All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference
Ten Beavers earn All-Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference recognition in 2005
By Bill Hanefeld Jr., sports information director
November 17, 2005
BLUFFTON, Ohio - Ten Bluffton University football players were honored by the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference for their work on the gridiron during the 2005 season. The honorees were selected by the Heartland Conference coaches following the completion of the regular season. Bluffton ended the year with a 3-7 record, including a 2-4 mark in the HCAC.
Bluffton placed three individuals on the first team All-HCAC, including senior tailback
Ben Dodds (West Liberty/Bellefontaine) who received his third conference honor. Dodds was named
first team in 2003 and second team in 2004. He rushed for 1,082 yards, third best
in the HCAC behind fellow standouts Denny Kimmel of Anderson and HCAC Offensive Most Valuable Player Mike Lovell of Mount St. Joseph, and eight touchdowns while also hauling in 19 receptions for
209 yards. Dodds finished his outstanding career at Bluffton with 3,692 yards on the
ground (fourth all-time), 756 yards receiving, 1,118 yards on kickoff returns and
Junior cornerback Jeremy Anderson (South Rockwood, Mich./Airport) picked up his second consecutive first team All-HCAC honor as a Beaver. Anderson picked off an HCAC-high six passes and broke up four others as he earned player of the week honors in the HCAC twice during 2005. He finished the season with 54 total tackles, including 38 solos and 6.5 tackles for losses as a leader in the Bluffton secondary.
Sophomore linebacker Sam McCullough (Bluffton/Bluffton) earned his first All-HCAC honor for his play during the 2005 campaign. He paced the Beaver defense with an HCAC-leading 111 total tackles, including 44 solos and 13 tackles for losses. McCullough broke up two passes, forced two fumbles and recovered a fumble in his second season at Bluffton.
Four Beavers, all of whom had previously earned post-season HCAC acclaim, were named to the second team All-HCAC. Senior defensive end Bryan Lloyd (Elida/Bath) was named honorable mention All-HCAC in 2003 and 2004. He recorded 41 tackles and tied for team-high honors with four sacks for a total loss of 18 yards. Lloyd also broke up two passes and recovered a fumble this season.
Senior quarterback Jared Owens (Van Wert/Crestview) returned following an injury that sidelined him through most of 2004 to earn second team All-HCAC recognition for the second time in his career. Owens completed 85 passes for 1,108 yards and seven touchdowns. He also picked up 294 yards on the ground and scored seven touchdowns as he spearheaded a Beaver offense that often incorporated the option.
Three-year starting defensive tackle Rashid Morton (Detroit, Mich./Ypsilanti) anchored the interior line in garnering his second consecutive conference honor. Morton, who was a first team selection in 2004, finished his career at Bluffton with 123 tackles, including 52 and 8.5 tackles for losses during his senior season. He recorded three sacks, broke up a pass and forced a fumble this year.
Junior center James Fay (Cairo, Ohio/Bath), who was named honorable mention All-HCAC in 2004, played an integral part in the success of the Bluffton running game in 2005. He helped to create the holes that Dodds used in racking up his second 1,000 yard season for the Beavers.
Three members of the 2005 football team were named honorable mention All-HCAC. Jonathon Mershman (Ottawa, Ohio/Ottawa-Glandorf), a senior safety and team captain, was the leader of the Bluffton secondary as he recorded 57 tackles, including 26 solos in his final season. He intercepted two passes for 31 yards and broke up two passes this year.
Junior tight end Jeremy Haselman (Leipsic, Ohio/Leipsic) was a receiving threat throughout the season as he hauled in 21 receptions for 261 yards and two touchdowns while also opening seams for the Bluffton ground attack.
Freshman defensive end Kyle Rode (Delphos, Ohio/Jefferson) earned All-HCAC recognition in his first collegiate season as he quickly made a name for himself at Bluffton when he was chosen HCAC player of the week following his seven tackle, two sack performance at Hiram in week two of the 2005 campaign. Rode racked up 45 tackles, including four sacks for a total loss of 36 yards, blocked three punts and forced a fumble on the season.