INDIANAPOLIS - With the regular-season coming to a close last Saturday, the Great Midwest Athletic Conference has announced the 2018 All-Conference squads, and a total of 16 Tiffin football student-athletes have been named to the First, Second, and Honorable Mention Teams.
Three Dragons garnered First Team honors with Kyle Brunson and Charles Holland on offense and Daijohn Isbell on defense. Seven received Second Team recognition including a trio of offensive linemen in Jeremiah Campbell, Logan Schneider, and Jordan Fair, along with defensive stalwarts AJ Wright, Avion Boyd, Jacob Williams, and Daigien Morgan.
In his fifth and final year in a Tiffin uniform, Charles Holland earns his third overall and second First Team All-Conference honor, with the prior two coming as a member of the GLIAC. In the G-MAC this season, the wideout finished first in receptions (77), third in receiving yards (976), and tied for fourth in receiving touchdowns (10). Holland will go down as one of the best players in Dragon history, as he finishes his career as the program leader in receptions with 267, second with 3,603 receiving yards, second with 40 receiving touchdowns, fifth with 240 career points, and fifth with 3,804 all-purpose yards.
Filling in as the starter for the injured JaQuan Hardy, Kyle Brunson had a breakout campaign in 2018, finishing the season second in the conference with 95.7 yards per game. He also led the conference with 197 attempts on the ground and was tied for third with 11 rushing touchdowns. The sophomore eclipsed the 100-yard mark in five of the ten games he played this year, including a season and career-high 143 in the win over Wayne State.
Rounding out the first team honors for Tiffin is senior defensive standout Daijohn Isbell, who earns his second all-conference recognition in his senior season. The safety was an anchor on Tiffin's stingy defense, finishing second in the G-MAC with five interceptions on the year, including a three-pick output in the win over Alderson Broaddus that earned him G-MAC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
Tiffin's high-powered offense could not have been what it was without stellar offensive line play, and that group was led by a trio of Second Team selections in left tackle Jeremiah Campbell, right tackle Jordan Fair, and center Logan Schneider. Captained by Gene Upshaw Award nominee Schneider, the line helped the Dragons rush for over 100 yards in 10 of 11 contests and pass for more than 250 in seven of 11.
The Dragons defense received four Second Team honors in senior lineman AJ Wright (38 tackles, two sacks, 2.5 tackles for loss, one interception), senior linebacker Avion Boyd (46 tackles, one sack, four tackles for loss), junior safety Daigien Morgan (47 tackles, two tackles for loss, three pass breakups), and sophomore cornerback Jacob Williams (49 tackles, two interceptions, 11 pass breakups, two sacks). Williams' 13 total passes defended finished tied for first in the conference, as the sophomore also earned a Defensive Player of the Week nod in the win over Ohio Dominican.
Of Tiffin's six Honorable Mention selections, three came on each side of the ball. Nick Watson earned his second-straight HM award with a great sophomore season at quarterback, finishing atop the conference standings with 271.2 pass yards per game and fourth with 23 touchdowns. Fellow sophomore Victor Talley pulled in 48 receptions for 703 yards (eighth in the G-MAC) and seven scores (tied for sixth), and left guard Ridge Tarwacki joined made it four of five starting offensive linemen to make the all-conference squad.
On the defensive side, senior Ross Moore had 32 tackles and two interceptions to earn Honorable Mention honors. Completing Tiffin's accolades are a pair of redshirt-freshman defensive lineman in Alexander Melfe (35 tackles, 3.5 sacks, 8.5 tackles for loss) and Tariq Gilbert (23 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss).
Tiffin's season came to a close officially on Sunday as they fell just short of receiving a bid to the 2018 Division II National Championships with a 9-2 overall record. The Dragons opened the season with their best start since 2006, winning the first nine games and achieving a national ranking as high as No. 15.