Patriot surprise: Shafnisky, not Edmonds named Player of the Year

(STATS) - Rushing for more yards than anyone in the FCS - and by a wide margin - could put Chase Edmonds in the running for some national player of the year awards. Yet, that wasn't good enough to get him top honors in the pint-sized Patriot League.

Instead, it was Lehigh quarterback Nick Shafnisky who was named the Patriot's Player of the Year even though he missed 2 1/2 games and didn't lead the league in passing yards or touchdown passes. Apparently voters felt that the senior dual threat leading Lehigh to a perfect conference record, a 9-2 season overall and a playoff berth outweighed Edmonds' seemingly superior statistics.

Edmonds, of course, did make the All-Patriot first-team offense after rushing for an FCS-best 1,799 yards, 281 more than second-place Tarik Cohen of North Carolina A&T. A junior who already owns the conference's all-time record with 62 rushing TDs, Edmonds ran for 19 scores this season to finish second in the Subdivision.

Shafnisky did run for 10 TDs of his own and threw for 20 in just nine games, having missed time due to a nagging ankle problem. He completed 66.2 percent of his passes for 2,448 yards and rushed for 302 as the Mountain Hawks finished among the top 10 offenses in the FCS with 40.5 points and 491.5 yards per game.

Andy Coen is the mastermind of that offense and earned the conference's Coach of the Year honor. It's the second time in 11 seasons at Lehigh that he's won the award.

Shafnisky's two favorite targets were among five Mountain Hawks named to the first-team offense. Troy Pelletier and Gatlin Casey each topped 1,000 yards and totaled 25 touchdowns.

A pair of Colgate defenders took home the conference's other two honors. Junior Pat Afriyie earned Defensive Player of the Year after finishing among the national leaders with 10 sacks and 21 tackles for loss. Defensive back Abu Daramy won Rookie of the Year after totaling 22 tackles and four pass breakups while keying the Red Raiders' special teams with 21.4 yards per kickoff return and 7.3 per punt return.

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PATRIOT LEAGUE POSTSEASON AWARDS=

OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Nick Shafnisky, QB, Lehigh

DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR - Pat Afriyie, DL, Colgate

ROOKIE OF THE YEAR - Abu Daramy, RS/DB, Colgate

COACH OF THE YEAR - Andy Coen, Lehigh

PATRIOT LEAGUE FIRST TEAM

OFFENSE

QB - Nick Shafnisky, Lehigh

RB - Dom Bragalone, Lehigh

RB - Chase Edmonds, Fordham

FB/HB - John Wilkins, Colgate

WR - Gatlin Casey, Lehigh

WR - Brendan Flaherty, Holy Cross

WR - Troy Pelletier, Lehigh

TE - Dylan Wadsworth, Lafayette

OL - Anthony Coyle, Fordham

OL - Jordi Dalmau, Colgate

OL - Julie'n Davenport, Bucknell

OL - Zach Duffy, Lehigh

OL - Ryan Paulish, Colgate

DEFENSE

DL - Abdullah Anderson, Bucknell

DL - Pat Afriyie, Colgate

DL - Dewayne Cameron, Holy Cross

DL - Justin Vaughn, Fordham

LB - Colton Caslow, Lehigh

LB - Kyle Diener, Colgate

LB - Nick McBeath, Holy Cross

LB - Ben Richard, Bucknell

DB - Bret Berg, Bucknell

DB - Caleb Ham, Fordham

DB - Bryan Marine, Bucknell

DB - Chris Morgan, Colgate

SPECIAL TEAMS

PK - Ed Mish, Lehigh

RS - Gatlin Casey, Lehigh

P - Ed Mish, Lehigh

NON-SPECIALIST - Hunter Kiselick, Georgetown

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