Ridge Hobbs (left) and Kevin McConnell top the list of MSFA Midwest League honorees for IWC
Ridge Hobbs (left) and Kevin McConnell top the list of MSFA Midwest League honorees for IWC
Football - Fri, Nov. 18, 2011
Hobbs, McConnell lead Tigers receiving MSFA honors
FINDLAY, OHIO - Ridge Hobbs (So.-New London, Iowa) and Kevin McConnell (Jr.-Kansas City, Mo.) led Iowa Wesleyan College football players receiving Mid-States Football Association Midwest League honors as the MSFA released its all-league teams Thursday.

Hobbs was named First Team All-MSFA Midwest as a wide receiver, while McConnell was named to the Midwest League Second Team as a quarterback. Nine other players also were named honorable mention all-league in the vote of league coaches.

Hobbs had a breakout season, finishing the year with 42 receptions for 953 yards and 11 touchdown catches in ten games. He led the entire MSFA and ranked fourth nationally in the NAIA in receiving yards and yards per game (95.3), and also led the MSFA Midwest in touchdown receptions. His yardage total was the fourth-most in IWC history for a single season, and after two seasons he already is 10th all-time in receiving yards at the school with 1,179 yards.

McConnell continued to emerge as one of the top signal callers in the MSFA, once again improving his production as a junior. He completed 66.1% of his passes (256-for-387) for 2,480 yards and 19 touchdowns with 11 interceptions. He led the MSFA Midwest with 248.0 yards passing per game, ranking ninth nationally, and was second in the league in touchdown passes.

McConnell also rushed for 377 yards and eight touchdowns, in all accounting for 285.7 yards of total offense per game to lead the MSFA Midwest and rank sixth in the nation. He continued to move up the IWC all-time yardage lists, and he is now fourth all-time at the school in both passing yards (5,543) and total offense (6,295).

Nine more Tigers were named honorable mention all-league, including two offensive players and seven from the defense. Receiving honorable mention were offensive linemen Douglas Fuentes (Jr.-Los Banos, Calif.) and Jordan Padgett (Jr.-Las Vegas, Nev.), defensive linemen Sale Fatu (Jr.-Pago Pago, American Samoa) and Richard Silva (Jr.-Kirkland, Wash.), linebackers Zach Ray (Jr.-Springfield, Ill.) and Aaron Wagoner (Jr.-Roseville, Calif.), and defensive backs Justin Hunnicutt (Jr.-San Francisco, Calif.), Napoleon Johnson (Jr.-San Jose, Calif.) and Duane Lee (Jr.-San Jose, Calif.).

Fuentes and Padgett both received honors in their first seasons after transferring from junior colleges. Fuentes started all ten games at center and was one of the team's most consistent performers on the line. Padgett started seven games and played multiple positions on the line, and also scored the winning touchdown on Oct. 8 against Trinity International, recovering a fumble in the end zone.

Fatu and Silva both were key players on the Wesleyan defensive line. Fatu finished with 32 tackles including 4 1/2 tackles for loss in his first year with the team after transferring from junior college. Silva was named Honorable Mention All-MSFA Midwest for the second straight year and finished with 29 tackles, including three tackles for loss and 1 1/2 sacks.

Wagoner led the Tiger defense with 69 tackles, including nine tackles for loss, and was the team's most disruptive player in the front seven all season, consistently pressuring quarterbacks and making plays. Ray finished with 25 tackles and added an interception, a fumble recovery and two passes broken up.

Lee, Johnson and Hunnicutt all were part of a Wesleyan secondary that ranked not just among the MSFA leaders but also among the NAIA's best in pass defense. The Tigers ranked fifth in the nation allowing just 139.1 yards passing per game, and opponents completed just 44.2% of their pass attempts.

Lee led the MSFA Midwest and ranked among the national leaders with five interceptions. He also was second on the team with 47 tackles and tied for second with five pass breakups while also registering three tackles for loss. Johnson was right behind Lee with four interceptions and also added five passes broken up as well as three tackles for loss. Hunnicutt was third on the team with 39 tackles and led the team with six passes broken up from his safety position.

Iowa Wesleyan finished the season with a 4-7 overall record and a 2-5 mark in the MSFA Midwest League. The four wins were the most by a Wesleyan team since 1997.