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Bison Football Places 15 On All-PAC Teams
Nov. 17 – GREENVILLE, Pa. – Following a 6-4 regular season mark, the best since the 2001 campaign, the Bethany College football team saw 15 of its members earn All-Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC) distinction, announced the conference office following voting by the league coaches on Monday. Led by PAC Defensive Player of the Year, Nadim Raddar (Laurel, Md./Old Mill), the Bison placed four on the first-team list, three earned second-team laurels and eight were named honorable mention selections.
First-team selections were earned by Raddar, junior Eric Blinn (Beaver, Pa./Western Beaver) and seniors Wyssmy Despagne (Riverdale, Pa./Parkdale) and Stephen Amic (McDonald, Pa./West Allegheny).
Raddar led the way for a Bison defense that saw vast improvement during the 2014 season. In 2013, the Green & White defense ranked last in the conference in total yards allowed per game (437.1). However, Raddar helped lead a resurgence for the Bison defense, and the Green & White finished third in the PAC this season in opponents’ yards per game (335.3).
This season, Raddar ranked among the Nation’s elite disruptive forces. He finished the regular season with 74 total tackles in just nine games. Over 25 percent of his tackles were for loss this season, as he finished 2014 with 20.0 TFL. He recorded at least 2.0 tackles for loss in seven of his nine games, and recorded at least 3.0, four times. Along with those numbers, Raddar posted 12.5 sacks on the season which lead the PAC.
Raddar topped at least 10 tackles twice on the year, which included a season best 12 tackles, including 3.5 tackles for loss and 3.5 sacks against Thiel College on September 13.
Despagne, a Pre-season All-American selection by USAFootball, Inc. earns his second first-team selection in a row after posting 49 tackles and seven passes defended this season. Despagne spent most of his time this season covering other team’s number one receivers and helped the Bison hold its opponents under 150 yards passing on three separate occasions, including back-to-back games against Geneva (104) and Grove City (101). Despagne’s top contest came against No. 3 Mount Union where he posted nine tackles, including eight solo stops and a fumble recovery.
Blinn posted another season for the record books en route to his second-straight First-Team All-PAC selection. He finished the season with a school record 97 catches for 980 yards and nine touchdowns. Six times on the year, Blinn eclipsed 100-yards receiving, which included a season-high 155 yards against Grove City College on November 1. Over the span of the year, Blinn became the career record holder in Bethany history for both receptions and receiving yards. Those numbers now stand at 242 catches and 3,070 receiving yards.
Amic earned his third all-conference selection following his senior campaign, but notched his first, first-team laurel. This season Amic was the top punter in the conference, averaging a career-best 40.4 yards per punt. He totaled 12 punts of over 50 yards on the year which marked the same amount that he had posted in his previous three years, combined. He also placed a career-best 21 punts inside the opponents’ 20-yard line, which also led the conference. Amic’s best game came in a 21-14 victory over Westminster where he punted nine times for an average of 43.2 yards per punt.
Players earning Second-Team All-PAC nods included senior offensive linemen Beau Bertus (Parkersburg, W. Va./Parkersburg South), sophomore defensive end Khallid Pierce (Youngstown, Ohio/Ursuline) and junior linebacker Donavan Hayden (Hyattsville, Md./Northwestern).
Bertus, along with fellow offensive linemen Terrel Carter (Gaithersburg, Md./Gaithersburg) who earned an honorable mention selection, led the way for the Bethany ground game this season. The two combined to help the Bison go from 104.0 yards per game on the ground last year, to 185.6 yards rushing per game in 2014.
Eight times this season Bertus and Carter helped the Bison eclipse 100 yards on the ground, with the team going over 200 yards on four separate occasions. The duo helped clear the way for four 100+-yard rushers this season, and blocked for two in the same contest against Saint Vincent on November 15. The pair of linemen helped the Bison rumble for 336 yards against the Bearcats, marking the most rushing yards by the team since September 11, 2010.
Despite missing the last three games of the season due to an injury, Pierce was a force as a defensive end for the Green & White. Pierce burst on the scene by racking up 4.0 tackles for loss and a sack against The University of Mount Union in week one. Pierce finished the season with 38 total tackles, 13.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks. With the help of Pierce, the Bison defense ranked third in the PAC in opponents' rushing yardage (132.7).
Another solid pressence in the defensive renaissance for the Bison, Hayden made his pressence known in the second half of the season, notching over 10 tackles in every game en route to his first All-PAC selection. Hayden twice went over 15 tackles, including a 17-performance against Washington & Jefferson, and posting a career-high 18 tackles against Saint Vincent. Hyaden finished the year first on the team in tackles (94) and second on the team and in the conference in tackles for loss (18.5) behind only Nadim Raddar.
Including Carter, eight total Bison were given the nod as honorable mention selections including defensive tackles, junior Eric Campbell (Hurricane, W. Va./Hurricane) and senior Nick Greer (Pittsburgh, Pa./Thomas Jefferson), senior running back Brandon Hill (McKeesport, Pa./Elizabeth Forward), junior linebacker Larry Kpadehyea (Monrovia, Md./Gaithersburg), junior defensive back Aaron Frye (Vandergrift, Pa./Kiski Area), junior saftey Dion Williams (Clinton, Md./Frederick Douglass) and freshman kicker Chris Ray (Henrico, Va./Mills E. Godwin).
Campbell and Greer each had career best seasons on the defensive line. Campbell earned his first all-conference slection as he posted career highs in tackles (49), tackles for loss (13.0) and sacks (4.0). He also forced two fumbles. Greer was also a solid pressence on the interior defensive line as he helped the Bison hold two different opponents under 50 yards rushing. He completed the season with 37 tackles, 7.0 tackles for loss and 5.0 sacks.
Hill was a member of a two-headed monster at running back that posted 1,186 yards over the course of the season. Hill himself notched four different multi-touchdown games and finished the year with a career-best seven rushing scores. Hill totaled 596 yards on 148 carries, averaging 4.0 yards per tote on his way to his first ever all-conference award.
Kpadehyea seemed to have a nose for the ball in earning his second consecutive All-PAC Honorable Mention selection. From his linebacker position, Kpadehyea led the entire roster in pass breakups, posting a career-high nine on the year. He also totaled three forced turnovers, forcing two fumbles and picking off one pass. He finished the year second on the team in total tackles (90), posting 13.0 tackles for loss and 4.0 sacks.
Three of the four starting defensive backs for the Bison this year earned all-conference honors as Williams and Frye were each selected as honorable mention honorees. Williams earned his second straight All-PAC honor, posting a career-high four interceptions on the year. He finished the season with 37 total tackles, .5 tackles for loss and four pass breakups.
Frye also earned his second all-conference honor as he posted a career high 56 total tackles. He also added 2.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions and three pass breakups. A figure of consistency, Frye posted at least six tackles in six different contests, nabbing a game high eight in a victory over Waynesburg.
Earning an honorable mention selection in his first year as a Bison, freshman kicker Ray has brought consistency to a facet of the team that has missed it in years past. During his freshman campaign, Ray converted on 26-30 on extra points and as 6-of-9 on field goals. In seven of his ten games, Ray was perfect on extra points, including going 6-6 in a victory over Thiel early in the year.
The Bison, who finished the season with a 6-4 record and earned a trip to an Eastern College Athletic Conference bowl game, placed the most players on an All-PAC list that the team has seen since 2001. That year, the Bison had 16 players named to the list.