WPU

WPU had three members on each squad

OSKALOOSA — Nine individuals from the William Penn football program were honored with postseason recognition as the all-Heart of America Athletic Conference North Division teams were announced Thursday.

Fullback Ben Sherman (Grad., Troy, Pa., Master's of Sports Management), tight end Adrian Aviles (Sr., Chicago, Ill., Nursing), and Rodney Hall (Fr., Detroit, Mich., Psychology), who was voted in as an athlete, were all first-team selections, while offensive lineman Dylan Wemer (Fr., Joplin, Mo., Undecided), linebacker Rogan Pforts (Sr., Wapello, Iowa, Industrial Technology), and defensive back Colton Horak (So., Crawfordsville, Iowa, Business Management) each collected second-team nods.

Honorable mentions went to linebacker Turner Ellis (Sr., Urbandale, Iowa, Secondary Education), defensive lineman Marquis Knighten (Sr., Buena Park, Calif., Digital Communication), and offensive lineman Cameron Carnes (Fr., Colerain, Ohio, Undecided).

The group led WPU to a 3-8 record this year, including a 2-3 mark in the Heart North Division.

First team

Sherman is now a four-time honoree, including earning his second laurel on the first team. A workhorse in the offensive backfield, he rushed 224 times for 1,303 yards and 17 touchdowns. His season included five 100-yard games with a high of 247 versus Clarke on Nov. 6. His numbers ranked high on WPU’s single-season records lists with his touchdowns sitting fourth and his rushes and yards both fifth.

Sherman paced the league in rushing attempts and was second in both yards and touchdowns. He ends his career as the program’s career rushing leader with 3,874 yards.

Aviles notched his third-career accolade; it is his first time on the top squad. A strong blocker in the Statesmen’s run-heavy offensive attack, he caught five passes for 77 yards and a touchdown. His top receiving game came against Benedictine on Aug. 28 with 28 yards.

Hall, who is lauded for the first time, served numerous roles for the navy and gold. As receiver, he caught four passes for 129 yards, including 94 against Baker on Sept. 4. He was then asked to serve as quarterback and completed 24 of his 45 passes for 391 yards and four scores, while also rushing 81 times for 313 yards and four TDs. Hall’s best passing game of 175 yards was against Central Methodist on Oct. 2, while his season-high 78 rushing yards were versus MidAmerica Nazarene on Sept. 11.

Second team

Wemer, who is on the second team for the first time (first-teamer in 2020), paced the offensive line that helped William Penn lead the Heart in rushing with 282.7 yards per game. Overall, the Statesmen averaged 358.3 yards per contest.

Horak garnered his second award and his first on the second team after finishing runner-up in the Heart with five interceptions, highlighted by two picks against Graceland on Nov. 13. He also finished the campaign with 35 tackles (18 solos, 17 assists, two for loss) and two pass breakups. Horak posted an eight-tackle performance against MidAmerica Nazarene on Sept. 11.

A first-time award recipient, Pforts led the defensive unit with 86 tackles (42 solos, 44 assists), including 7.5 for loss; he also had half of a sack. His top outing of 12 tackles occurred versus Peru State on Oct. 23. Pforts ranked fifth in the conference in assists and total tackles and 10th in solo stops.

Honorable mention

Ellis earned his second-career accolade (both as honorable mentions). He tallied 57 tackles (27 solos, 30 assists, 6.5 for loss), two sacks, one interception, one pass breakup, and two forced fumbles. His 2021 season was headlined by 12 stops versus MidAmerica Nazarene on Sept. 11.

Knighten received the second laurel of his career (second-teamer in 2020) by producing 42 tackles (13 solos, 29 assists), including 8.5 for loss. He also sacked the quarterback twice in addition to one pass breakup, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, and one blocked kick. Knighten’s season-best 11 stops happened against Graceland on Nov. 13.

Carnes, a first-time recipient, was another important cog in the offensive line.

Johnny Sullivan of Grand View was tabbed as the Heart North Player and Offensive Player of the Year. Devin Adams of Peru State garnered Defensive Player of the Year laurels, while Culver-Stockton’s Quinton Hawkins was named Freshman of the Year. Tom Sallay of Culver-Stockton was chosen as Coach of the Year by his peers.

To view the complete all-Heart North selections, go to https://www.heartofamericaconference.com/sports/fball/2021-22/releases/20211118me43vj

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