November 14, 2011

Ten Bethany Players Earn All-PAC

More news about: Bethany

The Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) announced its all-league teams Monday and ten Bethany College football players were voted to the teams, including one player who made it for two different positions.

The Bison, who are 4-5 overall and finished 3-5 in the PAC this season, will conclude the 2011 campaign Saturday with a home game against King's (Pa.) College at 1 p.m. The game is being made up after heavy flooding in the Wilkes-Barre area near the King's campus forced a postponement of the original match-up on Sept. 10.

Headlining the BC honorees were three players on Second Team, including senior center Cory Potter, senior wide receiver Alex Evans and junior cornerback Jeff Joyce.

Receiving Honorable Mention accolades were junior linebacker Kyle Arrington; junior wide receiver Ed Holmes; sophomore running back Nico Irizarry; junior offensive lineman Doug Murray; senior defensive end Kasib Taalib-Din; senior running back Eric Walker; sophomore safety Jamaan Webb and Evans as a kick returner.

This is the third consecutive All-PAC honor for Potter following Second Team laurels as a sophomore and Honorable Mention last year. He anchored an offensive line that ranks third in the conference in total offense with 374.3 yards per game and first in third down conversions at 41.5 percent. Potter plowed the way for the Green and White to set season-highs for rushing yards (224) and total yards (456) in the opening 28-7 victory at Allegheny.

Evans scooped up Second Team honors as a wide receiver and Honorable Mention as a returner after establishing himself as one of the top all-purpose players in the league. Despite sitting out one game due to injury, he ranked second in the conference in all-purpose yards per game with 141.2. Evans caught 35 passes for 486 yards and two touchdowns to rank second in the circuit in yards per game (60.0) and sixth in catches per game (4.4).

As a returner, he was second in the PAC in kick return average at 22.2. Evans also took a punt back 65 yards for a touchdown in the Sept. 24 win at Geneva. He coupled that with five receptions for 108 yards and another score to earn PAC Special Teams Player of the Week.

Joyce earned his second all-conference award, but his first as a defensive back after grabbing Honorable Mention status last year as a kick returner. This season, despite also sitting one game because of injury, Joyce had 36 tackles, including 3.5 for loss and 2.0 sacks. He also broke up four passes and intercepted two others, both coming in the victory at Allegheny to open the year. Joyce was named PAC Defensive Player of the Week following the win.

Arrington has now made Honorable Mention all three years of his career. He led BC in tackles for the third consecutive year and ranked fourth in the conference with 79 hits. Arrington made a season-best 15 tackles against Washington & Jefferson Sept. 17 and posted 14 stops in Bethany's 20-0 win over Thiel Oct. 15, the program's first shutout in 10 years.

Arrington's solid year gives him 249 tackles in nearly three years of action, which is ninth most at Bethany since 1989.

Holmes snared his first All-PAC honor after leading the Bison in receptions and receiving yards through nine games. His 42 reception, which ranks fifth in the conference, went for 495 receiving yards. Holmes' per-game average of 55.0 yards also put him fifth among PAC receivers. In addition, he had three receiving touchdowns, including scoring grabs in wins over Allegheny and Thiel.

Also a dangerous kick returner, Holmes averaged 25.6 yards over seven runbacks and took a kick back 82 yards for a touchdown in the Nov. 12 contest at Saint Vincent.

Irizarry turned in a strong year to earn his initial all-league award. On the ground, he gained 470 yards and scored three touchdowns while averaging 5.2 yards a carry. Irizarry also caught 24 passes for 265 yards and two more touchdowns. His biggest game of the season came in his first collegiate start against Thiel, as he ran for 117 yards and one touchdown and hauled in five passes for 57 more yards in a 20-0 victory.

Murray was honored with All-PAC status for the first time in his career. He started nine games at left guard to help the Bison rank second in the conference in passing offense with 228.0 yards per game and also average 23.6 points per game. Murray's play was also important in the running game, as the Green and White gained 156 or more yards on the ground in five games this season.

This marks back-to-back Honorable Mention awards for Taalib-Din. In addition to being third on the team with 59 tackles from the defensive end position, he leads the team and is ranked fifth in the PAC with 13.5 tackles for loss and has five sacks. Taalib-Din also has forced and recovered two fumbles. He had a big hand in the Bison's blanking of Thiel Oct. 15 by making nine tackles, one sack and recovering one fumble.

Walker has now earned All-PAC distinction all four years of his career. He was forced to sit out two games because of injury but still ranks fifth in the league with 60 rushing yards per game and eighth in scoring with 5.1 points per game. Overall, Walker has rushed for 420 yards on 90 carries, a 4.7 yards per carry average, and scored six touchdowns.

Already the school's career record holder for total (45) and rushing (39) touchdowns, Walker has run for 2,916 yards. He needs 30 yards in Saturday's game against King's to surpass Will Anderson (2,946) as Bethany's all-time leading rusher.

Webb is halfway to Walker's four All-PAC awards, as the sophomore defensive back has garnered two straight Honorable Mention laurels to open his career. He is second on the team with 66 total tackles and ranks 10th in the PAC with 7.3 hits per game. Webb is tied for the team-lead with two interceptions and made double-digit tackles in three games this year, including 11 in the Nov. 5th win over Grove City.
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