ST. LOUIS, Mo. - Pioneer Football League officials announced today the winners of its divisional post-season honors: Offensive Player of the Year, Defensive Player of the Year and Coach of the Year. The PFL North honors were split as San Diego's senior quarterback Eric Rasmussen
was named the division's "Offensive Player of the Year." Butler defensive back Brandon Martin was the North's "Defensive Player of the Year" and Valparaiso head coach Tom Horne earned "Coach of the Year" honors, his second such award.
Rasmussen, a 6-3, 217-pound senior quarterback from Sacramento, Calif., currently leads the PFL in all of Division I in passing efficiency (174.5). He set new Torero single-season marks in passing yards (2,982 yards), pass completions (195) and touchdowns (35). He finished the season with just three interceptions in 318 pass attempts and threw for 200 or more yards in eight of his 10 games.
Martin, a 5-11, 180-pound senior defensive back from Springville, Ind., is the current Division I-AA leader in interceptions, recording eight in 11 games this season and finished as Butler's all-time leader with 17 career pass thefts. He also led the Bulldogs with 82 total tackles, including 71 solo stops.
Horne earns the PFL South's "Coach of the Year" honor after leading Valparaiso to a 7-4 mark and a share of the PFL North title with a 3-1 mark. The Crusaders will be competing in their first-ever conference championship game and enter that contest with a No. 7 ranking in the Sports Network I-AA Mid-Major poll.
PFL North co-champion San Diego landed eight first-team honorees including repeat first-team linebacker Andy Guzenski. Other repeat first-team selections were Drake running back Jonathan Taylor, Dayton offensive lineman Nate Moore and Dayton linebacker Brian Heizman. Valparaiso freshman place-kicker Andrew McCawley earned distinction as the only freshman on this year's PFL North team. He was joined by three sophomores, eight juniors and 13 seniors on the first team.
Toreros joining Rasmussen and Guzenski on the First Team include sophomore WR Adam Hannula, senior TE Jeff Incerty, sophomore RB Evan Harney, junior OL Keith Zapalac, senior DB Gavin Ng and senior DT Josh Noga. USD players named to the Second Team include sophomore WR Nick Garton, senior OL Ariel Bellofiore, junior OL Matt Collins, junior DT Joe Maietta, senior DE Chris Conroy, senior DE Josh Pierce, junior LB Jeff Langdon, senior invert Kyle Fitzgerald, senior DB Allen Russell, senior invert Adam Combs, and senior return specialist Gavin Ng.
The Pioneer Football League will hold its third annual championship game at 1:07 p.m. (EST), Saturday, in Valparaiso, Ky., as PFL South champion Morehead State will host PFL North co-champion Valparaiso. Valparaiso earned three PFL North first-team honors while PFL South champion Morehead State laid claim to 13 PFL South first-team honors.