The Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (IIAC) announced its postseason football awards today, and Buena Vista was well-represented by landing eight all-conference selections (seven different players). The total was tied for the third-most among the eight conference schools. Six of the seven players earned the honors for the first time in their respective careers.
Junior Adam Cave (WR/TE) earned First Team Offensive honors, while senior Brady Randall (LB) was a First Team Defensive selection. Freshman Tyler Stolen earned both First Team place kicker and First Team punter recognition.
Cave led BVU and was third among all IIAC receivers in receptions per game (5.3) during IIAC contests. He finished with 37 catches, 439 yards and four touchdowns in seven conference games. His 62.7 yards per game average in those games ranked fifth in the league and was second on the team. One of his best performances of the year came at Wartburg, when he tied a single-game school record with 11 catches for 133 yards and two touchdowns.
Randall's 9.3 tackles per game against conferences foes ranked second in the conference this season. His 6.5 tackles for loss were also eighth. He posted a double-digit tackle total in three of the seven conference games, including 11 and 13, respectively, in his final two collegiate contests. Nine of his 13 against the Spartans in the season finale were solo stops. His four tackles for a loss against Loras were a season-high and he also returned a fumble 22 yards for a touchdown at Luther.
Stolen had one of the best single-season kicking performances in recent history for the Beavers. He led the Iowa Conference in punting average (41.5) and made a league-best 8-of-12 field goal attempts, including the eventual game-winner against Dubuque in the season finale, which gave BVU four straight wins to end the year. He had six punts over 50 yards in conference play, including a career-best 62-yard boot against Dubuque. His longest field goal against IIAC opponents came against Loras (44 yards). He also made a career-best 46-yard attempt against Concordia-Moorhead in just his second career game. He finished second in scoring amongst IIAC kickers (43pts) and was 19-of-20 (95pct.) on PAT's, which was the third-best percentage in the league.
Three Beavers also earned Second Team Offense honors, including quarterback Bobby Brown, sophomore wide receiver Jalen Henningsen and senior offensive lineman Matt Sefcik. Senior defensive lineman TJ Bruch was a Second Team Defensive selection.
Brown had a career-year for BVU. He ranked third amongst all quarterbacks in the league, averaging 240 passing yards per contest during IIAC games. He passed for 1,680 yards in those games, including 14 touchdowns. He threw for multiple touchdowns in the final four games of the year. His best performance in conference play was at Simpson in the second-to-last game of the year, when he passed for 377 yards and three touchdowns, before running in the game-winning score as time expired to lift BVU to a thrilling 34-32 road victory over the Storm. That win was the team's first win over Simpson in Indianola since 1987.
Henningsen caught fire over the final four games of the year, averaging 121.5 receiving yards per contest in that stretch, to finish the year ranked second in conference play with a 74.7 yards per game average. His six touchdowns against IIAC foes were also the second-most during conference play among all other IIAC pass catchers. He had a record-breaking day against the Storm when he hauled in a career-high seven passes for a school-record 193 yards and two touchdowns. Two of those grabs came on the game-winning drive, including a big 33-yard catch down to the Simpson four which set-up the game-winning touchdown run.
Sefick, a left tackle, was an instrumental part to the offensive line for BVU which helped the team average more than 120 yards rushing in conference play, and rank third in passing (240.0ypg). BVU also ranked second in third down conversions in the league (42.3pct.). The line also protected Brown, as the quarterback was sacked only six times total over the final four contests.
Bruch, the only one of the group to have previously earned all-conference accolades (Second Team in 2012), was one of the team's leaders on the defensive line again this season. He posted 18 tackles during league play and helped make it difficult for teams to run up the middle. He turned in a season-high five tackles in the conference opener against Coe.
The eight selections are two more than a year ago and the most for the program since also gaining eight back in 2008.
Buena Vista finished the year at 4-6 overall (4-3 IIAC) and tied for third in the Iowa Conference standings.