East-West Shrine Game on Saturday...McCabe was one of three Hoyas on the first-team All-Patriot League defense along with linebacker Dustin Wharton and defensive back Jeremy Moore, who made the team for the third year in a row...On the second team, running back Nick Campanella, wide receiver Kevin Macari and offensive lineman James Spaly all represented the Hoyas....Senior Donald Rhodes made the Academic All-Patriot League squad.

Holy Cross A tough season ended on a positive note with a 24-0 victory at Georgetown on Nov. 17..Holy Cross finished 2-9, though five of the losses came by four points or less on a score given up in the final minutes...Holy Cross had eight All-Patriot League selections, including freshman return specialist Kalif Raymond on the first team...Second-team picks included wide receiver Gerald Mistretta, tight end Alex Schneider, offensive lineman Sean Whited, defensive lineman Gary Acquah, defensive back Tom Mannix and John Macomber as both the punter and placekicker...Mannix, Macomber and Sam Jones each made the Academic All-Patriot League Team...Raymond was later named as the return specialist on the ECAC All-Star Team.

Lafayette The Leopards dropped the final four games of the season to finish the year at 5-6...Wide receiver Mark Ross had an outstanding junior season with 75 receptions for 1,030 yards and 10 touchdowns to earn first-team All-Patriot League honors, and was also recognized for his work in the classroom as an Academic All-Patriot League pick and FCS ADA Academic All-Star...Rick Lyster joined Ross as a first-team All-Patriot League pick, while Jamel Smith received the Patriot League Rookie of the Year award for his play at wide receiver and in the return game....Lafayette's second-team All-Patriot League selections included Ross Scheuerman at running back, Luke Chiarolanziao on the offensive line and Kyni Scott, Darius Safford and Jared Roberts in the defensive backfield...Ross, Brad Bormann and Greg Kessel were named to the Academic All-Patriot League Team, with Bormann also joining Ross as an FCS Academic All-Star.

Lehigh Despite finishing with a 10-1 record, Lehigh was left out of the NCAA Division I Football Championship...The Mountain Hawks were the highest-ranked team to miss the field, and ended the year ranked at No. 14 in the FCS Coaches Poll and No. 16 in The Sports Network top 25...Lehigh ends the season ranked for a 31st consecutive time, and was one of two one-loss teams in the country along with national champion North Dakota State... They finished a third consecutive season with at least 10 victories and a top-15 ranking... The Mountain Hawks had a League-high 11 student-athletes named to the All-Patriot League Team including first-team selections for wide receiver Ryan Spadola, offensive lineman Mike Vuono, defensive linemen Tom Bianchi and Sajjad Chagani, linebacker Billy Boyko and defensive backs Billy O'Brien and Gabe Johnson..Quarterback Mike Colvin, offensive lineman Ned Daryoush and linebackers Sam Loughery and Nigel Muhammad made the second team...Vuono, Chagani and Boyko followed those selections with spots on the ECAC All-Star Team...Academic All-Patriot League team honors went to Spadola and running back Zach Barket, who was also named a third-team Capital One Academic All-American and FCS Academic All-Star...Spadola concluded his outstanding career in second place in Patriot League history in receptions and receiving yardage, and will aim for a goal of playing professionally as he competes at the Texas vs. The Nation game and NFL Combine next month.