By Tyler McIntosh
For The Fayette Tribune
Led by first team all-league honorees sophomore punter Andrew Huska, senior linebacker Jake Lilly, senior safety Davon Marion and junior offensive lineman Rustin Mayorga, the Concord University football team was recognized for its stellar 2013 season with 18 all-conference selections, the Mountain East Conference announced Tuesday.
Other Mountain Lions recognized on the 109-player all-conference team were second team selections sophomore wide receiver Tiko Henderson, sophomore running back Calvinaugh Jones, junior running back Ben Nester, redshirt freshman offensive lineman Coleman Osborne.
Concord also placed eight players on the honorable mention All-MEC team in sophomore offensive lineman Tyler Billings, redshirt freshman tight end Dalton Brindo, senior safety Josh Clark, sophomore linebacker Austin Dotson, sophomore kicker Andy Ellington, junior defensive lineman Keith Ferguson, sophomore linebacker Ervin Moore, junior offensive lineman Cody Parker, sophomore defensive lineman Anthony Pyle and sophomore fullback Shaun Workinger.
Huska was arguably the league’s top special teams weapon in 2013. He not only averaged a league-high 41.5 yards per punt to go with 15 punts inside the 20 and 13 punts of at least 50 yards, but he also led the conference with 30 touchbacks on kickoffs.
Lilly and Marion concluded their Concord careers with outstanding senior seasons. Lilly, CU’s second all-time leading tackler, racked up 118 stops and five forced fumbles while Marion ranked second on the team in tackles at 63 in addition to a career-high five interceptions.
In his first season at Concord, Mayorga was a key cog in an offensive line, along with fellow All-MEC choices Billings, Parker and Osborne, that allowed just 12 sacks and paved the way for the fourth best rushing attack in the conference.
Quarterback D.J. Mendenhall of Urbana earned MEC offensive player of the year honors, defensive lineman Robert Hayes of Shepherd the defensive player of the year and Shepherd head coach Monte Cater the coach of the year. In addition, running back Jabre Lolley of Shepherd has been named the offensive freshman of the year, and Shepherd linebacker Octavius Thomas is the defensive freshman of the year.
Seeking a share of the MEC title, Concord dropped a 41-33 decision to visiting Shepherd Saturday to finish its season 8-3 overall and 7-2 in league play. Marion registered seven tackles on the day.
The Mountain Lions, who have recorded five straight winning seasons, are slated to return 18 starters from this year’s squad.
(McIntosh is the Concord sports information director).