December 10, 2012

Bulldogs Capture Top Pioneer Football League Honors

INDIANAPOLIS, IND. -- Butler, already owning a share of the top team honor, swept three of the top five individual awards presented by the Pioneer Football League.  Junior quarterback Matt Lancaster was named PFL Offensive Player of the Year, freshman defensive tackle Kyle Annis was tabbed Freshman Defensive Player of the Year and head coach Jeff Voris was named Coach of the Year by a vote of league coaches.

Lancaster, who transferred to Butler from Illinois State, led Butler to an 8-3 season and a share of the PFL title in his first season with the Bulldogs.  He ranked second in the league in total offense (3,111), third in touchdown passes (21) and fourth in passing efficiency (140.5).  The Butler signal caller also ranked second among league quarterbacks with 408 rushing yards, and he added eight rushing touchdowns, which tied for sixth-most in the circuit.  He's the first Butler player to earn the league's Offensive Player of the Year Award.

Annis played in all 11 contests and helped anchor a Butler defensive line that tied for the league lead with a plus-11 turnover margin.  He was credited with 42 total tackles, including 4.5 tackles for loss and three quarterback sacks.  He also had one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and one pass breakup.  The first-year player from Hilliard, Ohio, had 31 of his tackles in Butler's eight PFL games.  He's the first Butler player to receive the PFL's Freshman Defensive Player of the Year Award, which has been presented five times.

Voris, who completed his seventh season with the Bulldogs, earned the PFL's Coach of the Year Award for the second time.  He guided a Butler team, picked seventh in the league's preseason poll, to its second conference title in four years.  The Bulldogs' 7-1 PFL record tied the school record for most PFL wins, while the eight total wins tied the seventh-highest overall win total in school history.  Voris also was named PFL Coach in the Year in 2009, after leading Butler to its second league crown.

Also honored by the PFL were Drake linebacker Tyler Moorehead and Valparaiso running back Jake Hutson.  Moorehead was named PFL Defensive Player of the Year, while Hutson was tabbed the league's Freshman Offensive Player of the Year.

The announcement of the league's major award winners begins the PFL's awards week.  The All-PFL team will be released on Tuesday (Dec. 11), while the PFL All-Academic Team will be announced on Wednesday (Dec. 12).