A little more than a week ago we introduced the first annual Down the Drive football awards. Well the votes are in and its time to start handing out the hardware. Congratulations to all the winners on this extremely prestigious honors. Your award includes no monetary value but can be traded in for Down the Drive Dollars, which are just as valuable as a Shcrute Buck.
OK that’s enough leadup. Here are the winners.
Offensive Player of the Year
Winner: Kahlil Lewis (34.1 percent)
Runner up: Devin Gray (31.8 percent)
In a surprising late surge, Lewis took home a prize for being the best offensive player during a largely lost offensive season. Lewis ranked third on the team in receptions (48) but tied for the team-lead in touchdown receptions (five) and was second in receiving yards (605). He also made an impact as a rusher, picking up 112 yards on nine carries, including a 79-yard scamper.
Defensive Player of the Year
Winner: Eric Wilson (61 percent)
Runner up: Mike Tyson (24.4 percent)
This one came as no surprise as Wilson ran away with the award for DPOTY. Wilson led the entire American Athletic Conference in tackles (129) and was the Bearcat leader in sacks (3.0) while also ranking second in tackles for loss (7.5). Tyson’s showing was nice to see as well, but this was always going to be Wilson’s award.
Rookie of the Year
Winner: Devin Gray (87.5 percent)
Runner up: Perry Young (12.5 percent)
Despite surprisingly falling short for OPOTY, Gray was easily the best rookie on the squad. Young made an impact later in the season, but Gray was there all year. He finished the season with more receptions (58) and receiving yards (860) than anyone on the team and his five touchdowns tied with Lewis for the most on the squad.
Play of the Year
Winner: The trick play against Tulsa (38.6 percent)
Runner up: Batman kicks a field goal (29.5 percent)
We avoided too depressing a winner here, as a costumed man kicking a field goal in a promotional stunt didn’t end up beating out an actual football play. This was probably the most creative thing the Bearcats did offensively all season.
Game of the Year
Winner: UC pummels Purdue 38-20 (50 percent)
Runner up: Gunner Kiel leads Bearcats to first conference win against ECU (33.3 percent)
With only four wins, there were not a lot of great games to choose from, but the Bearcats’ utter domination of Purdue won the day. UC piled up 512 yards of total offense in this contest and scored five touchdowns. It was one of three games in which it had at least 500 yards.
Winner: Mike Tyson hauls in three interceptions against Purdue (50 percent)
Runner up: Kahlil Lews sets career-highs in receptions (11), receiving yards (150) and touchdowns (three) (25 percent)
Part of the dominance against Purdue was Tyson’s ballhawking, as he secured three interceptions to keep the Boilermakers offense from doing much of anything. Tyson may not have been the best defender on the team, but he was certainly in the conversation.
BONUS: Best Luke Fickell Hashtag
Winner: #FickellDownEffect (39.5 percent)
Runner up: #FickYou (23.3 percent)
Kudos to commenter PhillyEagles2011 for suggesting this one. Also worth noting the decent showing by #BolsheFickRevolution (18.6 percent).
Until next year, Comrades.