ST. LOUIS – Jay M. Robinson graduate Ethan Steinbacher was one of eight Davidson College athletes to make the All-Pioneer Football League Team, including three first-teamers, the league announced Tuesday.
Steinbacher, who was chosen for the All-Pioneer first team, was a veteran presence on a young offensive line that once again produced top-five rushing numbers nationally. The Wildcats finished second in the country with 322.6 yards and were first in third-down conversion percentage, successful on 57.1 percent of their tries.
Steinbacher played both football and basketball at Jay M. Robinson. On the court, he was a member of the Bulldogs’ 2015-16 basketball squad that went on to win the state championship in Chapel Hill. On the gridiron, Steinbacher was a standout for the Bulldogs, twice earning all-conference honors.
In addition to Steinbacher, Wildcat junior running back Wesley Dugger earned his third consecutive first-team nod, while senior Bryce Perry-Martin also made the leap up from the second team.
Dugger had a record year, rushing for a PFL and Davidson record 22 touchdowns. The Henrico, Va., native also became the program’s all-time leading rusher while on the road at Butler, finishing the season with a career 3,440 yards.
Perry-Martin was a driving force of Davidson’s jump to one of the more dominating defenses in the nation. Despite receiving frequent double and triple teams from opposing blockers, Perry-Martin totaled a team-high 12.5 tackles for loss and 4.5 sacks to go along with 53 stops.
Landing on the offensive second team was senior running back Jorell Story and lineman Zach Hester, while defensive end Harrison Hill and linebackers Tony Collins and George Hatalowich made the cut on the defensive second squad.
Listed as a second team fullback selection, Story was just as big blocking for the FCS second ranked rushing team as he was toting the ball. But when he did get the call, the Dallas, Ga., native made the most of it, rushing for 686 yards on 125 carries, an average of 5.5 yards per carry. Story also found the end zone six times, including a 71-yard scoring scamper on the second play of the game at Campbell.
Switching over from tight end during camp, Hester fit in seamlessly on the offensive line, helping fill the void of the loss of four starters from the 2018 squad. For Hester, it marks his first PFL All-Conference nod.
On the defensive side, Collins makes it two straight years as a PFL honoree. The senior was second in tackles (72), only trailing fellow second-teamer Hatalowich (86). Collins picked off a pass at Jacksonville and forced a fumble to go along with 2.5 tackles for loss.
Having already earned a spot on the Allstate AFCA Good Works Team for his outstanding commitment to the community, Hatalowich can add All-PFL selection to his resume. The senior from Hummelstown, Pa., led the team in tackles, adding 7.5 for loss, picked off a pass to seal the win over Valparaiso and recovered a fumble.
Hill played linebacker until he arrived at camp in August, but was told he had the tools to become an All-Conference defensive end if he wanted the job. Hill took the challenge head on and did just that, earning second team honors. The Cincinnati, Ohio, product was third with 67 tackles, 9.5 of those for loss and registered four sacks. He also blocked a kick.
Davidson also landed five honorable mention ‘Cats – sophomore safety Dreylan Hines and senior cornerback Rayshawn McCall defensively; junior quarterback Tyler Phelps, sophomore wide receiver Jalen Staples and slot receiver Eli Turner Jr.