Findlay, Ohio – On Friday, Nov. 16, the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) released their all-conference awards for the 2018 season. The Oilers placed 19 players on all-conference teams which was tied for the second-most awards in the league.
First Team All-Great Midwest
Earning his first playing time at Findlay this season, sophomore running back Brian Benson won the starting job for the Oilers who all season long boasted the best rushing attack in the league. He ended his season with a flurry out other-worldly performances as he averaged 205 yards and 3.3 touchdowns in his final three games of the season. In 2018, Benson rushed 130 times for 963 yards for an average of 107.0 yards per game. The Mansfield, Ohio native also found the end zone 16 times. Benson's total yards, yards per game, touchdowns, and yards per carry (7.4) were all tops in the league. At 7.4 yards per carry, Benson, who was named G-MAC Player of the Week on Nov. 5, broke the conference record for yards per carry in a season, surpassing the 2017 mark of Findlay graduate Daouda Sylla who rushed for 6.4 ypc last season. This is Benson's first all-conference award of his career.
A pair of junior offensive lineman were key to the Oilers producing the league's top producing offense for the second consecutive season. For their efforts, Neal Davis and Logan Bailey have both been named first team all-conference performers for 2018. Davis, who has started in 32 out of 34 games since he stepped on campus as a freshman, spent his season at center while Bailey held his position at left tackle. The duo were imperative to the success of an offense that scored a league-best 41.2 points per game, churned out a league-best 494.2 yards per game, and produced 2,938 rushing yards, more than 1,200 rushing yards more than the next-best rushing offense in the league. Findlay also led the league and ranked second in the nation with 292 first downs this season and protected their quarterback better than any team in the league, and were ninth in the country, allowing just seven sacks all season. Davis was named honorable mention all-conference last season while this is the first all-league award for Bailey.
Playing in his final season for Findlay, senior Cyle Skidmore made his impact felt on the defensive line and has earned first team all-conference for the first time in his career. In 2018, Skidmore totaled 35 tackles and had 13.5 tackles-for-loss which ranked third in the league. He also recorded 7.5 sacks this season which was tied for second in the league. When the Bucyrus, Ohio native got to the ball carrier, his hands were active which led him to force a league-high four fumbles this season. His four fumbles forced ranked seventh in the country. Skidmore was a second team all-conference player last season and earned honorable mention in 2016.
Playing next to Skidmore on the defensive line was sophomore Kyle Gibson who had a breakout year and has earned first team all-league for the first time in his young career. A native of Newark, Ohio, Gibson started in all 11 games this season and had 51 stops. He was tied for second in the conference with 7.5 sacks and was solo-second in the league with 16 tackles-for-loss. Gibson earned Findlay's lone Defensive Player of the Week award after a 3.5 TFL and 1.5 sack performance against Charleston on Oct. 13. The 6-2, 248-pound lineman had a career-high four tackles-for-loss and two sacks against Lake Erie on Sep. 29.
A first team performer last season, junior Isaac Miles has again earned first team all-conference for his play at linebacker. In 2018, Miles made 56 tackles and had 3.5 tackles-for-loss while forcing and recovering one fumble. The Indianapolis, Ind. native had a season-best ten tackles on Sep. 8 against no. 9 Ferris St. and recorded two tackles-for-loss against Charleston on Oct. 13.
Earning his first all-conference award is senior Justice Jenkins who has earned first team all-league for his efforts in 2018. This season, Jenkins tallied 61 tackles from his linebacker position and played in all 11 games for the Oilers. He had 3.5 tackles for loss, forced one fumble, and had one interception. Jenkins had a season-best 11 tackles against no. 9 Ferris St. on Sep. 8 and later against Hillsdale on Oct. 6.
Earning his fourth all-conference award of his career is senior defensive back Chiebuka Chukwuneke. The Edison, NJ native was honorable mention all-Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) in 2015, second team all-GLIAC in 2016, second team all-G-MAC in 2017, and in 2018 earned a spot on first team. Chukwuneke made 56 tackles this season and had 2.5 tackles-for-loss and one fumble recovery. He also had one interception in his final year in the Orange and Black.
Second Team All-Great Midwest
Another pair of offensive lineman earned all-conference honors as senior Christian Olmstead and junior Andrew Dickinson too second team as a part of an offensive line that was the best in the league. Also earning second-team honors from the league's best offense is junior tight end Luke Stuffel who took second team honors for the second consecutive season.
On defense, senior linebacker Tyler Long earns his second straight second team all-league honor, giving all three of the Oilers' starting linebackers a spot on first or second team all-conference.
Rounding out the second team selections is senior punter Patrick Rusher who was also a second team all-league performer a season ago.
Honorable Mention All-Great Midwest
Adam Bertke – Senior – Quarterback
Jason Moore – Senior – Wide Receiver
Andrew Ogletree – Junior – Wide Receiver
Grant Loveridge – Junior – Kicker
Grant Kinsinger – Junior – Defensive Line
Michael Campbell – Senior – Defensive Back/Running Back