Bulletin Staff Report
Nine members of the Howard Payne Yellow Jackets football team were honored with selections to the American Southwest Conference’s all-conference team, which was released Thursday.
The Yellow Jackets were shut out on first-team selections, but Howard Payne placed two players each on the second-team offense and second-team defense.
Senior Zach Howard was chosen as a slot receiver, while senior tackle Stephen Ortegon also received the nod. Howard was second on the team with 53 receptions for 539 yards and three touchdowns, while rushing for a team-high 279 yards and six scores. Ortegon was one of the anchors for an offensive line that paved the way for 359.8 total yards and 27.6 points per game.
Making the second-team defense were junior lineman Stephen Benard and senior cornerback Ricky Austin. Benard led Howard Payne with 10 tackles for loss and six sacks among his 35 takedowns, which ranked second among HPU defensive lineman. Austin tallied 37 tackles and broke up a team-high 10 passes, while recording two interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Honorable mention selections included senior receiver Jordan Beard, senior guard James Doherty, senior kicker Jordan Bullard, senior linebacker Mark Jimenez and sophomore Edward Cody, who was chosen as a kick returner.
Beard led Howard Payne with 60 catches for 848 yards and seven touchdowns, while Jimenez was first in tackles with 70, including eight for loss, three sacks and an interception.
Cody topped all Yellow Jackets with 948 all-purpose yards and averaged 21 yards per kick return and 11.7 yards per punt return. Bullard tallied 39 points as he converted 4-of-7 field goals with a long of 42 yards.
HPU finished 1-9 and head coach Mike Redwine stepped down after Saturday’s season finale. Former defensive coordinator Steve Fanara was promoted as his replacement on Monday.