Troy, NY --- Freshman running back Sean McAllen (Prospect, CT) was named the Liberty League Football Rookie of the Year as seniors Brian Murtagh (Wayland, MA) and Blaine Bursey (Middleburg, FL) took home first team accolades as voted upon by the league's head coaches following the regular season.
Senior Brandon Eccher (Franklin, MA), McAllen, senior Chad DellaPorta (Billerica, MA), junior Dereck Pacheco (Barnstable, MA) and senior Jason Lamb (Plymouth, MA) were voted to the second team. Honorable mentions include senior Dan Eckler (Stoughton, MA), sophomore Alex Domond (Cambridge, MA), senior Steven Thulin (Walpole, MA), senior Will Pope (Middlebury, CT), sophomore Luca Cerasani (Abington, MA) and sophomore Sam Malafronte (Abington, MA).
McAllen, who also made the All-Liberty League Second team, was second in the league in rushing attempts (170), fifth in yards (701) and ninth in average yards per game (70.1). He ran for a season-best 215 yards on 29 carries with a pair of touchdowns and a 74 yard TD in the season opener at MIT. Within the Liberty League, McAllen totaled 114 yards on 25 rushes to go with a touchdown pass as part of the Wild Goat at Springfield. The newcomer also rumbled into the end zone at RPI, vs Hobart and at Rochester.
Murtagh picked up his third first team honor as a linebacker. The league leader in total tackles (118), solo tackles (80) and tackles per game (11.8) made double-digit stops in eight of 10 games with a season-high 15 at MIT and again against Union. He also totaled 11 tackles for loss, two sacks, an interception and three pass breakups on the season. For his career, Murtagh amassed 378 tackles with 242 solo 24.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, six interceptions, 10 pass breakups, three fumble recoveries and two forced fumbles.
Bursey, a repeat selection as a specialist, led the Liberty League with 10 field goals on 12 attempts and 12 touchbacks. He was also first among kickers, and third among all student-athletes, in total points with 63, including 33 PATs on 36 tries. In 41 games, Bursey made 24 field goals and 105 PATs for a total of 177 points. The two-time Fred Mitchell September honoree booted career-long 38-yarder as a sophomore.
Eccher, a second-year second team selection and 2014 first teamer at wide receiver, was second in the Liberty League with 72 points (12 TDs). He posted 777 yards on 45 catches with 11 scores with a long of 51 yards against Merchant Marine. As a punt returner, Eccher picked up 160 more yards on 17 tries with a 78-yard TD against Union. He ends his career third in the WPI record book with 132 career receptions and fifth in career receiving yards with 1,949.
DellaPorta, a first team offensive lineman a year ago, helped the Engineers top the league in total offense with 413.3 yards per game and rank second in the league with 31.4 points per game. In addition to his effort on the gridiron, the two-sport student-athlete earned three Liberty League All-Academic nods.
Pacheco, a defensive lineman, and Lamb, who transitioned from a linebacker to a defensive back, were upgraded from last year's honorable mention list. Pacheco paced the Engineers with 15.5 tackles for loss and nine sacks. He was also third on the team in total tackles (60) to go with a forced fumble.
Lamb, meanwhile, earned the Robert Pritchard Award for Most Outstanding Defender at homecoming for his 17 tackles (13 solo) including one for-loss to go with an interception and a pass breakup against Union. For the season, Lamb totaled 56 stops – 36 solo – with three picks, seven pass breakups, a forced fumble and a recovery in eight games. He wrapped up his career with 161 tackles (112 solo) with 14.5 for-loss, four sacks, 11 pass breakups, five interceptions, foru forced fumbles, one recovery and a blocked kick in 36 games played.
Eckler was one of the top four QBs in the league this season. He amassed 1,900 passing yards on 118 completions with 18 TDs and a the best efficiency rating of 166.8 in eight contest. Eckler also rushed 76 times for 235 yards and four scores to rank in the top 20. In 29 games, he piled up 5571 yards on 404 completions with 44 touchdowns in the air and 783 yards on 266 rushes and nine TDs on the ground. His name is currently first in the WPI record book with 6,534 career yards of total offense (passing + rushing) and career passing yards, as well as third in career attempts (704) and completions.
Domond was the third-ranked wide receiver in the league with 798 yards on 45 receptions and five touchdowns this past season.
Thulin caught 20 balls for 293 yards with three scores for the Engineers at full back in 2016. He finished with 714 yards on 43 receptions and four TDs in 29 games played.
Pope, another standout lineman who has not missed a game in two-plus seasons, aided the Engineers in topping the league in total offense with 413.3 yards per game and rank second in the league with 31.4 points per game. The three-time Liberty League All-Academic selection also garnered Academic All-District I honors, as selected by CoSIDA.
Cerasani, a defensive lineman, was second in the league with 17 tackles for-loss and tied for the top spot with 14 solo. He delivered 51 stops and was second on the team with eight sacks.
Malafronte was second on the team with 65 tackles (35 solo) to go with four for-loss and 2.5 sacks as a linebacker.
Football (6-4) wrapped up its stay in the Liberty League and will begin play in the NEWMAC next fall.