FOREST, Va. – Guilford College senior quarterback Matt Pawlowski won his second straight J. Stokely Fulton Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) Offensive Football Player of the Year Award Tuesday. The first offensive player to win the league's top honor in successive seasons, Pawlowski headlined Guilford's league-high and school-record 14 all-conference selections according to a vote of the league's head football coaches.
Including Pawlowski, Guilford had a school-record nine first-team honorees. He was joined by fellow first-team picks De'Eric Bell, Hunter Hoots, Tyler Hunt, Daytwyn Rascoe, Ty Shwallon, Adam Smith, Robert Smith and Gibson Ziah.
Pawlowski was named one of 10 semifinalists for the Gagliardi Trophy for the second straight season Monday. The Gagliardi is presented annually to NCAA Division III football's top student-athlete. The 6-2, 205-pound quarterback completed a school-record 39 touchdown passes, which ranks third in NCAA Division III through games of November 21 and is the second-highest total in ODAC history. He connected on 227-of-350 passes (64.9%) for 3,333 yards with just two interceptions. Pawlowski stands fifth in Division III in passing yards, passing yards per game (333.3), and sixth in total offense per game (344.1).
A three-time ODAC Offensive Player of the Week this year (and 11 times in his career), Pawlowski (left) had six 300-yard passing games and threw for at least four scores seven times. His first weekly honor of 2015 came after throwing for 251 yards and five scores in the Quakers' 41-21 win over Randolph-Macon College. His school- and league-record 611-yard, seven-touchdown passing effort the following week at Catholic University of America netted his second league prize, plus D3football.com / Scoutware Team of the Week honors. His 648 total offensive yards and 611 yards in the game both stand second nationally among all NCAA quarterbacks in 2015. Pawlowski's final ODAC honor came after he completed 36-of-47 passes for 411 yards and four scores in Guilford's season finale, a 41-30 victory over Emory & Henry College.
Pawlowski finished second to former Division III passing yardage leader Josh Vogelbach '09 in most of Guilford's career passing categories. The four-year starter completed 872-of-1,369 passes for a school-record 63.7 completion percentage, 11,625 yards and 116 scores with 16 interceptions. In his final two years, Pawlowski threw for 6,809 yards with 74 touchdowns and only five interceptions. The Quakers won 17 of 20 games in that stretch. Through games of November 14, Pawlowski ranked eighth in Division III history with 116 career touchdown passes. He stood 10th among the national career leaders in total offense (12,456) and passing yards (11,625).
Bell (right), returns to the All-ODAC squad as an all-purpose back after collecting second-team honors as a freshman. The 5-6, 205-pound running back set school and ODAC records for single-season all-purpose yardage (2,235), which ranks second in Division III. Bell led the Quakers and ranked third in the ODAC with 943 rushing yards, seventh-best in school history. He set the Guilford standard with 736 kickoff return yards and his league-leading 30.7-yard kickoff return average ranks fourth nationally through games of November 21. Bell returned a Division III-best four kicks for touchdowns (2 kickoffs, 2 punts) and stands second in the country with 995 combined kick return yards.
Bell earned ODAC Offensive Player of the Week and D3football.com / Scoutware Team of the Week recognition following his 254 all-purpose yard, two-touchdown effort in a road win over Bridgewater College. He returned the opening kickoff a school-record 100 yards for a touchdown and also ran 21 times for 104 yards and a score. Bell earned Team of the Week honors the prior week after compiling a Guilford-record 326 all-purpose yards in the Quakers' win over Shenandoah. He ran for a career-high 153 yards and returned a kickoff 93 yards for a score.
Hoots (left), a 6-1, 230-pound linebacker, collected his second First Team All-ODAC honor in a row. The junior tallied a team-high 84 tackles this season, which ranked fifth in the ODAC. His club-best 8.4 tackles per game was also fifth in the league. Hoots made 4.5 tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks. He registered a career-high 15 stops against Shenandoah, helping Guilford to a 55-38 home win. Hoots also registered double-digit tackles against Catholic (10) and Hampden-Sydney College (11).
Hunt (right) was selected as the First Team All-ODAC punter for the third straight season, earning his school-record sixth all-conference selection, which include three all-league honors as a place-kicker. Through games of November 23, the 6-2, 205-pound senior leads Division III with a 42.9-yard punting average, second-best in ODAC and school history. If he maintains his top national ranking, he will become just the fourth two-time Division III punting champion and the first since 2006. Hunt totaled 1,543 yards on 36 punts and placed 13 kicks inside the opponent's 20-yard-line. He had a long punt of 65 yards, one of his eight kicks of at least 50 yards and one of 25 that travelled at least 40 yards. Guilford's punt coverage team, combined with Hunt's powerful leg, helped the Quakers lead Division III with a 39.22-yard net punting average.
In four seasons, Hunt averaged a school and league-record 41.4 yards per punt in 141 attempts. His average stands 13th in Division III history. He set ODAC and school standards with a 43.8-yard average in 2013 and booted a school-record 81-yard punt in 2014.
After a third-team selection in 2014, Rascoe (left) earned First Team All-ODAC honors as a senior. The 6-0, 210-pound linebacker tallied 74 tackles this year, good for 10th in the ODAC and third on the team. The team captain was 11th in the league in tackles per game (7.4). He led Guilford's defense with 9.5 tackles for loss, which ranked sixth in the ODAC and included two sacks and two forced fumbles. In his 38-game career, Rascoe collected 235 career tackles, 21.5 for loss, plus six sacks and three interceptions.
Smith earned his third straight First Team All-ODAC award and joins just four other Quakers so honored in school history. The 5-10, 175-pound senior receiver set a number of league and school records in the finest of his four seasons. He ranked second in the league with 89 receptions for 1,262 yards and 18 touchdowns, both conference highs. His 18 touchdown catches set a Guilford record and rank second in ODAC history. He also sits second among Division III touchdown reception leaders through games of November 21. Smith posted the second-highest receiving yards total in Guilford history with a figure that stands eighth nationally. He ranks sixth in Division III in receiving yards (126.2) and receptions (8.9) per game. The team captain stands 18th nationally with a league-best 11.0 points per game average.
Smith (right) captured two ODAC Offensive Player of the Week Awards this year and garnered his fourth career spot on the D3football.com / Scoutware Team of the Week. He landed both honors after catching 10 passes for a school-record 253 yards (fifth in league history) and a career-best three touchdowns in the Quakers' win over Shenandoah. Smith was also named ODAC Offensive Player of the Week after making 11 grabs for 195 yards and three scores in Guilford's Homecoming triumph over Averett University. Smith had four games with 10 or more catches, seven with 100 or more receiving yards and six with at least two touchdowns.
Smith leaves with Guilford's career records for receiving yards (3,988) and touchdowns (46), overall touchdowns (46), games with at least 100 receiving yards (19) and scoring (280). He ranks 14th among NCAA Division III's career leaders in touchdowns and 22nd in receiving yards.
The Quakers' offensive line had three all-conference selections for the second straight season and each man is a first-time honoree. Shwallon (left), a 6-1, 280-pound sophomore, earned first-team honors for his play as Guilford's starting right tackle. He graded out as the team's top lineman in six of 10 games and had an average grade of 91.
Charvat (right), a 6-1, 295-pound starting center, was a second-team pick and twice had the Quakers' top lineman grade. Gordon (below, left) claimed third-team recognition. The 6-1, 265-pound left tackle was named the USA College Football D-III Offensive Lineman of the Week after helping the Quakers compile a school-record 725 total offensive yards in a 52-49 win at Catholic.
Guilford's line supported an offense that set school records for passing touchdowns (43), total offensive yards (5,231) and points (452). The Quakers led the ODAC and rank among Division III's best through games of November 21 in passing offense (4th, 363.2 ypg.), total offense (6th, 523.1), passing efficiency (8th, 175.12) and scoring offense (10th, 45.2). Guilford stands 14th nationally in first downs (241) and 38th in tackles for loss allowed (4.90 pg.).
Senior Robert Smith (right) received his second First Team All-ODAC selection and becomes one of seven Quakers to receive four All-ODAC selections in their career. The 6-2, 245-pound safety ranked ninth in the ODAC with 77 tackles, good for second on the team. He led the Quakers with four takeaways, including a team-best three interceptions (4th in the ODAC) and one fumble recovery. Smith scored a touchdown when he returned an interception 18 yards for a score versus Shenandoah. He finished his career second only to Drew Baker '94 in Guilford history with 322 tackles, including 36.5 for loss and 7.5 sacks. He forced five fumbles, recovered four, and intercepted four passes in his four seasons for Guilford.
Ziah (left), a sophomore, earned First Team All-ODAC honors this season after a third-team nod as a freshman. The 6-2, 215-pound defensive end tied for third in the ODAC with 4.5 sacks, and placed 15th with 7.5 tackles for loss. Ziah collected 31 total tackles this year, tops among Guilford's linemen. He had a six-tackle, two- sack performance in a 41-21 win over Randolph-Macon. Ziah recorded a career-high seven stops versus league-champion Washington and Lee University, including two tackles for loss.
Roberts (right) earned all-league honors for the first time with his second-team award. The 5-10, 180-pound junior safety finished fourth on the Quakers' defense and 25th in the ODAC with a career-high 58 tackles (34 solo), including 1.5 for loss. His three fumble recoveries on the year tied for the league lead and rank 10th in Division III. He set a career high with 15 stops (11 solo) and broke up two passes against Shenandoah. Roberts also tallied 10 stops against Randolph-Macon.
Martin (left) was a Third Team All-ODAC honoree, compiling 55 tackles on the year, good for fifth on the team and 28th in the conference. The 5-7, 145-pound senior safety ranked ninth in the ODAC with a team-high six pass breakups. The four-year letter winner concludes his Guilford career with 196 tackles, including 15.5 stops behind the line. He recorded seven takeaways, which include four interceptions, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.
Volk (right) was another Third Team All-ODAC selection, starting in all 10 Quakers' games this season on the defensive line. The 5-11, 275-pound sophomore nose tackle collected 11 tackles (5 solo) and one quarterback hurry. He provided a consistent presence in the middle of Guilford's league-leading rush defense that gave up only 138.3 yards rushing yards per game. Volk recorded a season-high four stops (2 solo) in a victory over Bridgewater.
Coach Chris Rusiewicz's Quakers (9-1, 6-1 ODAC) set at least 29 Guilford records in the best football season in school history. The team's nine wins and six league victories both set school standards. Rusiewicz could return as many as 17 starters in 2016.