Ten Jacks honored on all-MVFC team
ST. LOUIS — Ten South Dakota State players, led by first-team selections Zach Zenner, Bryan Witzmann and Ross Shafrath, were honored on the 2012 all-Missouri Valley Football Conference Team on Monday.
Zenner, a sophomore running back from Eagan, Minn., posted a league-best 1,703 rushing yards during the 11-game regular season. The runner-up for MVFC Offensive Player of the Year, Zenner rushed for at least 100 yards in eight games and topped the 200-yard mark twice. Zenner, who scored 10 rushing touchdowns, also caught 26 passes for 176 yards.
A junior from Houlton, Wis., Witzmann anchored a Jackrabbit offensive line from his left tackle position. As a team, SDSU averaged 362 yards of total offense during the regular season. A three-year starter, Witzmann was an honorable mention selection in 2011.
Shafrath, a senior linebacker from Hampton, Iowa, ranked second in the league during the regular season with 125 total tackles, 79 of which were solo stops. He notched double figures in tackles eight times, while also recording two interceptions, four pass breakups and a forced fumble.
Three other Jackrabbit defenders received second-team recognition, including redshirt freshman T.J. Lally, who was also considered for the league's freshman and newcomer of the year awards. A Chicago native, Lally shared the team lead with six sacks and two forced fumbles, while ranking second in total tackles with 89 (63 solo) and tackles for loss with eight. He also intercepted two passes.
Junior defensive end Doug Peete earned a spot on the second team after recording a team-high 12 tackles for loss along with six sacks to share team-best honors. The Olathe, Kan., native finished the regular season with 43 total tackles (34 solo) with five pass breakups and a forced fumble.
In the secondary, senior strong safety Skyler Luxa was named to the second team after tallying a team-high three interceptions. The Blair, Neb., native also recorded five pass breakups and ranked third on the team with 54 tackles (35 solo).
Rounding out SDSU's second-team selections was senior center Will Castle. A Brandon native, Castle helped the Jackrabbits average 5.4 yards per offensive play during the regular season.
Daughters, a senior from Winner, shared the team lead with three touchdown receptions. Overall, he caught 14 passes for 114 yards during the regular season.
Mink, a senior from Ashland, Neb., turned in totals of 48 tackles, five tackles for loss and 2.5 sacks from his defensive tackle position.
A sophomore from Sioux Falls, Syrovatka ended the regular season as the team leader in points scored with 67. He made 25-of-26 extra-point tries and converted his final eight field goal attempts of the regular season to finish 14-of-18 overall.
The Jackrabbits, 9-3 overall, continue Football Championship Subdivision playoff action Saturday at top-seeded North Dakota State. Kickoff is set for 3 p.m. at the Fargodome.