CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA - The Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) announced today its major football awards and All-Conference team for the 2013 season. Simpson quarterback Taylor Nelson has been named the 2013 IIAC Football Offensive Most Valuable Player, while Central defensive lineman Danny Samson has been named the 2013 IIAC Football Defensive Most Valuable Player. Wartburg head coach Rick Willis has been named the 2013 IIAC Football Coach of the Year.
The University of Dubuque placed five student-athletes on the First Team All-Iowa Conference with four coming from the offensive side of the ball. The Spartans defense had one First Team performer and three Second Team honorees. Earning First Team All-IIAC were Kyle Acker (Waunakee, Wis./Waunakee), Bryan Bradshaw (Crystal Lake, Ill./Prairie Ridge), Dominique Ravenell (Fort Worth, Texas/R.L. Raschal), Tyler Rutenbeck (Maquoketa, Iowa/Maquoketa), and Blaine Snitker (Waukon, Iowa/Waukon). All five First Team selections are first time honorees.
Rutenbeck had a breakout season leading the IIAC in receptions (68), receiving yards (1,269), receiving yards per game (126.9), touchdowns (22), yards per catch (18.7), all-purpose yards (1,496), and scoring (132). The junior wide receiver is currently tied for the NCAA All-Division lead in receiving touchdowns with 22 (he has four more TD catches than the next closest player in Division-III). His 1,269 receiving yards are the fourth highest total in D-III while his 68 catches rank him 26th in D-III. He set a school record in 2013 with 11 consecutive games with a receiving touchdown (dating back to the 2012 season).
In his first year with the Spartans, Bradshaw led the Iowa Conference in passing yards (3,003), yards per game (300.3), passing touchdowns (33), and attempts (368). The senior quarterback was second in completions (218), completion percentage (59.2%), pass efficiency (152.5), total offense (3,056), and points responsible for (206). His 33 passing touchdowns currently rank second in D-III while he is seventh with 3,003 yards passing. He is also 22nd with 21.8 completions per game and 3,056 yards of total offense. Bradshaw’s QB efficiency ranking of 152.5 is 26th in D-III.
A work horse in the backfield, Acker led the IIAC with 971 rushing yards on a conference best 218 attempts. He was also eighth in the Iowa Conference for total offense. The senior running back finished the season with an IIAC best six 100-yard rushing games. After a fumble early in the year, Acker rushed 206 times without a fumble. Acker’s 971 yards rushing currently rank 57th in D-III.
A two-year starter at right tackle, Ravenell has started 18 straight games for the Spartans. The 2013 Spartans offense led the Iowa Conference with scoring (349), total offense (4,398), passing yards (3,137), yards per play (6.0), touchdowns (47), extra points (45), points per game (34.9), yards per game (439.8), and red zone offense with 37 scores in 42 opportunities (32-touchdowns/5-field goals). The Spartans red zone offense ranks 16th in all of Division-III with points in 88.1% of all red zone attempts. UD finished the season with only 12 turnovers, the 20th lowest total in D-III. The Dubuque offense also produced 235 first downs, the 26th highest total in Division III.
Snitker was the Spartans lone First Team All-IIAC representative on the defensive side of the ball. The sophomore outside linebacker led the Iowa Conference with 92 tackles (49-solo, 43-assisted). A defensive end in 2012, he had an immediate impact on the Spartans ability to stop the run and pass as evident by his two interceptions (one retuned for a touchdown), six passes defended, 2.5 sacks, and 8.5 tackles for a loss. Snitker’s 92 tackles are currently 78th in D-III. He was one of seven sophomore starters on the defense in 2013.
Second Team All-IIAC honorees for UD were Ryan Arnold (Kenosha, Wis./Temper), Reggie Cole, Jr. (Milwaukee, Wis./Wauwatosa West), and Vincent Whipple (Eagle Grove, Iowa/Eagle Grove). The Spartans defense forced 20 turnovers which ranked second in the IIAC and 98th in Division III. Combined with the offenses ability to not turn the ball over, UD is currently 33rd in D-III with a +8 turnover margin.
One of seven sophomores starting on defense, Cole was third in the Iowa Conference with 11 passes defended and tied for eighth with two interceptions. A two-year starter at safety, Whipple finished the year with 72 tackles (40-solo/32-assisted), nine passes defended, 2.0 tackles for a loss, one interception, and one forced fumble. Eight Spartans combined for an IIAC leading 13 interceptions (64th in D-III).
Arnold finished fourth in the IIAC in sacks (5.0) and eighth in tackles-for-a-loss (10.0). The senior defensive lineman led the Spartans d-line with 45 tackles (25-solo/20-assisted). He played a major role in the Spartans ability to stop to run as UD finished with the 78th best run defense in D-III with 1,379 rushing yards allowed. The Spartans 23 sacks are the 69th highest total in Division III.
Junior tight end Lee Jones (Fairbanks, Alaska/North Pole) was selected Honorable Mention with 30 catches for 317 yards and one touchdown.
The 56-member All-Iowa Conference team included 18 repeated honorees. 2013 marks the third straight year a UD quarterback has been First Team (Wyatt Hanus – 2011 & 2012, Bradshaw - 2013). The complete All-Iowa Conference Football Team can be found at: All-IIAC Football
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