Quakers Ranked Among National Football Statistics Leaders

Matt Pawlowski '16 (Scott Ingram Photo)
Matt Pawlowski '16 (Scott Ingram Photo)

GREENSBORO, N.C. – Guilford College's football team finished first in the final NCAA Division III statistical rankings in third-down conversion percentage and team pass efficiency. Junior quarterback Matt Pawlowski ranked second in the nation with 347.6 passing yards per game, which highlights the Quakers' individual statistics leaders.

Guilford converted 90 of 155 third-down opportunities for a school-record 58.1 success rate that helped it compile 269 first downs, Division III's 14th-highest total. The Quakers posted a 176.39 team pass efficiency rating, tops in school history and tops in Division III this year. Guilford also ranked fifth nationally in completion percentage (.668), third in passing offense (349.5 ypg.) and sixth in total offense (507.8 ypg.). The Quakers set school records for points (407) and touchdowns (55) in a season and ranked 17th in Division III with 40.7 points per game. The team's 88.2 success rate in the red zone (#15 nationally) contributed to the prolific scoring totals.

The Quakers threw just three interceptions, third-fewest in Division III, and had only eight turnovers, which was the fourth-fewest. Guilford's net punting average of 35.96 yards per kick ranked ninth nationally.

Pawlowski's passing helped Guilford enjoy of its best seasons in school history. He led the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) in pass efficiency rating of 179.2, a figure that ranked third in the nation. He finished the season with 3,476 passing yards, fifth-best in Division III. Pawlowski stood seventh nationally in completion percentage (.678) and completions per game (25.0). His 38 passing touchdowns placed fifth in the country and bettered the previous Guilford season record of 37 set by Josh Vogelbach '08 in 2005. Pawlowski was responsible for a league-leading 23.6 points per game, which stood third nationally.

One of Pawlowski's favorite targets was junior receiver Adam Smith, who ranked fifth in the country with a league-leading with 15 receiving touchdowns. He also topped the ODAC with 20.62 yards per reception, which stood 10th in the nation. Smith ranked 29th in Division III and second in the ODAC with 9.0 points per game. His 107.2 receiving yards per game stood 19th in the land.

On defense, cornerback JerMario Gooch was 19th among interceptions per game leaders (0.6) and sophomore Hunter Hoots 50th with a 10.1 tackles per game average.

Head coach Chris Rusiewicz's Quakers matched the school record for wins in a season with an 8-2 overall mark. Guilford completed went 5-2 in the ODAC, sharing first place with Hampden-Sydney College, Emory & Henry College and Bridgewater College.