Skip to main content
Lawrence and Petersen highlight 2017 PFL Major Award recipients
Nov. 27, 2017

2017 PFL Major Award Winners Get Acrobat Reader

SAINT LOUIS, Mo. -- San Diego junior quarterback Anthony Lawrence and senior defensive lineman Jonathan Petersen were named the Pioneer Football League's Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively, leading the league's 2017 Major Award recipients, presented Monday. Lawrence, the league's 2015 Freshman Offensive Player of the Year, becomes the second-straight San Diego student-athlete to earn the league's top offensive honor. Petersen was a unanimous pick as the league's top defensive standout.

Dayton return specialist Christian Searles was named the PFL Special Teams Player of the Year. In addition, Valparaiso head coach Dave Cecchini was selected as the league's Coach of the Year. The league also presented its top freshman awards, Monday. Campbell quarterback Daniel Smith was tabbed the PFL Freshman Offensive Player of the Year and Stetson defensive back J.J. Henderson nabbed the league's Freshman Defensive Player of the Year.

These honors launch the PFL's annual awards week. The PFL will announce its 25th All-PFL Teams, Tuesday. The league will announce its Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Wednesday, coinciding with the announcement of the 25th Academic All-PFL teams.

Lawrence, La Mesa, California, a finalist for the STATS FCS Walter Payton Award, was a three-time PFL Offensive Player of the Week honoree during the season. He finished the regular season ranked among the FCS' Top 50 in 11 statistical categories, including ranking second in passing touchdowns (30) and fourth in both passing efficiency (170.1) and completion percentage (67.3). Lawrence threw just two interceptions during the campaign, one of those coming on a game-ending "Hail Mary" attempt at Princeton. Following Saturday's 41-10 playoff win at Northern Arizona, his season totals are now 232-for-349 (66.5%) for 3,204 yards and 33 touchdowns.

Petersen, of Poway, California, was the FCS leader in sacks and tackles for loss and a finalist for the STATS FCS Buck Buchanan Award. He ended the regular season with 13 sacks (1.18 per game) and 20 tackles for loss (1.80 per game), both FCS bests, while ranking second in the subdivision in forced fumbles (0.45 per game). Following his outstanding performance against NAU where he tacked on two more sacks, a forced fumble and fumble recovery, Petersen is the FCS active career leader in sacks with a San Diego-record 41 sacks and needs just two sacks to set the FCS career sacks mark. His season totals heading into Saturday's game at North Dakota State are: 15 sacks (-116 yards), 22.5 tackles for loss (-136 yards), 43 tackles (27 solo), 8 quarterback hurries, 6 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries.

Searles, of Chicago, ranked seventh among all FCS kick returners with 825 combined kick return yards in 2017. He also ranked among the FCS Top 30 in kick return average (28th, 23.8 yards per return) and punt return average (30th, 7.6 yards per return), ranking second in both categories among PFL kick return specialists.

Smith, of Leesburg, Virginia, needed just 10 games to amass 1,269 rushing yards and 3,158 yards total offense. A finalist for STATS FCS Jerry Rice Award, he ended the regular season leading all FCS rushers with 9.13 yards per carry while ranking fourth in total rushing yards while ranking second in yardage per game (126.9). Smith had six 100-yard rushing performances during the season, including a 289-yard outing at Davidson.

Henderson, of Tampa, Fla., led all PFL freshmen in both total tackles (71) and passes defended (11) in 2017. He finished 10th among all FCS freshmen in total tackles and 17th among all PFL defenders in total tackles. Nine of his 11 pass breakups came in PFL play, including a season-best four against Davidson.

Checchini, who finished his fourth season at Valparaiso, earns his first PFL Coach of the year award after leading the Crusaders to their first winning record since 2003. Valparaiso's third-place finish in the 2017 PFL race also was the program's best conference result since the league returned to single-division play in 2006. Checchini, who is a finalist for the STATS FCS Award, becomes the first Valparaiso head coach to earn Coach of the Year honors since 2003 when Tom Horne notched his second award.

San Diego won the 2017 PFL title outright with an unblemished 8-0 mark. It is the Toreros ninth PFL crown, all coming since the 2005 campaign (13-season span). Saturday's 41-10 victory over No. 25 Northern Arizona also marks the second straight season for the Toreros to win their first-round playoff game.

2017 PFL AWARDS Offensive Player of the Year: Anthony Lawrence, San Diego
Defensive Player of the Year: Jonathan Petersen, San Diego (unanimous)
Special Teams Player of the Year: Christian Searles, Dayton
Freshman Offensive Player of the Year: Daniel Smith, Campbell
Freshman Defensive Player of the Year: JJ Henderson, Stetson
Coach of the Year: Dave Cecchini, Valparaiso

All-PFL Teams: To be announced, Tuesday
Scholar-Athlete of the Year: To be announced, Wednesday

 

 

VIDEO
Video Thumbnail Baseball: Day in the Life with Jay Schuyler
The real-life baseball experience
Video Thumbnail Golf: WCC's
Inside look at WCC competition
Video Thumbnail Men's Tennis: Sweep
San Diego defeat Pepperdine 4-0
Video Thumbnail Softball: The Win
Toreros defeat Saint Mary's in weekend series
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Tuber
Coach Scholl introduces "Tuber" - the on campus Torero Uber
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Barista Scholl
Coach Scholl gets students ready for class by helping out at Aromas Cafe
Video Thumbnail Football: Pro Day
Toreros submit their resumes to the NFL scouts
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Portland State Win
Toreros move on to next round in CIT
Video Thumbnail Football 2018: Spring Game
Toreros play spring football game for family and friends
Video Thumbnail Baseball: Toreros vs. Aztecs
USD take on cross-town rival SDSU
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Post Season Run
USD vs. Hartford highlights
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Championship Game
Toreros end the 2018 season against Gonzaga in the WCC finals.
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Semifinals
Women's win send them to the championship game
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: WCC Quarterfinals
Toreros close out 2018 season against BYU
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: "Off Day"
Toreros prepare for the WCC quarterfinals against BYU
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Quarterfinal Highlights
USD defeats BYU in quarterfinal of WCC Tournament
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: Day in the Life with Myah Pace
Freshman guard knows how to prep for a win
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: Vegas Bound
Toreros travel to Vegas for the WCC Tournament
Video Thumbnail Baseball: Defeating No. 4 Arkansas
Toreros edge out top five team
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Rock the House
Toreros played No. 6 Gonzaga in a fight to the last minute
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Day in the Life
Guard Olin Carter III knows the games starts long before tip-off
Video Thumbnail Winter Saturday
Rowing, tennis, basketball and baseball, a winning day in the books
Video Thumbnail Baseball: For the Love of the Game
Baseball celebrates 60 years
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: Women in Sports Day
Julie Foudy spoke to student-athletes and guests for National Women in Sports Day
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: At LMU
Men's basketball on the road
Video Thumbnail Women's Rowing: Day in the Life
Senior Lizzie Bader shows how three-a-day practices are done
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: Youth Basketball Clinic
Toreros lead clinic in local community
Video Thumbnail Men's Rowing: Winter Camp 2018
There are plenty perks to being the early bird
Video Thumbnail 60 Years of USD Baseball
Milestones on the road to Omaha
Video Thumbnail USD Honors Local Military Members
Toreros showed their support and hosted local military members at the men's basketball game
Video Thumbnail USD Athletes Sing "Santa's Coming to Town"
Toreros show their talent out of uniform
Video Thumbnail Basketball: City Championship
Toreros play SDSU Thursday night at 8
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Fourteen
Football preps for second round of playoffs at NDSU
Video Thumbnail Football: NAU From the Sidelines
Toreros win in first round of playoffs at NAU
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Thirteen
Football travels to NAU for the first round of the FCS Playoffs
Video Thumbnail Torero Tuesday
A day to give to Torero Athletics
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Twelve
Toreros gear up for last game of conference play
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Eleven
Toreros prep for game day
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Summer Mason
USD junior women's soccer player takes a timeout during a study break
Video Thumbnail On Saturday We Dominate
Big wins for both USD Football and USD Volleyball Saturday afternoon
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Henry Lander
Men's soccer sophomore Henry Lander takes a Timeout between classes
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Ten
Toreros gear up for home game against Drake
Video Thumbnail Halloween Hoopla
Men's and women's basketball teamed up to host a Halloween event
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Nine
Big day in the weight room for the Toreros
Video Thumbnail Seamus McFadden's Legacy
39 years in review by former players and coaches
Video Thumbnail Seamus Night
Alumni, staff and the San Diego community gathered to celebrate Men's Soccer Head Coach Seamus McFadden
Video Thumbnail Sixth Man Night: The Event
Recap video of the October 12 fundraiser event
Video Thumbnail Women's Basketball: WCC Hoops Tip-Off
Coach Fisher and Maya Hood attend media day in Las Vegas
Video Thumbnail Men's Basketball: New Heights
Men's basketball celebrates the third era of the program
Video Thumbnail Homecoming
Alumni and family gathered together for an eventful Homecoming weekend
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Kristen Gengenbacher
Take a Timeout with the senior setter at her house in South Mission Beach
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Seven
Football preps for this Saturday's Homecoming game
Video Thumbnail Torero Timeout with Jonathan Petersen
USD Football's Petersen strolls through Belmont Park during his bye week
Video Thumbnail USD Basketball: Practice No. 1
Check out what practice looks like for the Torero ballers
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Five
Toreros prep for big game against Dayton
Video Thumbnail Football: FaceTime with Lion's Jamal Agnew
USD Head Coach Dale Lindsey congratulates Torero alum Agnew on his first NFL touchdown
Video Thumbnail Football: Brian Fogarty PFL Classic
From tailgates to touchdowns, we got it all
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Four
Hard work follows these Toreros on and off the field
Video Thumbnail Cross Country: USD Invite
Missed Saturday's race? Don't stress, we have it right here
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Three
Sights and sounds of USD Football at work
Video Thumbnail USD Invite: Take a Lap
Men's and women's cross country host the USD Invite: the only home race for the Toreros
Video Thumbnail Football: Week Two
Football hard at work for their first away game at UC Davis
Video Thumbnail Three Games - One Day
Ole Weekend was one to remember for USD Athletics
Video Thumbnail Football: Week One
Toreros preps for their home opener against Western New Mexico
Video Thumbnail 2017 Football Season Preview
Head Coach Dale Lindsey and Senior Ray Clark discuss upcoming season
Video Thumbnail USD Athletics Highlight Video 2016-17
Don't miss the best highlights from this past year in USD Athletics

SCHEDULES

  • Loading Tweets...
    1 second ago

Instagram

West Coast Conference USD
Top ^
» «