Gardner, Wildcats Lead 2017 Football All-Conference Team
Humboldt State's Ja'Quan Gardner closes his collegiate career as the GNAC all-time leader in seven different categories.
Humboldt State's Ja'Quan Gardner closes his collegiate career as the GNAC all-time leader in seven different categories.
Central Washington's Kevin Haynes is the Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and one of three four-time first team selections on the all-conference team.
Central Washington's Kevin Haynes is the Defensive Player of the Year for the second straight season and one of three four-time first team selections on the all-conference team.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

PORTLAND, Ore. – In a year where there were a number of high-caliber offensive performers, it was Humboldt State senior running back Ja’Quan Gardner that rose to the top as the Offensive Player of the Year to lead selections to the 2017 Great Northwest Athletic Conference Football All-Conference Team.

Gardner, who was also the 2015 GNAC Offensive Player of the Year, earned first team selections at both running back and kick return after another stellar season. He is joined in the special awards by teammate and senior offensive lineman Alex Cappa, who was named the conference’s Offensive Lineman of the Year for the fourth consecutive year.

Conference champion Central Washington landed 10 players on the all-conference first team and collected four special awards. Senior linebacker Kevin Haynes was named the GNAC Defensive Player of the Year for the second consecutive year while senior Bo Banner was voted as the Defensive Lineman of the Year. Junior transfer quarterback Reilly Hennessey was selected as the Newcomer of the Year while head coach Ian Shoemaker was named by his peers as the Coach of the Year.

Simon Fraser offensive lineman Brayden Gatland rounds out the special awards with his selection as the Freshman of the Year.

Gardner concluded his career as one of the top offensive players in conference history. The senior led the league and ranked 10th in Division II in rushing, averaging 125.9 yards per game, while ranking fourth in Division II with 19 rushing touchdowns. Gardner also led the GNAC and was fourth nationally with 192.6 all-purpose yards per game as he added kick return duties to his plate this season.

The Ceres, California, native ends his career as the GNAC’s all-time leader in touchdowns (75), points scored (450), all-purpose yards (6.979), all-purpose yards per game (170.2), rushing attempts (878), rushing yards (5,426) and rushing touchdowns (70).

Cappa, meanwhile, becomes the first player in GNAC history to win one of the football special awards in four consecutive years. The senior is expected to be an NFL Draft prospect after leading a Humboldt State offensive line that allowed the Lumberjacks to fiish with an average of 488.3 yards of total offense per game, 10th in Division II, and allowed just 22 sacks all season.

Haynes becomes the second player in conference history to be named Defensive Player of the Year in back-to-back years. The senior is the lynch-pin for a Wildcats’ defense that enters the NCAA Division II Playoffs ranked third nationally in total defense, allowing 244.5 yards per game. Haynes finished the regular season with 84 tackles, tying for third in the GNAC. His 12.5 tackles for loss tied him for second in the conference. In addition, Haynes set a GNAC career record with 217 solo tackles.

Banner, the Defensive Lineman of the Year, finished the regular season with 24 tackles and his 0.82 sacks per game (nine total) ranks 25th in Division II. He tied with teammate Haynes for second in the GNAC with 12.5 tackles for loss per game while helping solidify a CWU defense that is 16th in Division II in scoring defense, allowing 16.1 points per game, and leads the nation with 10.6 tackles for loss per game.

Hennessey was an immediate impact player for Central Washington upon transferring from Division I-FCS Eastern Washington. The Newcomer of the Year finished the regular season third in the GNAC with 256.5 total offense yards per game and finished fourth in the league in both passing (208.5 yards per game) and rushing (48.1 yards per game). The leader of the nation’s No. 19 ranked offense (464.5 yards per game), Hennessey is 14th in Division II with a pass efficiency rating of 161.4 and is 15th with 26 passing touchdowns. Hennessey was one of two quarterbacks named to the first team as at-large selections.

Leading the Wildcats’ perfect 11-0 regular season run was Shoemaker, who earned Coach of the Year honors in his fourth season at the helm. Shoemaker has led Central Washington to its first GNAC football championship since 2012 and just the third undefeated regular season in conference history. Central Washington earned the No. 1 seed in Super Region 4 in the NCAA Division II Playoffs, a first-round bye and home-field advantage in the playoffs through the semifinals.

Gatland was selected as the Freshman of the Year for his role on Simon Fraser’s offensive line. Head coach Kelly Bates recognized his growth at the position despite being undersized against experienced GNAC defenses.

The All-Conference Team features a unprecedented trio of four-time first team selections in Haynes, Cappa and Western Oregon wide receiver Paul Revis. The three are just the fifth, sixth and seventh four-time first-teamers in GNAC history and the first since Central Washington’s Mike Nelson in 2013.

Of the first team performers, all but two were unanimous selections by the conference’s coaches (listed on four ballots, coaches could not vote for their own players). The squad features 26 repeat performers, including 12 repeat first-team selections from 2016.

Offensive Player of the Year: Ja’Quan Gardner, Humboldt State
Defensive Player of the Year: Kevin Haynes, Central Washington
Coach of the Year: Ian Shoemaker, Central Washington
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Alex Cappa, Humboldt State
Defensive Lineman of the Year: Bo Banner, Central Washington
Freshman of the Year: Brayden Gatland, Simon Fraser
Newcomer of the Year: Reilly Hennessey, Central Washington

Name School Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
*# Robert Webber Humboldt State QB 5-9 180 Sr. Corona, Calif. (Corona Centennial)
*+@^ Ja’Quan Gardner Humboldt State RB 5-7 205 Sr. Ceres, Calif. (Central Valley)
* +@ Kurt Scoby Azusa Pacific RB 5-8 180 Jr. Duarte, Calif. (Monrovia)
*+ Weston Carr Azusa Pacific WR 6-2 200 So. Benicia, Calif. (Benicia)
*+@! Paul Revis Western Oregon WR 5-9 175 Sr. Scappoose, Ore. (Scappoose)
*@^ Chase Krivashei Humboldt State WR 5-9 185 Sr. Corona, Calif. (Centennial)
* Kyle Self Central Washington TE 6-5 229 Sr. Vaughn, Wash. (Peninsula)
*+@! Alex Cappa Humboldt State OL 6-7 305 Sr. Dublin, Calif. (Dublin)
*+ James Moore Central Washington OL 6-5 310 Jr. Tacoma, Wash. (Bethel)
*+ Sakalaia Hungalu Azusa Pacific OL 6-2 290 Jr. Honolulu, Hawaii (McKinley)
*+ Joe Kupcikevicius Azusa Pacific OL 6-5 315 Sr. Oak Lawn, Ill. (Mt. San Antonio CC)
* Nicholas Streubel Central Washington OL 6-2 294 So. Oak Harbor, Wash. (Coupeville)
* Jose Morales Humboldt State K 6-4 240 Sr. Lompoc, Calif. (Allan Hancock Coll.)
* Ja’Quan Gardner Humboldt State KR 5-7 205 Sr. Ceres, Calif. (Central Valley)
+ Andrew Elffers Azusa Pacific QB 6-3 220 Sr. Arcadia, Calif. (Maranatha)
Reilly Hennessey Central Washington QB 6-3 200 Jr. Camas, Wash.
(Eastern Washington Univ.)
NOTE: Elffers & Hennessey at-large selections.        
Name School Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
* Bo Banner Central Washington DL 6-2 241 Sr. Bellingham, Wash. (Sehome)
*+ Jason Schwartz Azusa Pacific DL 6-4 245 Sr. Santa Barbara, Calif. (Dos Pueblos)
* Nicholas Aumua Central Washington DL 6-3 283 Sr. Auburn, Wash.
(Auburn Mountainview)
* Christian Penny Central Washington DL 6-5 315 So. Pasco, Wash. (Chiawana)
*+@! Kevin Haynes Central Washington LB 6-1 228 Sr. Battle Ground, Wash. (Battle Ground)
*# Aaron Berry Azusa Pacific LB 6-2 210 Jr. Perris, Calif. (Perris)
* +Bo Highburger Western Oregon LB 6-1 220 Jr. Veneta, Ore. (Elmira)
*+$ Taliuaki Suliafu Azusa Pacific DB 6-1 200 Sr. Moreno Valley, Calif. (Moreno Valley)
* Tyler Hasty Central Washington DB 6-0 190 Jr. Bellevue, Wash. (Oregon State Univ.)
* Davaeon Johnson Humboldt State DB 6-1 185 So. Antelope, Calif. (Antelope)
*+ Jackson Huerta Central Washington DB 5-10 194 Sr. Covington, Wash. (Kentwood)
* Jacob Hall Azusa Pacific P 6-2 195 Jr. Greenville, Ill (Greenville)
*+# Paul Revis Western Oregon PR 5-9 175 Sr. Scappoose, Ore. (Scappoose)
Name School Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Austin Pernell Central Washington RB 5-9 215 Sr. Kent, Wash.
(Washington State Univ.)
Nate Rauda Central Washington WR 6-2 181 So. Seattle, Wash. (O’Dea)
# John Todd Humboldt State WR 6-3 195 Jr. San Diego, Calif. (Valhalla)
Zach Suarez Western Oregon WR 6-1 195 Sr. Sacramento, Calif.
(American River Coll.)
Samuel Sanchez Central Washington TE 6-4 229 Fr. Poulsbo, Wash. (O’Dea)
# Josh Hanson Humboldt State OL 6-2 300 Sr. Eureka, Calif. (Eureka)
# Jacob Zartman Western Oregon OL 6-4 315 Sr. St. Helens, Ore. (St. Helens)
Luke Asbjornsen Central Washington OL 6-5 275 Jr. Graham, Wash. (Graham-Kapowsin)
Jared Layel Humboldt State OL 6-2 275 Sr. Redlands, Calif. (Redlands)
# Bryson Dizon Western Oregon OL 6-3 305 Sr. Portland, Ore. (Davis Douglas)
Jacob Hall Azusa Pacific K 6-2 195 Jr. Greenville, Ill (Greenville)
Gavin Cobb Simon Fraser KR 5-10 170 So. Victoria, B.C. (Mount Douglas)
Name School Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
& Ma’ake Muti Azusa Pacific DL 6-0 280 Jr. Wahiawa, Hawaii (Leilehua)
Billy Greer Central Washington DL 6-1 237 So. Tacoma, Wash. (Wilson)
& Michael Kluge Western Oregon DL 5-10 285 Sr. Aloha, Ore. (Aloha)
Sefa Tauanu’u Humboldt State DL 5-9 260 So. La Mesa, Calif. (Helix)
*# Sean Elledge Central Washington LB 6-0 221 Sr. Monroe, Wash. (Glacier Peak)
Willie Fair Azusa Pacific LB 6-1 240 So. Chula Vista, Calif. (Steele Canyon)
# Tyler Johnson Western Oregon LB 6-1 225 Sr. Eugene, Ore. (Willamette)
James Benedix Humboldt State LB 6-0 235 Jr. Mission Viejo, Calif.
(Santa Barbara CC)
Adrian Shocks Azusa Pacific LB 6-1 210 Jr. Federal Way, Wash. (Todd Beamer)
Lavell Thomas Azusa Pacific DB 5-11 185 Jr. Riverside, Calif. (Riverside CC)
# Max McIntosh Central Washington DB 6-1 186 Sr. Puyallup, Wash. (Univ. of Idaho)
Nathan Jones Western Oregon DB 6-1 200 Sr. Scio, Ore. (Scio)
Darien Williams Central Washington DB 6-1 192 So. Tacoma, Wash. (Lincoln)
+ Alex Elterman Humboldt State P 6-1 230 Sr. Templeton, Calif.
(Monterey Peninsula Coll.)
Chase Krivashei Humboldt State PR 5-9 185 Sr. Corona, Calif. (Centennial)
Name School Pos. Ht. Wt. Yr. Hometown (Previous School)
Kenny Norton III Azusa Pacific DB 6-2 210 Sr. Bellevue, Wash. (Issaquah)
Kendall Rew Azusa Pacific OL 6-3 320 Sr. Spokane, Wash. (Ferris)
Ahmad Sunda Azusa Pacific OL 6-3 300 Sr. Anaheim Hills, Calif. (Canyon)
Reggie Long Central Washington OL 6-2 264 Sr. Sammamish, Wash. (Skyline)
Elisha Pa’aga Central Washington DL 5-10 260 So. Tukwila, Wash. (Eastside Catholic)
Justin Peterson Central Washington WR 6-1 190 Sr. Marysville, Wash. (Lakewood)
Richard Doctor Humboldt State WR 6-3 200 Sr. Lemoore, Calif. (Lemoore)
Jeff Shott Humboldt State LB 5-9 225 Sr. Missoin Viejo, Calif. (Capistrano Valley)
Curtis Williams Humboldt State LB 6-0 215 Jr. Elk Grove, Calif. (Franklin)
Justin Buren Simon Fraser WR 6-1 200 Sr. Coquitlam, B.C. (Centennial)
Brad Lyons Simon Fraser DL 6-4 260 Jr. Port Coquitlam, B.C.
(South Dakota State)
Kyle Wilson Simon Fraser DL 6-7 270 Jr. Newmarket, Ont. (Bill Crothers)
Brad Christensen Western Oregon OL 6-3 305 Sr. Snoqualmie, Wash. (Mount Si)
Nick Duckworth Western Oregon QB 6-6 225 Sr. Scottsdale, Ariz. (Notre Dame Prep)
Keoni Piceno Western Oregon WR 5-10 180 Sr. Wahiawa, Hawaii
(Univ. of Minn.-Crookston)

* - Unanimous Selection    
+ - First Team Selection In 2016  
# - Second Team Selection In 2016  
& - Honorable Mention Selection In 2016 
@ - First Team Selection In 2015  
$ - Second Team Selection In 2015  
! - First Team Selection In 2014    
^ - Second Team Selection In 2014