Valparaiso University had seven players selected to the All-Pioneer Football League Teams as the league announced its annual year-end awards today. Ryan Kozey (Waterford, Wis./Union H.S.) earned First Team All-PFL accolades while Andrew Mack (Chicago, Ill./De La Salle H.S.) and Ryan Koepke (Fort Wayne, Ind./Homestead H.S.) each earned Second Team accolades. Kyle Himmelwright (Coplay, Pa./Whitehall H.S.), Steve Ogden (Wauwatosa, Wis./West H.S.), John Popper (Dublin, Ohio/Coffman H.S.), and Adam Rundh (Aalborg, Denmark/Orjanskolan H.S. [Sweden]) were all Honorable Mention picks.
Kozey started all 11 games at right tackle for the Crusaders and helped to pave the way for a ground game that averaged a PFL high 203.5 yards per contest. The junior also helped protect the quarterbacks, as Valpo signal callers were sacked just 17 times in 11 games.
Mack, a defensive end, had 11.5 tackles for loss, including 5.5 sacks on the season. A junior, he finished the season with 34 total tackles and three pass breakups, in addition to forcing a fumble.
Koepke led the Crusaders in tackles from his linebacker position, registering 79 stops on the season, including five behind the line of scrimmage. The redshirt-junior also intercepted a pair of passes, broke up two more, and forced a fumble on the season.
Himmelwright, a cornerback, finished the season with 56 tackles for the Brown and Gold during his redshirt-sophomore season. He led the team with five pass breakups and also had three interceptions, tying for the top spot on the squad.
Ogden led Valpo in receiving with 42 catches for 669 yards despite playing in just eight games. The redshirt-junior hauled in seven touchdowns on the year and moved into the Crusaders’ top-five all-time in receiving yards, surpassing the 2,000-yard mark.
Popper carried the ball 60 times for 291 yards on the season. The sophomore scored four rushing touchdowns for the Crusaders as well. He also caught five passes on the year.
Rundh, a defensive end, led Valpo with 16 tackles for loss, including 7.5 quarterback sacks. Both total rank among the top-25 in the nation for NCAA I-FCS. The sophomore also had 37 total tackles and forced a fumble in addition to registering three pass breakups.