All-Heartland Awards Announced
November 15, 2017
BLUFFTON, Ohio - The Bluffton University football team capped off its 2017 season with nine Beavers earning All-Heartland Conference honors following voting by the head coaches. Bluffton saw three individuals selected to the first team, three to the second team and three were named honorable mention. Consecutive HCAC victories to end the season have the Beavers excited to start preparing for the 2018 campaign!
Senior Micah Roberson (Ada) didn't miss a beat, hauling in an HCAC-leading 82 receptions which are the third-most for a single season at Bluffton behind the 100 and 98 he put up in 2015 and 2016, respectively! His 935 yards receiving are 2nd in the conference and 6th all-time for a single season with the Beavers. He cemented his legacy at Bluffton with 335 catches, 3,602 yards receiving and 31 career touchdowns, all at the top of Bluffton's career record books. Roberson's 335 receptions more than doubled the previous mark of 163 set by Eric Metz from 1996-99. He stands 7th in the NCAA with the 82 receptions (8.2 RPG). Roberson has three of the top six marks on the single-season receiving list while rolling up a school-record 16 100-yard receiving games! To cap it off, Roberson caught 22 passes for more than 250 yards over the last three games of his career with a broken wrist.
Isaac Zickafoose (Middlebury, Ind./Northridge) battled double and triple teams on his way to a third straight First Team All-Heartland Conference honor. He was a marked man after being named the HCAC Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore in 2016. The talented junior was second on the team with 51 tackles, 12.0 yards TFL's and 5.0 sacks. His six quarterback hurries tied Ryan Aelker for first on Bluffton's single-season list.
He was the HCAC Player of the Week following his otherworldy performance in Bluffton's 56-14 dismantling of Anderson on Homecoming Saturday. He tallied six solo tackles, a forced fumble, three sacks and four tackles-for-loss. His sacks set AU back 32 yards and he forced a fumble on the third sack, picked it up and returned it for a score midway through the third quarter. The junior blocked a punt that Kay Boakye (Westerville/South) scooped up and ran back for a Bluffton touchdown late in the first half. He also scooted for 17 yards on a fake punt to keep the chains moving in the second quarter, and finished with a quarterback hurry and pass breakup. The Beaver defense allowed only 178 yards of offense with four total rushing yards.
Zickafoose is second all-time at Bluffton with 24 career sacks, 243 TFL yards and five fumble recoveries. He is third with 43.5 TFL's, 176 sack yards and his 14 quarterback hurries are tops all-time at Bluffton.
Freshman Darian Greeley (Mt. Clemens, Mich./Chippewa Valley) took advantage of his touches, earning First Team All-Heartland Conference honors despite playing in just eight games. He led the conference with 6.1 yards per rush while his 97.8 yards per game were third in the HCAC. Greeley finished the season with 782 yards and seven rushing touchdowns. He also caught nine balls for 85 yards out of the backfield. The All-HCAC performer went over 100 yards each of the last four games, including a season-high 175 yards on just 12 carries against Earlham in the home finale.
Sophomore Dylan Shaffer (Shelby) topped the Beavers with 80 tackles which were 6th in the Heartland Conference. His 50 solos tied Shaffer for 6th on Bluffton's single-season list and they were 5th in the HCAC. The Second Team All-HCAC linebacker finished with 3.5 TFL's, three breakups and a fumble recovery in his first season as a starter in the middle of Bluffton's defense.
Senior Wyatt Jarrell (Racine/Southern Local), a Second Team All-HCAC tackle, and junior Ethan Williams (Van Wert), an Honorable Mention All-HCAC guard, helped the Beavers throw for 278.6 yards per game, the fourth-highest total in the Heartland Conference and the best passing season in school history. Bluffton's 414.0 yards of total offense per game ranked fifth in the HCAC thanks to their work up front. The line opened holes for Darian Greeley who was named First Team All-HCAC following his first season on the gridiron. Jarrell and Williams also had a huge part in Bluffton equaling the school mark with 218 first downs.
Junior Ollie Moorer (Warrensville Heights) provided Bluffton with an equally adept bookend opposite of Isaac Zickafoose on the defensive line. Moorer was tied for fourth in the Heartland Conference with seven sacks and 13 TFL's. His 14 career sacks are tied for 5th all-time on Bluffton's career list. The Second Team All-HCAC honoree wrapped up 41 tackles (25 solos) and forced four fumbles (2nd all-time for a single season). He tallied two breakups and two quarterback hurries.
Junior Keyon Camden (Wayne/Elmwood) was Bluffton's big-play threat on the outside, piling up 590 receiving yards on 34 catches for 17.4 yards per catch which ranked fourth in the Heartland Conference. He finished with five touchdowns and had a 73-yard reception in Bluffton's 32-31 victory at Mount St. Joseph in week three. The Honorable Mention selection was ninth in the conference with 65.6 yards per game.
Senior Jordan Watkins (Reynoldsburg) leaves the Beavers as the most decorated kicker in Bluffton football history. He is the all-time leading kick scorer and 10th overall with 199 career points. Watkins also tops the career charts with 136 PAT's, a 95.1 PAT percentage (136-of-143) and a 70.0 FG percentage (21-of-30). The Honorable Mention All-HCAC honoree is also 4th all-time with 161 punts, serving as Bluffton's jack of all trades on special teams. Watkins has served as Bluffton's kicker for kickoffs, field goals and extra points while also moonlighting as the punter.
In conjunction with the All-HCAC selections, the Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference also announced the All-HCAC Sportsmanship Team for the fall of 2017. Senior NOAH RATHBUN (Erving, Mass./Pioneer Valley Regional) was selected to the All-Sportsmanship Team from Bluffton. This award has been developed as part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative. Members of the All-HCAC Sportsmanship team are selected by the coaches and their teammates as individuals who demonstrate the ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field/court of competition.
Bluffton wrapped up its season at 4-6 (4-4 HCAC), improving to 23-17 during the four years since Head Coach Denny Dorrel came on the scene. The 23 victories put up by the senior class equaled the 2016 seniors for the most since the 2001 seniors went 24-16!