From staff reports
Brandon Williams, the all-time sacks leader at Missouri Southern, became the first Lions player to earn MIAA most valuable player honors since 2002.
The 6-foot-3, 325-pound defensive lineman was named the MIAA Defensive Player of the Year as the league announced its all-conference football team on Tuesday.
Williams became the first Lion to be named player of the year since quarterback Josh Chapman earned offensive honors in 2002 and the first defensive player since linebacker/defensive end Richard Jordan received the honor in 1995 and 1996.
Williams recorded 8.5 sacks in 2012 to increase his career total to 27, which is four more than the former school record. He finished the season with 68 tackles, 31 solo and 16.5 for a loss. He registered two pass breakups, eight quarterback hurries, five forced fumbles and a safety.
Williams also was the MIAA’s only unanimous selection as a first team defensive lineman.
The other league MVP awards went to Missouri Western running back Michael Hill for offense, Pittsburg State return man John Brown for special teams, Missouri Western defensive back Michael Jordan for freshman of the year and Missouri Western’s Jerry Partridge for coach of the year.
Williams was Missouri Southern’s only player to earn first- or second-team honors. However, six Lions received honorable mentions, including quarterback Kellen Cox, wide receiver Landon Zerkel, running back Ne’Ronte Threatt, defensive lineman Ryon Phillips, linebacker Aex Wong and defensive back Devon Dace.
Brown also received first team honors as wide receiver and return man for Pitt State. The Gorillas junior caught 63 balls for 973 yards and eight touchdowns. Brown also boasted averages of 24.7 yards on kick returns and 15.4 on punt returns, including one touchdown.
Pitt State offensive lineman Cody Holland and linebacker Nate Dreiling also earned first team, while defensive lineman Gus Toca was named to the second team.
Quarterback Anthony Abenoja, wide receiver Andrew Castaneda, offensive lineman Aaron Kolich, defensive lineman Joe Uzzel and defensive backs Keeston Terry and Jason Peete received honorable mentions for the Gorillas.