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Tuesday, 20 November 2012 16:42

19 Wildcats Earn All-HAAC Honors

BALDWIN CITY, Kan. – 19 members of the No. 11 ranked Baker University football team were named to the 2012 Heart of America Athletic Conference All-Conference team announced on Tuesday.

The list was highlighted by two First-Team honorees including senior offensive lineman Aaron Rieschick and sophomore defensive lineman Andre Jolly.

Rieschick is now a two-time First-Team All-HAAC recipient after earning a spot on the team in 2011. Jolly led the NAIA in sacks with 16 during the regular season and was second in the HAAC in tackles for loss with 22.

The Offensive Player of the Year went to Evangel's wide receiver Jesse Vaughn, while MNU's quarterback Sean Ransburg was named the HAAC Player of the Year and Missouri Valley's Tyler Davis earned the conferences' Defensive Player of the Year.

After leading Missouri Valley to a perfect 10-0 overall record and 9-0 mark in the HAAC, Missouri Valley's head coach Paul Troth earned the 2012 HAAC Coach of the Year award.

Two Wildcats earned a spot on the Second Team All-HAAC Offense team as Seniors Jake Green and Jordan Robertson earned spots for the second straight season. Green led Baker with 30 receptions and seven touchdowns and accumulated 372 yards receiving. Robertson was a staple in the Baker offensive line at the center position.

The Baker defense filled up the Second Team All-HAAC Defense squad with three Wildcats. Senior linebacker Ryder Werts, sophomore Mike Stevenson and senior Reggie Harris all earned spots.

Harris actually earned two spots as the second teams kick returner and punt returner selection. The Olathe, Kan., product averaged 12.9 yards per punt return and 27.3 yards per kick return.

Werts was the team leader in tackles in 2012 with 71 and collected six tackles for loss with one sack. Stevenson had 43 tackles with three tackles for loss and three interceptions.

Harris also earned a spot on the Third Team All-HAAC Offense with his 29 receptions and a team high 541 yards receiving. He also added five touchdowns.

Sophomore offensive lineman Justin McCandless was also named to the Third Team after a strong season on the line for Baker creating holes for running backs Jermaine Broomfield and Dillon Baxter all season long.

Senior kicker Steven Stewart also earned a spot on the Third Team All-HAAC. His first season with the Baker football team after a stellar career on the Wildcat baseball and soccer team, Stewart connected on 7-of-12 field goals this season with a long of 50 yards.

On the Third Team All-HAAC Defensive team, Michael Faison and Kyle Bolton made their way on the list with terrific seasons.

Faison finished 2012 with eight tackles for loss and 39 total tackles, while Bolton was a speedy player on offense and special teams. Bolton was fourth on the team in rushing with 213 yards and two scores and caught 23 passes for 382 yards and one touchdown.

Five Wildcats were named to the Honorable Mention All-Conference team including tight end Joel Murphy, offensive lineman Ian Autry, Baxter, Bolton and quarter back Jake Morse.

Murphy had nine catches for 139 yards and three touchdowns, while Baxter turned it on late in the season for Baker with three straight 100-yard rushing games down the stretch.

Baxter, a transfer from the University of Southern California, ran for a team high 869 yards and averaged an impressive 5.3 yards per carry and seven touchdowns.

Baxter had gains of 156 against No. 18 Benedictine, 188 against Graceland and 102 in the Wildcats NAIA FCS Playoff game at No. 6 St. Francis to end the season.

Morse split time with quarterback Sam Vossen this season and threw for 1,024 yards and 10 touchdowns in 2012.

Four more Wildcats were named to the Honorable Mention All-Defense team, with Jesse Campbell, Emmerson Clarke, Gunnar McKenna and Preston Schenck all earning a spot and all four will return to Baker in 2013.

Campbell had 40 tackles on the year including four against St. Francis in the NAIA FCS for Baker. Clarke had a huge game to begin the 2012 season with two defensive touchdowns, two interceptions and a fumble recovery in Baker's 27-20 win at Ottawa, he was named the HAAC Defensive Player of the Week for that game.

McKenna and Schenck anchored the back of the Baker defense at safety this season. Schenck was second on the team in tackles with 63 and led the team in interceptions with four.

McKenna had 38 total tackles with three tackles for loss and a fumble recovery. For a full list of the 2012 All-HAAC Football team, please click here.

Baker finished the 2012 season with an 8-3 overall record and No. 11 ranking in the NAIA Coaches Top 25 poll and earned its 12th all-time appearance in the NAIA FCS Playoffs.


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