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Football Boasts 10 Players On All-MAC Teams

302sports 23 Dec 1

    (Downes, Kings)

WILKES-BARRE, PA (November 19, 2019) -- The Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) office released the 2019 All-MAC Football Teams Tuesday morning as voted on by the league's coaches, and King's College saw 10 players earn a spot on either the First, Second or Honorable Mention teams. The 10 players is the second-most in program history, bested only by the 11 that King's saw listed back in 2000. 

The Monarchs saw three players earn All-MAC First Team honors, as senior running back Jordan Downes (Caesar Rodney) was joined on the top team by senior offensive lineman Peter Swartz and junior cornerback Elijah Demosthene. King's had six players on their defensive unit make All-MAC Second Team, as junior defensive lineman Myles Shelton joined junior linebackers Charles McCall and Mando Sallavanti and defensive backs Mikal Butler and Jaret Horn. Junior wideout Gabe Bocella was also All-MAC Second Team, and junior tight end/H-back Brandon Cohen received Honorable Mention. The 10 players honored Tuesday were the third most of any school in the MAC, bested only by Delaware Valley (17) and Stevenson (13). All but one Single Digit Tough player earned All-MAC Tuesday for King's. 

Senior Jordan Downes had another standout year in the backfield for the Monarchs, as the senior finished his career second in all-time rushing at King's College. Downes, who picks up All-MAC First Team for the third straight season, led the MAC in rushing yards per game with 112.9, while scoring nine touchdowns all while missing one game. Downes finished second in the conference in all-purpose yards with 1,560, as he posted 38 grabs and 370 yards through the air. Downes becomes first three-time All-MAC First Teamer on the offensive side of the ball at King's College. 

Swartz was a constant for the Monarchs on the offensive line, consistently grading out as one of the best linemen for the Monarchs. Swartz showed toughness and durability for King's, as he started the last 20 games of his career as a junior and senior, moving from right tackle as a junior to the left side in 2019. Swartz helped lead the way for the MAC leading rusher two seasons in a row, while helping King's to one of the best combined third and fourth down conversion rates in the league this season. 

Demosthene used his breakout game as a sophomore to end the season as a platform to show that he is one of the premier shutdown cornerbacks in the MAC. The Single Digit junior finished seventh in the conference in passes defended with 10 break-ups and one interception, but teams rarely tested the junior as his reputation as a physical and dominant defender started to show on film. Demosthene's 10 break-ups was second-most in the MAC, while his best performance came in Week 9 as he held MAC Offensive Player of the Year James Gillespie of Widener to just one catch. Demosthene posted 37 tackles on the year and broke up four balls against Wilkes in the season finale. 

Boccella settled into the role as the No. 1 receiver for the Monarchs in 2019, and his athleticism and home run ability showed up immediately in 2019, taking the first snap from scrimmage to the house for a 65-yard touchdown catch againt Morvian. Boccella finished 2019 with 47 catches for 782 yards and six touchdowns, also rushing for 89 yards on 24 carries and two scores. Boccella's biggest game came at Stevenson, making six catches for 150 yards and a score. Boccella finished sixth in the league in total yardage in 2019.

Shelton had a strong and disruptive season for the Monarchs on the defensive line, as he played in all 10 games while posting 36 tackles and six tackles for loss. Shelton finished the season with 4.5 sacks, and tallied three against Alvernia on his way to being named to the D3football.com Team of the Week. Shelton finished the year with eight quarterback hurries, while forcing two fumbles and recovering another. 

McCall repeats as a All-MAC Second Team linebacker after leading the Monarchs in tackles and tackles for loss. McCall finished with 70 total stops, including 32 solo tackles, while posting 4.5 sacks and 9.5 tackles for loss. His TFL totals were tied for the eighth most in the MAC in 2019, highlighted by a 10-tackle, 2.0 TFL contest at No. 13 Delaware Valley. He also had a season-high 13 tackles against Albright November 2 in a 36-16 win. 

Sallavanti was tabbed as a Second Team All-MAC performer for the second straight season, as the junior gutted out a shoulder injury all season to play in nine games while finishing second on the team in tackles with 59. Sallavanti made 23 solo tackles on the year and added five pass break-ups and one interception. Sallavanti posted five games with seven or more stops, highlighted by a 13-tackle and one pick performance against Albright. Sallavanti was also the leader of a defensive unit that allowed allowed the second-fewest first downs in the MAC and third-best third-down conversion rate. 

Butler enjoyed an amazing senior campaign, as he was the MAC leader in passes defended with 13 this season while his 1.44 per game was a MAC high as well. Butler finished with 10 break-ups and three interceptions, while also rankig third on the team in total tackles with 47. Butler finished the season with four straight games with six or more tackles, while also posting two or more pass breakups in four games. It was the first All-MAC honor for the senior. 

Horn picked up his first All-MAC accolade after a regular season that saw him lead the MAC in interceptions with six. Horn was second in the MAC in interception return yardage with 126, while taking a pick against Hartwick back 91 yards for a score. He also returned a blocked PAT against Stevenson 95 yards for two points in Week 7, and was fifth on the team in tackles with 42. Horn finished third in the MAC in passed defended with six breakups in addition to his six interceptions, and he finished the year with 4.5 tackles for loss including 3.5 in the last three games. 

Cohen had a breakout season for the Monarchs over the middle at H-back and tight end, as he was third on the team in catches with 37, which ranked first in the MAC among tight ends. Cohen ranks sixth in the NCAA Division III in grabs by a tight end/H-back, while adding four touchdown grabs, all coming on the road. COhen had a career-high nine catches and a score at Misericordia on October 5, and chalked up six catches for 47 yards and two touchdowns at Widener. This was Cohen's first All-MAC accolade. 

2019 marked the first time that King's earned three defensive backs on All-MAC teams in the same year, while the six defensive players honored was the tied 2002's historic team for most defenders honored by the MAC. Cohen was the first TE named to the All-MAC teams for King's since Matt Nicodemus back in 2005, while King's now has had a offensive lineman named All-MAC the last four seasons and 21 of the past 26 years.

Demosthene also became King's first First Team All-MAC defensive back since Craig Haywood in 2006. The three First Team honorees was the most since 2006, and the six Second Teamers listed tied 1997 for the most in program history.