Football Places 16 on All-PAC Team; Larsen Named PAC Coach of the Year
(GREENVILLE, Pa.) – The Carnegie Mellon University football team had 16 players receive All-Presidents' Athletic Conference (PAC) distinction, announced by the conference office following voting by the league coaches on Tuesday. The Tartans place five on the first team and second team with five being named honorable mention as one was honored to the sportsmanship team. Additionally, first-year head coach Ryan Larsen was named PAC Coach of the Year.
Larsen coached the Tartans to 10-0 overall record and an 8-0 mark in league play. The Tartans captured their ninth PAC title and the league's automatic qualifying bid to the NCAA Division III Championship. Carnegie Mellon will be making its eighth all-time appearance in the Division III Championship Saturday afternoon when DePauw University travels to Pittsburgh.
Three of the first team honorees are on the defensive side of the ball with one on offense and special teams. Senior defensive lineman Ben Coyne (McDonald, Pa./South Fayette), junior linebacker Robert Coury (Phillipsburg N.J./Phillipsburg) and junior defensive back Adrian Williams (Venetia, Pa./Peters Township) were honored on defense. The lone offensive and special team players on the first team were senior offensive lineman Ty Spaltholz (South Milwaukee, Wis./South Milwaukee) and graduate student placekicker Cole Hanna (Peachtree Corners, Ga. / Norcross (South Carolina)).
Three additional Tartan defenders were honored on the second team in senior defensive back Aryan Hegde (Brambleton, Va./Rock Ridge), junior linebacker Thomas Coury (Phillipsburg N.J./Phillipsburg) and sophomore defensive lineman Mitchell Stokey (New Philadelphia, Ohio/New Philadelphia). Joining them on the second team were senior wide receiver Kris Hughes (Springboro, Ohio/Springboro) and senior punter Casey Jaeb (San Jose, Calif./Bellarmine Prep).
The Tartans led the PAC in scoring defense for the second straight season allowing 10.9 points per game, rushing defense giving up 74.9 yards per contest, turnovers gained with 29, passes intercepted with 20, turnover margin at 2.10 and tackles for loss with 9.0 per contest. The Cardinal and Gray ranked third nationally in turnover margin, fourth in tackles for loss and passes intercepted, fifth in turnovers gained, 13th in scoring defense and 22nd in rushing defense.
Coyne ended the regular season second in the PAC with 9.5 sacks for a loss of 54 yards. He also tabbed a total of 13.5 tackles for loss of 61 yards which ranked fifth best in the league. The senior has 45 total tackles, 22 solo, and ranks fifth on the team while also recording his first two interceptions of his career, forcing a fumble and recovering another.
Robert Coury leads the team in tackles (83) and tackles for a loss (17.0) while ranking second with 7.5 sacks. He currently ranks second in the league in tackles for loss, third in total tackles and fifth in sacks. Coury's 17.0 tackles for loss rank 26th in Division III. The junior has also forced a fumble and recorded four pass breakups this season.
Williams leads the Tartans with 14 passes defended, 47 solo tackles and five interceptions. His passes defended and solo tackles are tops in the PAC while ranking third in interceptions. His 14 passes defended rank 18th best nationally. He is the Tartans third leading tackler with 64 total.
Hegde is the Tartans fourth leading tackler with 48, 31 solo, and has 1.5 sacks and three passes defended. Thomas Coury ranks second on the team with 71 tackles. He ended the regular season with four passes defended, two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, a blocked punt, and a blocked field goal. His blocked punt was returned for a touchdown at Thiel. Stokey ended the regular season with 5.0 sacks for a loss of 41 yards which ranked third on the Tartans. He also tabbed 9.0 tackles for a loss, 24 total tackles, forced two fumbles and recovered fumble.
Hughes led the Tartans with 639 yards receiving, 46 receptions and six touchdowns. His six receiving scores ranked third in the PAC. This season Hughes became the program's all-time leader in touchdown receptions and currently has 26 for his career. He also moved into third on the all-time list with 1,841 yards receiving. Spaltholz was the anchor of the Cardinal and Gray offensive line and started every game this season at guard or center.
Hanna converted 27-of-30 extra points while adding eight field goals for 51 points. The graduate student also placed 17 of his kickoffs in the end zone for touchbacks, Jaeb ranks third in the PAC averaging 37.8 yards per punt on 65 punts while tying his career-long of 60. The junior landed 18 of his punts inside the opponent's 20-yard line while 16 have been fair caught.
The Tartans Honorable Mention Honorees:
The Tartans Sportsmanship Honoree:
Senior linebacker Zach Martens