Posted: Nov 15, 2017
Westfield, Mass. — Quinn Fleeting of Western Connecticut State and Zach Ziemba of Plymouth State are the 2017 MASCAC Football Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year and headline the 2017 MASCAC All-Conference teams as voted on by the coaches from around the league.
Fleeting, a senior quarterback from Windsor, Mass., closed out his senior season first in pass efficiency at 165.4 while averaging 8.9 yards per pass and second in the league in both yards passing per game at 256.9 and total touchdowns with 25 with only four interceptions on the season. He also collected four rushing touchdowns while accumulating 2,569 total passing yards on the season. He had two five touchdown performances this season, including a five passing score effort in the comeback win over Hartwick to start the season.
Grabbing the 2017 MASCAC Defensive Player of the Year honors is Zach Ziemba from Plymouth State. The graduate student defensive back from Manchester, N.H., finished the season with 46 tackles, including 27 solo tackles. He was second in the league in fumble recoveries with two while also nabbing two interceptions on the season. His best game of the season was in the win over Framingham State that helped the Panthers to a share of the regular season title and a spot in the NCAA DIII Tournament. He had nine tackles (four solo) with a forced and recovered fumble plus blocking an extra point in the win.
Joe Wilder of Framingham State claims the 2017 MASCAC Offensive Lineman of the Year award. The senior tackle from Stoughton, Mass., helped lead a Rams offensive line that first in the conference in rushing yards (2,044), rushing yards per game (204.4), rushing touchdowns (22) and rushing first downs (104). The offense also led the conference in points per game at 33.4 and third in yards per game at 397.
In his first season with the Corsairs, quarterback Stephen Gacioch is the 2017 MASCAC Offensive Rookie of the Year. The freshman from Tiverton, R.I. totaled 865 and seven touchdowns with an average of 6.8 yards per passing attempt. His best game of the season was a 264 yard and four touchdown performance in a win over Westfield State.
Jacob Burkhead of UMass Dartmouth is the 2017 MASCAC Defensive Rookie of the Year award winner. The freshman defensive back from Plymouth, Mass. collected 65 tackles, including 44 solo on the year. He also recovered a fumble while helping his team limit opponents to 123.5 yards on the ground and 186.3 in the air per game. In the team's win over Westfield State, he tallied 10 tackles (eight solo) with a half tackle for a loss.
For leading his team to a share of the MASCAC Regular Season Title and the conference's automatic qualifier into the NCAA DIII Tournament, Paul Castonia of Plymouth State has been named the 2017 Champion's Choice Coach of the Year by his peers.