MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. - The awards keep coming for Trevor Heitland (Cedar Rapids, Iowa/Kennedy) and Dylan Stepleton (Tipton, Iowa/Wilton), as the senior duo has been named to the D3football.com All-American Second Team.
The Kohawk pair becomes the 13th and 14th All-American selections in school history to the D3football.com teams. Coe, Wartburg and Central are the only schools in the Iowa Conference with eight or more selections since the award began in 1999. Heitland joins Fred Jackson (2002 - Second Team) as the only running backs in school history to earn the award. Stepleton joins Zak Gordon (1999 - Second Team) and Demetreus Johnson (2012 - Third Team) as the only defensive backs in school history to be honored. Stepleton and Heitland were joined on the All-American teams by Central wide receiver Sam Markham (Third Team) and Buena Vista kicker Tyler Stolen (Second Team) from the Iowa Conference.
Stepleton and Heitland were previously named All-Americans by the AFCA earlier this week. The pair swept the Iowa Conference Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year awards. Both were D3football.com All-West Region First Team selections, while also earning All-Iowa Conference First Team honors.
Both players are also up for some of the top awards in the country. Heitland was one of four finalists for the Gagliardi Trophy, which is awarded to the top player in the country. Heitland finished as runner-up in the voting for the Gagliardi Trophy. Stepleton has been nominated for the Cliff Harris Award. The Cliff Harris Award is presented to the top defensive player in the country representing NCAA Division II, III and NAIA colleges and universities. The finalist for the Cliff Harris Award will be announced on Dec. 17, with the winner announced on Dec. 24.
Stepleton had one of the best years in school history in the secondary, ranking second in NCAA Division III with nine interceptions. He also ranked second in all four NCAA divisions in interceptions. He finishes his career ranked second in school history in interceptions returned for a touchdown (two) and sixth with 14 career picks. His two pick sixes this year are tied for the second-most in school history, as are his nine interceptions. He finished the season with a career-high 70 tackles, including 6.5 for a loss and 15 pass deflections. Stepleton had 182 tackles in his career, including 122 solo stops. He finished his career with 10 tackles for a loss and 32 pass deflections.
Heitland added his name to the list of some of the best running backs in school history in his senior campaign. Heitland led NCAA Division III in rushing yards (1,913) and carries (317). He ranked third in all NCAA divisions in rushing yards and fourth in carries. His 159.4 rushing yards per game were the second-most in NCAA Division III and the fourth most in all NCAA divisions. He led all NCAA divisions with 223.92 all-purpose yards per game. His 19 touchdowns were the 10th most in NCAA Division III, while he ranked 11th with 114 total points. He set a school record in rushing attempts in a season and all-purpose yards, while ranking second in school history in rushing yards. He finishes his career third in pass receptions (149), fifth in receiving yards (1,822), fifth in all-purpose yards (4,397) and 10th in rushing yards (2,084).
The Kohawks finished the season with a school-record 11 wins and advanced to the second round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs for the third time in school history.