2011 Football Season Recap

With Six Wins in Last Seven Games, Eastern Finishes With Yet Another Winning Season

The 2011 season ended on a high note for the Eastern Washington University football team. Just not quite as high as the year before.

Finishing the regular season 6-5 – and with the requisite six wins to be considered for the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision Playoffs – the Eagles found out a day after the regular season ended that they weren’t lucky enough to be selected to the 20-team field. The defending NCAA Division I Champions, the Eagles overcame a rash of injuries to win six of their last seven games after a 0-4 start.

“I’m very proud of our team,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin, whose team clinched a winning season by ending the year with a 45-14 victory at Idaho State. “Some of the things we overcame after starting 0-4 were tougher than some of the things we did in 15 games when we won the national title. It took a lot of grit and we had to get after it. It took a lot of heart and courage to come back like we did after being 0-4 and having to overcome the injuries. I’m very proud of these players for coming back to win six of their last seven.”

In the past 16 years (1996-2011), the Eagles have won 61 percent (116-73) of their games overall and 63 percent (78-45) in Big Sky Conference play. Included are four Big Sky titles and four runner-up finishes, as well as 14 winning seasons, six NCAA Championship Subdivision Playoff berths and the 2010 FCS title.

Eastern, 6-5 overall and 5-3 in the Big Sky Conference, has now had 12 out of its last 13 seasons conclude with a victory in the team’s final game of the regular season. The Eagles have won 13 of its last 14 regular season games in November.

En route to a thrilling, 53-51 overtime win over Cal Poly in the second-to-last game of the season, Eastern won its eighth game in the past two years when trailing or tied in the fourth quarter. The Eagles blew a 28-14 third-quarter lead, rallied to send the game into overtime with a game-tying drive with 1:51 left, then scored on four-straight plays (two touchdowns and two conversions) in the second and third overtimes to pull out the victory. A collective 19-7 in 2010 and 2011, EWU is 3-0 in overtime the past two seasons.

“It felt like a playoff game – it was a blast,” said Baldwin. “That’s why you coach – for moments like these. It’s fun to see your players step up and make plays on both sides of the ball. I’m just so proud of the players for competing at the end of the year and still fighting. That just shows their character.”

A total of 14 starters – seven on each side of the ball – suffered injuries that kept them out of the lineup, including seven players lost for the season (wide receiver Brandon Kaufman, wide receiver Tyler Hart, guard Ashton Miller, guard Steven Forgette, guard Jase Butorac, strong safety Matt Johnson, linebacker Zach Johnson). In fact, only one offensive lineman – senior tackle Gabriel Jackson – started all 11 Eastern games, as a total of 10 players started along the offensive line.

Eastern started 46 different players in the 2011 season – 24 on offense and 22 on defense – with only five players (Jackson, quarterback Bo Levi Mitchell, wide receiver Nicholas Edwards, defensive tackle Charles Moetului and defensive end Paul Ena) starting all 11 games. A total of 21 players made starting debuts during the season.

Mitchell won the Walter Payton Award presented by The Sports Network to the top player in FCS. In 2011, the senior led the FCS in four categories, including passing yards (4,009) and touchdown passes (33) on his way to breaking four school records. He broke EWU’s record for single season passing yards with 4,009, which ranks 17th in FCS history and fifth in Big Sky Conference history.

Also earning All-America honors in 2011 on offense were Edwards and his fellow wide receiver Greg Herd, as well as center Chris Powers. They helped Eastern lead FCS in passing yards per game (368.5) and rank seventh overall in total offense (447.4).

Edwards finished the season ranked first in FCS in TD catches (19), fourth in receptions per game (8.64 with a total of 95) and fourth in receiving yards per game (113.6, total of 1,250). He broke the school record for season receptions (95) and touchdown receptions (19), with both marks ranking in the top 20 in FCS history and in the top three all-time in the league.

Also earning All-America accolades were kicker Mike Jarrett and defensive tackle Renard Williams, and punter Jake Miller was a freshman All-American. Safety Jeff Minnerly won a pair of national and regional academic honors as well, and Jarrett was also was honored nationally.

 

2011 Honors Won

POSTSEASON ALL-STAR GAME

Bo Levi Mitchell
AstroTurf NFL Players Assoc. Collegiate Bowl (8x15, 110 yards, 1 TD and 0 Int.)

Renard Williams
Players All-Star Classic (Feb. 4 in Little Rock, Ark.)


NATIONAL PLAYER OF THE YEAR AWARDS

Bo Levi Mitchell
Walter Payton Award from The Sports Network
Elite Quarterback Award from College Football Performance Awards

 

EWU’S 2011 FCS ALL-AMERICANS

Bo Levi Mitchell
American Football Coaches Association (first team)
The Sports Network (first team)
Associated Press (first team)
Walter Camp Football Foundation (first team)
Phil Steele Publications (first team)
Beyond Sports College Network (first team)
Collegesportsmadness.com (third team)
College Sporting News “Fabulous Fifty” (honorable mention)
College Sports Journal (honorable mention)
Also . . . Big Sky Conference Offensive Player of the Year
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference First Team

Nicholas Edwards
American Football Coaches Association (first team)
The Sports Network (first team)
College Sporting News “Fabulous Fifty” (first team)
Walter Camp Football Foundation (first team)
Phil Steele Publications (first team)
Beyond Sports College Network (first team)
Associated Press (second team)
College Sports Journal (first team)
Collegesportsmadness.com (second team)
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference First Team

Chris Powers
Walter Camp Football Foundation (first team)
Collegesportsmadness.com (second team)
Beyond Sports College Network (third team)
College Sports Journal (honorable mention)
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference First Team

Mike Jarrett
Beyond Sports College Network (second team)
Also . . . Athletics Directors Association Academic All-Star Team
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference Honorable Mention

Renard Williams
Beyond Sports College Network (honorable mention)
College Sports Journal (honorable mention)
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference Second Team

Greg Herd
Beyond Sports College Network (honorable mention)
Also . . . All-Big Sky Conference Second Team

Jake Miller
College Sports Journal All-Freshman All-America Team

 

FCS ATHLETIC DIRECTORS ASSOCIATION ACADEMIC ALL-STAR TEAM

Safety - #7 - Jeff Minnerly - 6-1 - 200 - Jr. - Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS ’08)
Kicker - #92 - Mike Jarrett - 5-9 - 165 - Sr. - Puyallup, Wash. (Puyallup HS ’07)

CAPITAL ONE ACADEMIC ALL-DISTRICT VIII

Safety - #7 - Jeff Minnerly - 6-1 - 200 - Jr. - Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS ’08)

BIG SKY OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE YEAR

QB - #9 - Bo Levi Mitchell - 6-2 - 210 - Sr. - Katy, Texas (Katy HS ’08 / Southern Methodist)

 

FIRST TEAM ALL-BIG SKY SELECTIONS

QB - #9 - Bo Levi Mitchell - 6-2 - 210 - Sr. - Katy, Texas (Katy HS ’08 / Southern Methodist)
Wide Receiver - #11 - Nicholas Edwards - 6-3 - 200 - Jr. - Tacoma, Wash. (Foss HS ’08)
Center - #78 - Chris Powers - 6-2 - 285 - Sr. - Black Diamond, Wash. (Tahoma HS ’07)
Cornerback - #31 - T.J. Lee III - 5-9 - 170 - So. - Seattle, Wash. (West Seattle HS ’09)
Safety - #5 - Matt Johnson - 6-2 - 220 - Sr. - Tumwater, Wash. (Tumwater HS ’07)

 

SECOND TEAM ALL-BIG SKY SELECTIONS

Wide Receiver - #3 - Greg Herd - 6-3 - 200 - Jr. - Tacoma, Wash. (Steilacoom HS ’09)
DT - #98 - Renard Williams - 6-2 - 300 - Sr. - Port Orchard, Wash. (South Kitsap HS ’07)
STeams - #30 - Darriell Beaumonte - 6-0 - 210 - Sr. - Lakewood, Wash. (Clover Park HS ’07)

 

HONORABLE MENTION ALL-BIG SKY SELECTIONS

OT - #60 - Gabriel Jackson - 6-4 - 280 - Sr. - Tacoma, Wash. (Mount Tahoma HS ’07)
Offensive Tackle - #76 - Will Post - 6-6 - 295 - Jr. - Portland, Ore. (Southridge HS ’08)
D. Tackle - #95 - Charles Moetului - 6-3 - 275 - Sr. - North Bend, Wa. (Mount Si HS ’07)
Defensive End - #44 - Paul Ena - 6-2 - 240 - Jr. - Kenmore, Wash. (Inglemoor HS ’09)
Safety - #7 - Jeff Minnerly - 6-1 - 200 - Jr. - Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS ’08)
Kicker - #92 - Mike Jarrett - 5-9 - 165 - Sr. - Puyallup, Wash. (Puyallup HS ’07)
Punter - #48 - Jake Miller - 6-5 - 205 - Fr. - Spokane, Wash. (Central Val. HS ’10 & WSU)

 

BIG SKY ALL-ACADEMIC SELECTIONS

J.C. Agen - Spokane, Wash. (Central Valley HS ‘09) - So. - Interdisciplinary Studies
Evan Cook
- Federal Way, Wash. (Todd Beamer HS ‘08) - Jr. - Criminal Justice
Zack Gehring
- Castle Rock, Wash. (Castle Rock HS ‘09) - So. - Exercise Science
Bobby Gentry
- Seattle, Wash. (Kennedy HS ’07) - Sr. - Business Administration
Rusty Haehl
- Bellevue, Wash. (Bellevue HS ‘08) - Jr. - Marketing
Ronnie Hamlin - Lacey, Wa. (Timberline HS ‘09) - So. - Tech. Engineering and Const. Mgt.
Mike Jarrett
- Puyallup, Wash. (Puyallup HS ‘07) - Sr. - Communication Studies
Billy Lechtenberg
- Brier, Wash. (Mountlake Terrace HS ‘09) - So. - Computer Science
Cody McCarthy
- Boise, Idaho (Bishop Kelly HS ‘11) - Fr. - Undeclared
Jake Miller - Spokane, Wash. (Central Valley HS ‘10 / Washington State) - Fr. - Undeclared
Jeff Minnerly
- Spokane, Wash. (Ferris HS ‘08) - Jr. - Finance
Will Post
- Portland, Ore. (Southridge HS ‘08) - Jr. - Communication Studies
Jake Potter - Kennewick, Wash. (Kamiakin HS ‘08) - Jr. - Electrical Engineering
Jordan Talley - Portland, Ore. (Jesuit HS ‘11) - Fr. - Pre-Medicine
Grant Williams - Puyallup, Wash. (Rogers HS ‘08) - Jr. - Recreation Management
Caleb Worthington - Boise, Idaho (Mountain View HS ‘09) - So. - Business Administration

 
 
 
View: Mobile | Desktop