Tigers Dominate All-SCIAC Picks
Occidental football wrapped up a superb 2005 campaign Nov. 30 with 13 players earning All-SCIAC First and Second Team recognition.
Quarterback Andy Collins ’06 and linebacker Mike Bryant '06 received Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors for the second consecutive season. Ric Fukushima ’06 won the John Zinda Award for athletic performance, sportsmanship, and academics.
Bryant is the first three-time Player of the Year in SCIAC football since the award began in 1981-82. The senior defensive standout collected 34½ tackles in 2005, his lowest total since 2003, but played a huge role in the Tigers’ success by his mere presence on the field, often forcing opposing coaches to play around him. Bryant intercepted three passes, blocked one field goal attempt, and recorded 3½ tackles for a loss with one sack. He also served as place-kicker on kickoffs this season.
Collins ranked ninth in NCAA Division III passing efficiency (165.6), sixth in total yardage (341.2), and directed an offense that scored 39.2 points per game, 17th in Division III. He completed 221 of 336 attempts for 2,971 yards passing and tossed 31 touchdowns on the season.
Four standouts on offense, five on defense, kicker Thomas Joraanstad ’07, and two-way performer Caleb Small ’06 also received All-SCIAC recognition.
Senior wide receiver Josh Jones caught 16 touchdown passes, earning First Team honors in his first career All-SCIAC selection. Fukushima, who caught 41 passes for 592 yards, also earned First Team distinction despite being sidelined for three games due to injury.
Alfredo Gamiz ‘06, a Second Team selection in ’04, cracked the First Team this season after anchoring a Tiger offensive line that cleared the way for 1,807 yards rushing. Right tackle Mark Bohnstedt ’06 earned a Second Team selection.
Defensively, Derek Turbin ’06 and Joe Zackary ’07 moved up to First Team after earning Second Team honors in 2004. Turbin racked up 50½ tackles, three for a loss, and five pass break-ups. Zackary compiled a career-best 52 tackles, five sacks, and one fumble recovery.
On the defensive line, Scott Ferguson ’07 garnered his second consecutive Second Team selection along with converted tight end Robert Theofanis ’07. Anthony Ostland '08 recorded a team-high 56 tackles, securing a Second Team selection at the outside linebacker spot.
Joraanstad hit eight of 11 field goal attempts and a perfect five of five from under 30 yards to earn a First Team nod at kicker.
Small’s six-catch, 6½ tackle effort in the Tigers’ 31-24 win over Redlands earned SCIAC Player of the Week honors Oct. 26; his season totals (31½ tackles, 227 yards receiving) landed a Second Team selection.
Matt Andersen ’08, Jared Charity ’06, Jack Collier ’06, Ryan Gonzales ’06, Tim Tanous ’06, James Sabo ’08, and Victor Lopez ’08 received All-SCIAC Honorable Mentions.
A handful of these student-athletes could pull in national honors as well. The D3Football.com All-American team will be announced at the Stagg Bowl in Salem, Virginia Dec. 17. The Football Gazette All-America team is slated for release the following week.
Before losing to No. 1-ranked Linfield in the first round of the Division III playoffs, No. 5-ranked Occidental played its way to a perfect 9-0 regular season, winning its second consecutive SCIAC championship.