Saints Picked Second in PAC at Football Media Day
The Thomas More College football team was picked second in the 2015 Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) preseason poll released on Wednesday at the 2015 PAC Football Media Day held at the Sis and Herman Dupre Science Pavilion on the campus of Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pennsylvania.
The Saints earned six of 34 total first-place votes and 341 total points in the conference poll to finish behind first place Washington & Jefferson College (368). W&J and Thomas More were followed by Bethany College (265), Waynesburg University (225), Saint Vincent (212), Westminster College (209), Case Western Reserve University (169), Carnegie Mellon University (148), Geneva College (128), Thiel College (128) and Grove City College (56).
The 2015 edition of the Thomas More football team will have a new look when it goes after its sixth PAC Championship in the last seven years as Regis Scafe will take over for Jim Hilvert as the Saints’ head coach.
Scafe brings 19 years of collegiate head coaching experience to Crestview Hills, including 14-years at John Carroll University. He has a 104-90 career record and guided John Carroll to the national semifinals of the 2002 NCAA Division III Championship.
Scafe inherits a team that returns 19 starters from last year’s squad that posted a 9-2 record with both losses coming to teams that advanced to the second round of the NCAA Championship.
Offensively, the Saints have eight starters returning, including some key contributors. Thomas More returns three-year starting quarterback Jensen Gebhardt. Last season, he completed 145-of-243 passes (59.7 percent) for 2,235 yards with 17 touchdowns. Gebhardt also carried the ball 41 times and had one touchdown.
Gebhardt will have two key receivers back from last season as senior second team All-PAC honoree Goose Cohorn and senior Tyler Vogelpohl both return. Cohorn led the team in receptions in 2014 with 47 and had 910 yards and 10 touchdowns, while Vogelpohl had 20 catches for 288 yards and three touchdowns.
In the backfield, sophomore honorable mention All-PAC running back CT Tarrant will take over for All-American Domonique Hayden, who graduated. Tarrant was second on the team last season as he had 94 carries for 745 yards and 10 touchdowns. He had four 100-yard rushing games last season for the Saints.
Up front, Thomas More returns senior left tackle Jake Henderson, senior left guard Quentin Campbell, junior center Trevor Meyer and senior right guard DJ Handlon. The offensive line allowed only nine sacks last season, while blocking the way for the Saints’ ground attack to rush for 2,747 yards.
Defensively on the front four, the Saints return 2014 starters in two spots with senior first team All-PAC selection Erick Butler and sophomore Spencer Hemmer. Butler led the team in tackles with 65 (36 solo, 29 assisted), including eight tackles for a loss and team-leading seven sacks. Hemmer had five tackles (all assisted) and one sack.
Scafe will also have two linebackers returning from last season’s team that saw significant playing time as junior Austin Copleand and senior Nick Pennekamp return in 2015. Copeland was second on the team in tackles with 56 (28 solo, 28 assisted), including two tackles for a loss and a half sack. Pennekamp had 19 tackles (nine solo, 10 assisted), including one and a half tackles for a loss and three sacks.
In the secondary, Thomas More returns senior first team All-PAC selection Kyle Fuller, senior honorable mention selection Ian Gunn, junior Lemuel Weyer and junior Darrell Davis. Fuller was fourth on the team in tackles with 46 (31 solo, 15 assisted), including two tackles for a loss and one sack. He also had five interceptions, which he returned 60 yards, including one touchdown and had two forced fumbles and one blocked kick. Gunn had 43 tackles (33 solo, 10 assisted), including three and a half tackles for a loss. Weyer had 40 tackles (22 solo, 18 assisted), including a half tackle for a loss, one interception and two fumble recoveries. Davis had 20 tackles (10 solo, 10 assisted) and added one interception.
On special teams, the Saints return sophomore kicker Zach Bryant, senior Tommy Budke and senior punter Kyle Fuller. Bryant was 9-of-13 in point after attempts, while Budke was 44-of-49 in PATs, and had 71 kick-offs for 3,968 yards (55.9 yards per kick) with eight touchbacks. Fuller had 38 punts for 1,411 yards (37.1 yards per punt) with three touchbacks and nine fair catches.
Thomas More opens the 2015 campaign on September 5 when it hosts 19-ranked St. John Fisher College at 12 p.m. at BB&T Field in Crestview Hills, Kentucky. The Saints will play three-straight and five of their first six games at BB&T Field.
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