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McEvoy named ACCAC Football Offensive Player of the Year
 November 27, 2012

Freshman quarterback becomes 4th straight Matador to earn honor

Yuma, Arizona – November 28, 2011 – Arizona Western College is proud to announce that AWC Football player Tanner McEvoy (MAK-eh-voy) has been named as the Arizona Community College Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Year.  It’s the fourth straight season that a Matador player has won at least a share of the award after Reggie Bullock was named the ACCAC/WSFL Offensive POY in 2009 & 2010, and Damien Williams was named WSFL POY & ACCAC Co-POY last year.  In addition, McEvoy was also named 1st Team All-WSFL and 1st Team All-ACCAC.  The announcements come following the conclusion of the WSFL postseason coaches’ meetings in Phoenix, and commence the start of El Toro Bowl Week 2012.

The accolades are impressive in their own right, but they’re even more impressive when you factor in that McEvoy entered the Matadors’ inaugural game of the season #3 on the quarterback depth chart.  That wasn’t due to the coaches’ lack of faith in the abilities of the Hillsdale, New Jersey, native, but rather the patience they knew they needed to show in McEvoy, who arrived in Yuma well after the Matadors’ preseason drills had begun in August after transferring from the University of South Carolina.  It didn’t take long for the coaches to see what they had in McEvoy, but knew that the extensive AWC offensive playbook would take some time for McEvoy to digest, so they brought him along slowly.  McEvoy had his helmet in hand during the first three quarters of the Matadors’ 2012 season opener in Pueblo, Colorado, against Ellsworth Community College, hoping to get the call as he watched the Matadors’ other two quarterbacks take the snaps.  Finally, when the Matador offense took the field for their first drive of the 4th quarter, it was McEvoy leading them onto the field, and leading them to a pair of long touchdown drives, including finishing off the scoring with his first career college touchdown pass:  a 7-yard strike to Andre O’Neil in the game’s final minute.  Two weeks later, when the Matadors played their next game, McEvoy made his first start, and promptly ended the suspense about who the Matadors’ starting signalcaller would be for the duration of the season by throwing 3 TD passes against Pima Community College, while also rushing for 78 yards on just 8 carries.  That balance would be a foreshadowing of things to come for the redshirt freshman, since his confidence in his running ability would grow nearly as much as his confidence in his throwing.  McEvoy’s arrival in the national spotlight came one week later in the NJCAA Game of the Week against 9th-ranked Scottsdale, when McEvoy torched the Artichokes’ defense for 417 passing yards and 5 touchdown passes while earning the first of two WSFL Offensive Player of the Week Awards he would win this season.  It was also the first of three games in which McEvoy threw for more than 300 yards in 2012 (the others being against Mesa on October 20th and against New Mexico Military Institute on November 3rd).  But while opposing defenses were plotting to combat McEvoy’s aerial attack, they soon found out that his rushing ability would become nearly as deadly, since McEvoy finished out the regular season as the Matadors’ leading rusher in their final 3 games, averaging over 100 yards rushing during those contests. 

For the season, McEvoy finished with 1943 passing yards (3rd-best in the WSFL despite playing less games than any other starting QB in the league), completing 138 of his 218 throws (a 63% completion rate-tops in the WSFL), and averaging 216 passing yards per game.  He also threw for 25 touchdowns (2nd in the WSFL) with only 6 interceptions.  On the ground, McEvoy finished as the Matadors’ 2nd-leading rusher with 414 rushing yards on 72 carries, scoring 6 rushing TDs.  Just for good measure, McEvoy also caught a pair of wide receiver option passes for 33 receiving yards for a total of 2380 all-purpose yards.

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