QUICK LINK: 2012 All-Northwest Conference Football Team
FOREST GROVE – A season of tremendous growth for the Pacific football team in its third year was rewarded by conference coaches Tuesday with the selection of 11 Boxers to the 2012 All-Northwest Conference Football Team.
Offensive lineman Sean Dalton
(Jr., San Jose, Calif.) and linebacker Tim Hastie
(Jr., Auberry, Calif.) were selected to the first team, becoming the second and third first team selections since the program's reinistatement. Kicker Moses Villareal-Gomez
(So., Stockton, Calif.) and defensive back Josh Brinkworth
(So., Elk Grove, Calif.) were accorded second team honors.
The Boxers also landed seven honorable mentions, including quarterback P.J. Minaya
(Jr., Wahiawa, Hawaii), wide receivers Kelson Kawai
(Jr., North Kohala, Hawaii) and Caleb Roher
(So., Gresham, Ore.), offensive lineman Eric Gietzen
(Jr., Forest Grove, Ore.), defensive lineman Devin Lagorio
(Jr,, Stockton, Calif.), safety Bryan Mills
(Jr., Imbler, Ore.) and punter Aaron Koford
(Jr., Wilsonville, Ore.).
The 11 led a third season that saw a much-improved Pacific team finish with a 3-6 overall record and fifth in the NWC standings at 2-4.
"We made very positive strides as a football program this fall and our growth as a team paralleled the individual improvement of the young men honored as all-conference selections," said Pacific Head Coach Keith Buckley
. "We are very proud that the accomplishments of these 11 young men were recognized by the coaches we played against as worthy of these awards. And the most exciting part is that 10 of these 11 will be back for us next year."
Dalton, a honorable mention selection in 2010 and 2011, anchored a Pacific offensive line that provided protection that allowed Minaya to be one of the most accurate quarterbacks in the NWC. A starter in all nine games, Dalton led a line that was ranked in the NCAA Division III top-100 in sacks allowed for most of the season. The protection allowed the Boxers to have the No. 26 ranked passing defense in Division III.
"Sean led the offensive line in what was a tremendous season of growth for that group," Buckley said. "His physical presence and athletic ability at left tackle secured our quarterback's blind side in the passing game and the edge in a much improved and effective running game."
Hastie was among the key players in an improved Pacific defense, finishing second for the team and 15th in the NWC with 55 tackles and sixth in the NWC with 26 assisted tackles. He also had 5.5 tackles for loss, two sacks, five pass break-ups and one forced fumble. His season was highlighted by nine tackles, two tackles for loss and a sack against Willamette on Nov. 3. Hastie helped anchor a Pacific defense that ranked 33rd against the run, limiting teams to 104.11 rushing yards per game.
"Tim has worked his tail off to become one of the best linebackers in the conference," Buckley said. "His position as middle linebacker is critical to our ability to stop the run and Tim's presence was a big part of our improvement against the run this year."
An honorable mention selection in 2011, Villareal-Gomez closed the season as the all-time leading kicker in school history. He led the NWC and tied the school single season record with 10 field goals in 13 attempts and set a school single season record with 28 point-after kicks made in 28 attempts. Villareal-Gomez set career marks with 23 field goals made and 45 PAT attempts converted and had a career-long 41-yard field goal against Willamette on Nov. 3. He also finished the season ranked 18th among Division III kickers with an average of 1.11 field goals made per game.
Brinkworth played a key role on the Boxers defense, leading the team and ranking second in the NWC with 71 tackles. He also led the league with three forced fumbles, two of which came against Linfield on Nov. 10. Brinkworth posted season highs of 11 tackles against Simon Fraser on Aug. 30 and at Willamette on Sept. 22.
Minaya stepped in as the Boxers' starting quarterback after a injury in the opener to T.C. Campbell
(Jr., Kaimuki, Hawaii) and proceeded to set records. The junior finished second in the NWC in passing average and set Pacific single season records with an average of 250.9 passing yards per game, 64.0 completion percentage and a pass efficiency rating of 148.55. Minaya set single game records with 452 passing yards and 454 yards of total offense as he led the Boxers to a 42-20 victory at Lewis & Clark on Oct. 27. He completed 21 of 32 passes in the game and threw four touchdowns, one of three times he threw for four scores in a game this season.
Kawai was a relied upon wide receiver and kick return specialist for the Boxers. He finished second on the team with 699 all-purpose yards, was third in receiving with 442 yards, ranked seventh in the NWC with six touchdowns and seventh with an average of 14.7 yards per catch. Kawai posted a season high of 161 yards on five receptions with three touchdowns at Lewis & Clark on Oct. 27.
Roher was Pacific's leading receiver, averaging 54.3 yards per game. He ranked 11th in the NWC with 489 yards and ninth in the league with an average of 14.4 yards per catch. He was also the Boxers' leading kick returner, averaging 26.1 yards on 14 returns. Roher's season was capped by 204 yards of all-purpose yards, including 150 yards receiving, against Lewis & Clark on Oct. 27.
Gietzen, the only Pacific All-NWC selection that will not return, started all nine games on the offensive line and started all 27 possible games of his Pacific career. Gietzen helped provide protection that aided the improvement in the Boxers' passing and running games in 2012.
Lagorio repeated as an honorable mention, finished with 23 tackles for the Boxers while starting all nine games on the defensive line. He finished with four tackles on four different occasions and had a blocked kick that led to the Boxers' second defensive two-point conversion in as many years against Pacific Lutheran on Oct. 13.
Mills also repeated as an honorable mention selection, finishing third for the Boxers with 52 tackles while leading the team and among the conference leaders with seven passes broken-up. The junior also shared the team lead with two interceptions, both coming against Lewis & Clark on Oct. 27. Mills finished with a season-high 12 tackles against Pacific Lutheran on Oct. 13.
Koford was one of two punters named to the All-NWC Team after leading the conference and ranking 27th among NCAA Division III punters with an average of 39.1 yards per punt. Koford landed 10 of his 41 punts inside the 20-yard line and had two punts of over 50 yards, including a 57-yarder at Linfield on Nov. 10.