Church, McDonald Cap EIU Careers with All-OVC Honors

Church, McDonald Cap EIU Careers with All-OVC Honors
Devin Church led Eastern Illinois in rushing and receiving the last two seasons. (photo courtesy of EIUPanthers.com)
Two Eastern Illinois players capped their football careers by being named to the first team of the All-Ohio Valley Conference Tuesday.

Seniors Devin Church and Seth McDonald both landed on the OVC’s first team, while fellow senior Evan Kanz and junior David Johnson were second team selections. Junior quarterback Mitch Kimble was named to the OVC All-Newcomer team.

Church led the OVC in rushing yards finishing the season with 1,066 yards to become the 12th player in school history with a 1,000 yard rushing season.  He was a first team All-OVC selection at running back as he was the third EIU player to win the OVC rushing crown.

“He’s always working hard,” Kanz said of Church. “He keeps his head down and keeps moving. His skill set is unbelievable.”

Church was 13th in the NCAA in rushing following the regular season.  He had 13 total touchdowns to tie for the conference lead with seven rushing touchdowns and six touchdown receptions.  Church was the Panthers top receiver hauling in 41 catches for 386 yards.

Seth McDonald

Seth McDonald

McDonald was a first team All-OVC selection at linebacker as he led the Panthers with 99 tackles.  He ranked fourth in the league in tackles adding 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack.  McDonald just missed becoming the first player since Nick Ricks to record back-to-back 100 tackle campaigns.

Evan Kanz

Evan Kanz

Kanz was named a second team All-OVC selection at offensive tackle.  Kanz was the veteran linemen on a unit that ranked third in the league in total offense at 404.8 yards per game.  The Panthers offense was first in the OVC in 3rd down conversion.

David Johnson

David Johnson

Johnson joined the Panthers for the start of Ohio Valley Conference play as a transfer from South Carolina.  Johnson was named to the All-OVC second team and All-OVC Newcomer teams as a defensive lineman.  He finished fifth on the Panthers team with 51 tackles tying for the team lead with 12.5 tackles for loss.  He ranked third in the league in tackles for loss.  Johnson added three sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.

Mitch Kimble

Mitch Kimble

Kimble was named to the All-OVC Newcomer team as the quarterback passed for 1,414 yards playing in seven games as injuries shortened the season of the transfer from Syracuse.  Kimble had 13 touchdown passes while adding two scores on the ground as he rushed for 139 yards.  Kimble ranked seventh in the OVC in passing yards and fifth in touchdown passes.

The Panthers finished the season 6-5 with a 24-0 win at Eastern Kentucky to post the program’s second straight winning season and fourth winning campaign in the last five years.

Regular season champion Jacksonville State swept the top awards for the league with Eli Jenkins winning his second straight OVC Offensive Player of the Year Award.  John Grass was named the OVC Coach of the Year.  Darius Jackson was the OVC Defensive Player of the Year and Marlon Bridges was the OVC Freshman of the Year.

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