Postseason awards roll in for record-breaking football squad

Category:  Sports
Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 at 7:10 PM

Seven Fighting Scots were named to the football All-PSAC team following a season that saw a number of records broken.

Walter Fletcher headlined the group by being named the PSAC West Offensive Player of the Year, in addition to garnering first-team honors. The redshirt junior broke the single-game rushing record when he burned Seton Hill for 328 yards on Oct. 20.

“He’s got a great work ethic,” Head Football Coach Wayne Bradford said of Fletcher. “And not only does his work ethic show up when he’s here, his work ethic during the summer and in the winter when he’s away has really paid off for him.”

He also boosted his career rushing touchdowns total to 41, putting him just one behind Larry Jackson for the school record.

Joining him with offensive honors were Ta’Nauz Gregory, who earned first-team honors, and offensive lineman Trey Staunch and wide receiver James Clark, both named to the second team.

In his final year of collegiate ball, Clark broke Edinboro’s career receptions record despite limited opportunities. He finished with 41 on the season, less than half of his 95 from last season, to set the new school record at 209.

Following closely behind is junior Gregory. He had 50 receptions this season, giving him 167 with another season to catch up to his outgoing teammate. Gregory also finds himself second in career receiving touchdowns with 28, just seven behind Ernest Priester’s school record.

“In today’s game, you have to produce explosive plays and long touchdowns, so to be able to have three home run threats is important because you have to score touchdowns to win games today,” Bradford said of Fletcher, Gregory and Clark.

Staunch, a local product from West Middlesex High School, was recruited as a tight end despite starting as a quarterback in high school. He played in a few games his freshman year, finishing with 3 receptions. The coaching staff then decided to move him one spot over on the line to right tackle. 

He finished his career with 37 consecutive starts, the longest streak among active players.

“It was actually kind of humbling...to start that many games and just being a  part of some great history with Walter Fletcher breaking so many records,” Staunch said. “And if you even ask Fletch, he’ll always mention his O-line. So being a part of that and fixing an O-line that was one of the worst was definitely a great feeling and definitely great to be a part of.”

The offensive line was often credited for the big rushing numbers put up over the last two seasons by Edinboro’s backfield. Fletcher finished second in Division II last year with 1,740 rushing yards, and finished fourth this year with 1,624 yards on the ground.

“Receiving that award,” Staunch began, “I couldn’t be more thankful for my coaches...but I wish I could give this award to the whole O-line because I think we all deserve it this year, just because of what we’ve done and how far we’ve come. It feels good individually, but if I could give it to the whole O-line, I definitely would.”

The defense also saw their share of accolades, with Zuril Hendrick, Derek Dorr and Brandon Anderson earning first-team honors. Hendrick punctuated his final season by topping Chris Avery’s career interceptions record in the final week with an interception in the third quarter.

Anderson followed up a first-team All-PSAC 2017 season with career highs in tackles, tackles for loss and sacks to retain his spot on the first team for a second consecutive year.

“Lorenzo Hoff has done an incredible job of coaching those guys as [Edinboro’s defensive backs coach] and Colin Neely has done a great job as a defensive coordinator putting together the schemes,” Bradford said. “So we’ve done a great job of putting those guys in position to make plays, but they’ve ultimately made the plays.

“And don’t forget Derek Dorr who had a monster year,” he continued. “A guy who, up front, really with the injuries we had to some other interior guys, kind of had to do it by himself.”

Dorr led the team’s defensive line with a total of 71 tackles, 21 of them resulting in a loss. He also led the team with 10 sacks.

Christopher Rosato Jr. can be reached at sports.spectator@gmail.com.

Tags: sports, football

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