FRIDAY, DECEMBER 19, 2003
11 Dolphins Earn All-Conference Honors in Football
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Eleven Jacksonville University football players earned All-Pioneer Football League honors for the South Division, including six players on the All-PFL First-Team. Five additional Dolphins earned Honorable-Mention All-PFL honors, as announced by the league office today. Senior tight end Jimmy Willman (Ocala, Fla.), senior running back Emmett Hunter (Largo, Fla.) and senior tackle Matt Meyer (High Springs, Fla.) were all first-time honorees on offense, while junior linebacker Tim Hasse (Bradenton, Fla.) and freshman cornerback Bryan Flowers (Delray Beach, Fla.) were tabbed on the defensive side of the ball. Freshman punter Ryan Long (Jacksonville/Orange Park) also earned First-Team All-PFL honors.
Senior wide receiver Travis Lewis (Crescent City, Fla.), sophomore quarterback Mike Sturgill (Vero Beach, Fla.), sophomore offensive guard Josue Sanchez (Middleburg, Fla.), senior defensive tackle Paul Pierson (Jacksonville/Ed White) and sophomore return specialist/running back Chad Davis (Tallahassee, Fla.) all earned Honorable-Mention All-PFL honors for the South Division.
Hunter had a record-breaking season, finishing second in the PFL and eighth in Division I-AA with 133.4 yards rushing per game. He ran for a school-record 1,467 yards and 11 touchdowns to finish as JU's all-time leading rusher with 2,349 career yards. Hunter capped his three-year career with a school-record eight 100-yard rushing performances, while shattering the school single-season (304) and career (589) marks for rushing attempts. Willman had a standout senior season in which he caught 18 passes for 287 yards and three touchdowns, while he and Meyer were a key part of the Dolphins' record-setting offense which produced a school-record 4,463 total yards.
Defensively, Hasse had a breakout junior season leading the team and ranking 10th in the PFL with 87 tackles (7.9/game), while picking off two passes and forcing three fumbles. Flowers finished his rookie season sixth on the team with 38 tackles, while breaking up a team-high seven passes with one interception in 10 games. Long led the PFL and ranked 21st in I-AA with a 40.8-yard punting average, while nailing 17 of his 64 punts inside the opponents' 20-yard line. He also connected on 3-of-4 field goals and 6-of-7 point-after attempts as a backup place kicker.
Lewis caught 29 passes for a team-high 688 yards and four touchdowns, while Sturgill threw for a school-record 2,060 yards and 20 touchdowns. Sanchez was a staple at guard for JU's record-setting offense, while Pierson paced the Dolphin defensive line with 25 tackles, including 6.5 tackles for loss. Davis earned honors as a return specialist after finishing third in the PFL with a 23.2-yard-per-return average on kickoffs, despite missing the first three-plus games due to injury.
Valparaiso won the Pioneer Football League championship after defeating South Division champion Morehead State, 54-42, in the third PFL Championship game.