Union Lands 8 on All-MSC Team

Published 10:00 pm Friday, November 17, 2017

BARBOURVILLE, Ky. — The Union College football team placed a total of eight players on the All-Mid-South Conference (MSC) Appalachian Division Team with five earning first team honors, the league announced Thursday.

Making the first team are Kermit Gibbs, Tyler Toombs, Alex Bell, Izayah Riettie, and Jake Averhart. Meanwhile, Cody Johnson, Darian Patterson, and Jalen Ashby received second team honors.

The five first team honorees are the most for Bulldogs since they placed eight in 2008.

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Union boasted the second-best yards per game average (477.5) and points per game average (35.0) in the MSC Appalachian Division, so it is no surprise seven of the eight all-conference players are on the offense.

Gibbs, a second team honoree in 2016, anchored the Bulldogs’ offensive line. He helped lead the way for the team to post a program record 477.5 yards per game. Union racked up 2,011 rushing yards and 2,764 passing yards with Gibbs leading the way. The 350 points Union tallied ranks third most in program history.

Toombs collected a school-record 949 receiving yards, ranking him second in the conference. He caught 29 passes and averaged 32.7 yards per catch. Toombs racked up 10 touchdowns and was named the MSC Appalachian Offensive Player of the Week twice this season.

Bell, a four-time MSC Appalachian Offensive Player of the Week honoree this year, threw for 2,521 yards and 26 touchdowns – both of which rank third best in program history. He saved his best game for last when he posted a career-high 372 passing yards and five touchdowns in a 56-29 win over Point. Bell also ran for 405 yards and four touchdowns.

Riettie, a second team selection in 2016, paced the Bulldog ground attack with 735 rushing yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 5.3 yards per carry and also caught 23 passes for 199 yards and a touchdown. Riettie collected the conference offensive player of the week award when he tallied 184 rushing yards and four touchdowns in a 63-35 win over Pikeville.

Averhart led Union in tackles this season with 74 total stops, including 41 solo tackles. He made 5.0 tackles for a loss of 36 yards and intercepted one pass. Also a second team member in 2016, Averhart was named the defensive player of the week on Sept. 4 after helping Union to a 55-28 win over Ave Marie, as he tallied 13 tackles and intercepted a pass.

Another second team selection from 2016, Johnson hauled in 22 passes for 271 yards and three touchdowns. The tight end finished his career with 49 receptions for 487 yards.

Patterson hauled in 26 receptions for 515 yards and nine touchdowns. He averaged 19.8 yards per catch and recorded two 100-yard receiving games. Patterson’s best game came against Ave Marie when he caught four passes for 121 yards and two scores.

Ashby landed on the second team as a slot receiver. He caught 15 passes for 237 yards and two touchdowns while rushing for 72 yards and another score on 15 carries. Also used a kick return specialist, Ashby set the program record for most return yards in a career at 2,072.

Union finished the season 5-5 overall and 3-3 in MSC Appalachian play.