Colgate's Dick Biddle was named Patriot League Coach of the Year on Tuesday for the fifth time in his career.
Nov. 20, 2012
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Three candidates for national awards in the Football Championship Subdivision also made their mark with top individual honors from the Patriot League when the 2012 All-League Team and major awards were announced on Tuesday.
Colgate junior quarterback Gavin McCarney was named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, while Georgetown senior linebacker Robert McCabe was selected as the Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year. McCarney and McCabe are top contenders for the Walter Payton Award and Buck Buchanan Award, respectively, as they stood out among their peers in the FCS all season. Colgate Head Coach Dick Biddle, an Eddie Robinson Award candidate, was named the Patriot League Coach of the Year. Lafayette freshman wide receiver/return specialist Jamel Smith rounded out the major award winners as the school's second straight Patriot League Rookie of the Year.
The selections were balanced throughout the seven teams, with Lehigh and Fordham each receiving 11 spots on the All-Patriot League Team. Fordham's selections came from nine student-athletes, with senior punter/kicker Patrick Murray and sophomore wide receiver/return specialist Brian Wetzel each named at two positions. The Mountain Hawks and Rams also shared League-high honors with seven selections to the first team. Patriot League champion Colgate followed with eight overall selections and six on the first team, while Holy Cross also had eight selections with junior punter/kicker John Macomber named to two positions. Bucknell and Lafayette had seven All-Patriot League selections, while Georgetown totaled six.
The All-Patriot League Team and major awards were voted on by the Patriot League Football head coaches, who could not vote for their own student-athletes or themselves.
McCarney directed one of the top offenses in the nation with a standout season that has put him in the running for the Payton Award, which goes to the Most Outstanding Player in the FCS. He enters the postseason having completed 146-of-234 passes for 2,253 yards and 15 touchdowns with just six interceptions, and did even more damage on the ground with 174 carries for 1,309 yards and an FCS-best 22 rushing touchdowns, tying with teammate Jordan McCord. McCarney leads the nation in scoring with 12.18 points per game, is second in the FCS in points responsible for, third in passing efficiency, seventh in total offense and 11th in rushing. McCarney set a Patriot League single-season record for rushing yards by a quarterback, with his 288-yard performance against Lafayette on Nov. 3 standing as the second-best rushing day by any player in Patriot League history. He led Colgate to a top-five mark nationally in rushing, total and scoring offense, and the Raiders averaged 49.3 points and 576.8 yards of total offense per game during Patriot League play. McCarney is Colgate's seventh Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year, and second in the past three seasons after running back Nate Eachus won the honor in 2010. McCarney is the first Colgate quarterback to win a major award since Ryan Vena was named Patriot League Player of the Year in 1996, 1997 and 1999.
McCabe led the nation in tackles with 159, finishing with 28 more than any other FCS player to place himself as a major candidate for the Buck Buchanan Award given to the Top Defensive Player in the nation. He also added 14.5 tackles for loss and 5.5 sacks for the season to wrap up one of the top careers for a defensive player in Patriot League history. McCabe concludes his time at Georgetown with a school-record 407 tackles, placing him tied for fifth in Patriot League history with the top mark for any player since 1997. His 159 tackles this season also stand tied for fourth in League annals and mark the highest total for any player since 1995. McCabe had 19 consecutive games with double-digit tackles to finish his career. He is Georgetown's second consecutive Patriot League Defensive Player of the Year after defensive end Andrew Schaetzke claimed the award last season.
Biddle wins his fifth Patriot League Coach of the Year award, more than any other coach in League history. It comes as the 17th year head coach led Colgate to its seventh Patriot League title during his tenure. Colgate got off to a 1-3 start, but the Raiders will enter the postseason on a seven-game win streak and have scored 35 points or more in nine consecutive contests. Colgate finished second in the country in both total and scoring offense and fifth in rushing offense as the Raiders rolled to points and yards all season. 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 Saturday. It is Colgate's first Patriot League title and first undefeated League campaign since 2008. Biddle claims his first Patriot League Coach of the Year award since that same season, and his fourth in the last 10 years.
Smith made an impact as a wide receiver and return specialist for Lafayette. The freshman was the team's second-leading receiver with 38 receptions for 291 yards and two touchdowns, and finished sixth in the nation in punt return average as he totaled 15 returns for 190 yards (12.7 avg) for the season. Smith came on strong in the final two weeks of the season with 14 receptions for 118 yards and two touchdowns. He is Lafayette's Patriot League-best 10th Rookie of the Year winner, and second in a row after teammate Ross Scheuerman claimed the honor last season.
McCarney leads a first-team All-Patriot League offense that includes five of his teammates. Also making the squad from Colgate were senior running back Jordan McCord, sophomore fullback/H-back Ed Pavalko and senior offensive linemen Craig Capodiferro, Brian Crockett and Ryan Risch. Fordham had five players on the first-team offense, with seniors running back Carlton Koonce, offensive lineman Lloyd Morrison and placekicker Patrick Murray and sophomores wide receiver Brian Wetzel and tight end Dan Light all making the list. Lehigh seniors wide receiver Ryan Spadola and offensive lineman Mike Vuono were also on the team along with Bucknell junior fullback/H-back Travis Friend, Lafayette junior wide receiver Mark Ross and Holy Cross freshman return specialist Kalif Raymond.
The first-team defense features five seniors from Lehigh, with Tom Bianchi and Sajjad Chagani on the defensive line, Billy Boyko at linebacker and Gabe Johnson and Billy O'Brien at defensive back. Georgetown has three selections with junior linebacker Dustin Wharton and senior defensive back Jeremy Moore joining McCabe. A pair of Fordham seniors made the team in Michael Martin at linebacker and Murray as the punter, while Bucknell had two selections with senior defensive lineman Samuel Oyekoya and sophomore defensive back Matthew Steinbeck. Lafayette senior defensive lineman Rick Lyster fills out the squad.
The second-team All-Patriot League offense includes quarterback Mike Colvin (Lehigh), running backs Nick Campanella (Georgetown) and Ross Scheuerman (Lafayette), wide receivers Chris Looney (Colgate), Kevin Macari (Georgetown) and Gerald Mistretta (Holy Cross), tight end Alex Schneider (Holy Cross), offensive linemen Luke Chiarolanzio (Lafayette), Ned Daryoush (Lehigh), James Spaly (Georgetown), Chris Watkins (Fordham) and Sean Whited (Holy Cross), placekicker John Macomber (Holy Cross) and Wetzel (Fordham) as the return specialist.
The second-team All-Patriot League defense consists of defensive linemen Gary Acquah (Holy Cross), Sean Sellers (Bucknell), Tracey Smith (Bucknell) and Nick Womack (Fordham), linebackers Evan Byers (Bucknell), Patrick Friel (Colgate), Sam Loughery (Lehigh), Nigel Muhammad (Lehigh) and Beau Traber (Bucknell), defensive backs Tom Mannix (Holy Cross), Jared Roberts (Lafayette), Darius Safford (Lafayette), Kyni Scott (Lafayette) and Ian Williams (Fordham), and Macomber (Holy Cross) serving double duty as the punter.
Each of the first-team running backs rank in the top five in rushing yardage in the FCS, with McCord totaling 1,627 yards and an FCS-best 22 touchdowns on the ground while Koonce managed a school-record 1,596 rushing yards and 13 touchdowns. Friend and Pavalko each had a receiving touchdown to go with their blocking prowess at fullback/H-back, while Ross (75 rec., 1,030 yards, 10 TD), Spadola (57 rec., 851 yards, 4 TD) and Wetzel (72 rec., 1,042 yards, 7 TD) each had big seasons at wide receiver. Light caught 45 passes for 388 yards at tight end, while Raymond had a 24.3 kickoff return average and a touchdown to earn the return specialist spot. Murray had the best year for a field goal kicker in Patriot League history, going 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 had four field goals of 50 yards or longer, including a Patriot League record and FCS single-season high 55-yarder against Cincinnati on Oct. 13.
On defense, Bianchi (53 TT, 10 TFL, 7 sacks), Chagani (45 TT, 9 TFL, 7 sacks), Lyster (54 TT, 6.5 TFL, 3 sacks) and Oyekoya (40 TT, 14 TFL, 9 sacks) each had standout seasons on the line. At linebacker, Boyko (104 TT, 1 INT, 2 FF), Martin (104 TT, 9 TFL, 4 sacks, 7 FF) and Wharton (104 TT, 9.5 TFL, 3.5 sacks, 2 FF) each joined McCabe with 100-tackle seasons. Johnson (66 TT, 1 INT), Moore (71 TT, 5 INT, 6 TFL, 4 FR), O'Brien (54 TT, 5.5 TFL) and Steinbeck (6 INT, 44 TT) all shined at defensive back while Murray was second in the nation with a 46.0 punting average.
Colvin led Lehigh to a 10-1 record while completing 227-of-396 passes for 3,108 yards with 19 touchdowns and rushing for 479 yards and 11 scores. Campanella (501 rushing yards, 7 TD) and Scheuerman (701 yards, 5 TD) make up the second-team All-Patriot League backfield for the second year in a row. Looney (38 rec., 723 yards, 6 TD), Macari (50 rec., 668 yards, 6 TD) and Mistretta (54 rec., 669 yards, 8 TD) had strong years at wide receiver along with Schneider (16 rec., 161 yards, 2 TD) at tight end. Macomber made 10-of-13 field goals, while Wetzel averaged 23.0 yards on kickoff returns.
The second-team defensive line had four players with solid years as Acquah (54 TT, 7 TFL, 2 sacks), Sellers (32 TT, 8 TFL, 6 sacks), Smith (45 TT, 5.5 TFL, 3 sacks) and Womack (28 TT, 5.5 TFL) all put up good numbers. Byers (100 TT, 13.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks, 3 INT) was a fifth member of the 100-tackle club at linebacker and joined on the squad by Friel (84 TT, 6.5 TFL, 4.5 sacks), Loughery (83 TT, 9.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks), Muhammad (76 TT, 10.5 TFL, 5.5 sacks) and Traber (67 TT, 4.5 sacks). Lafayette's trio of Roberts (4 INT, 53 TT), Safford (3 INT, 51 TT) and Scott (3 INT, 49 TT) led a team that placed second in the nation in interceptions while Mannix (2 INT, 88 TT) and Williams (5 INT, 86 TT) had strong seasons for their teams. Macomber averaged 40.8 yards per punt for the season.
Spadola was named a first-team All-Patriot League selection for the third year in a row, becoming the 21st player in League history to receive first-team honors in three different seasons. Friend, Moore and Schneider each made the squad for the third season as well. Moore ends his career with four All-Patriot League selections as he was a first-team return specialist as well as defensive back last season. McCabe and Vuono were on the first team for the second year in a row, while ten additional players were named to the All-League squad for a second straight season.
No. 24 Colgate will continue its season in the NCAA Division I Football Championship, playing a first-round matchup at Wagner, the champion of the Northeast Conference, on Saturday.
The complete 2012 All-Patriot League Football team can be found below.
2012 All-Patriot League Football Team
Offensive Player of the Year: Gavin McCarney, QB, Colgate
Defensive Player of the Year: Robert McCabe, LB, Georgetown
Rookie of the Year: Jamel Smith, WR/RS, Lafayette
Coach of the Year: Dick Biddle, Colgate
First-Team All-Patriot League
QB Gavin McCarney, Colgate
RB Jordan McCord, Colgate; Carlton Koonce, Fordham
FB/HB Travis Friend, Bucknell; Ed Pavalko, Colgate
WR Mark Ross, Lafayette; Ryan Spadola, Lehigh; Brian Wetzel, Fordham
TE Dan Light, Fordham
OL Craig Capodiferro, Colgate; Brian Crockett, Colgate; Ryan Risch, Colgate; Lloyd Morrison, Fordham; Mike Vuono, Lehigh
PK Patrick Murray, Fordham
RS Kalif Raymond, Holy Cross
DL Tom Bianchi, Lehigh; Sajjad Chagani, Lehigh; Rick Lyster, Lafayette; Samuel Oyekoya, Bucknell
LB Billy Boyko, Lehigh; Robert McCabe, Georgetown; Dustin Wharton, Georgetown; Michael Martin, Fordham
DB Jeremy Moore, Georgetown; Matthew Steinbeck, Bucknell; Billy O'Brien, Lehigh; Gabe Johnson, Lehigh
P Patrick Murray, Fordham
Second-Team All-Patriot League
QB Mike Colvin, Lehigh
RB Nick Campanella, Georgetown; Ross Scheuerman, Lafayette
WR Chris Looney, Colgate; Kevin Macari, Georgetown; Gerald Mistretta, Holy Cross
TE Alex Schneider, Holy Cross
OL Luke Chiarolanzio, Lafayette; Ned Daryoush, Lehigh; James Spaly, Georgetown; Sean Whited, Holy Cross; Chris Watkins, Fordham
PK John Macomber, Holy Cross
RS Brian Wetzel, Fordham
DL Sean Sellers, Bucknell; Tracey Smith, Bucknell; Gary Acquah, Holy Cross; Nick Womack, Fordham
LB Evan Byers, Bucknell; Beau Traber, Bucknell; Patrick Friel, Colgate; Sam Loughery, Lehigh; Nigel Muhammad, Lehigh
DB Kyni Scott, Lafayette; Darius Safford, Lafayette; Jared Roberts, Lafayette; Tom Mannix, Holy Cross; Ian Williams, Fordham
P John Macomber, Holy Cross