MISSOURI VALLEY FOOTBALL CONFERENCE
Offensive Player of the Year: Easton Stick, QB, North Dakota State
Stick, a finalist for the Walter Payton Award as FCS Offensive Player of the Year, is second in FCS history for wins as starting quarterback with a 45-3 record. He leads the MVFC and ranks second in FCS for passing efficiency (171.1), yards per attempt (9.69) and yards per completion (16.23). Stick also ranks second in the conference for passing touchdowns (22), third in rushing touchdowns (11), and is second among current MVFC quarterbacks for rushing yards (402).
A three-time MVFC Offensive Player of the Week this season, Stick went 129-for-216 passing for 2,094 yards and broke NDSU career records for total yards (10,283), total touchdowns (117) and passing TDs (82). He is second in MVFC history for rushing yards (2,248) and touchdowns (35) by a quarterback.
Defensive Player of the Year: Jabril Cox, LB, North Dakota State
Cox, a finalist for the Buck Buchanan Award as FCS Defensive Player of the Year, is NDSU’s current co-leader with 68 total tackles including 42 solo stops. He has 8.0 tackles for loss, 4.0 sacks, five quarterback hurries, four interceptions and three pass breakups. He returned two interceptions for touchdowns and ranks fifth in FCS with 147 interception return yards.
Last year’s MVFC Newcomer of the Year and Freshman of the Year, Cox has made 16 consecutive starts at linebacker and has career totals of 21.0 tackles for loss, 8.5 sacks and 11 passes defended in 26 games.
Newcomer of the Year: Ryan Boyle, QB, Indiana State
Boyle, a transfer from Iowa, made debut in Week Three (at Eastern Illinois) after coming off an injury. He started the next nine games and finished the season with 1,627 yards passing on 128-of-205 attempts through the air for a 62.4 competition percentage to rank tops in the MVFC and 19th nationally. Boyle had 12 passing touchdowns and a 145.5 passer efficiency rating. He also was second on the team with 610 yards rushing and six rushing touchdowns. He led the Sycamores to a program record 569 yards of total offense at SDSU, and also accounted for a school record seven total TDs in a triple overtime win against South Dakota. The junior led the team to five-straight victories to close out the 2018 season to finish 7-4 overall and a third-place finish in the MVFC after an 0-11 season in 2017.
Freshman of the Year: Pierre Strong Jr., RB, South Dakota State
Strong Jr., a freshman from Little Rock, Ark., finished the regular season with a string of three consecutive 100-yard-plus games to take over team rushing lead with 777 yards. He earned MVFC Newcomer of the Week honors the final two weeks of the regular season after rushing for 188 yards and three touchdowns at Southern Illinois, followed by career-best 253 yards with three touchdowns against South Dakota. Most impressively, he averaged 11.6 yards per carry, while all eight touchdown runs have covered at least 24 yards, including six of 40-plus yards. Strong caught four passes for 84 yards and a TD, as well.