MC’s Conner named 1st team All-OAC

AUSTINTOWN – Six Marietta College football players were named to the All-Ohio Athletic Conference team announced Monday by the league office.

Marietta’s six all-conference picks were the most since the Pioneers had six in 2007.

Junior running back Tim Conner earned first team recognition in his first season with the Pioneers. Seniors Jake Hammer, Kirby Harris and Tito Jeffries were named to the second team, while junior Josh Llaneza and freshman Caleb Hitchcock were honorable mention.

Conner emerged as the latest in a long line of standout running backs for Marietta.

He is the first Pioneer back to earned All-OAC first team honors since 2009 and joined the likes of Dallas Garber (1960), Mark Glasser (1974), Mark Boy (1976, 1977), Bob Jones (1979), Phil Schmucker (1983, 1985), Evan Lipp (1986, 1987), Jamesie Cua (1988, 1989), Curt Weikart (1994, 1995), Dante Brown (1996, 1997), Kenneth Sasu (1999, 2000), Steven Wagner (2004) and Lamar Hunter (2009) as Marietta running backs to have earned first team honors from the OAC.

Conner finished the regular season as the OAC’s second leading rusher averaging 91.3 yards per game. He compiled 913 yards and six touchdowns on 215 carries.

Conner ran for a season-high 164 yards and two touchdowns on 23 attempts at Otterbein and had five games in which he rushed for over 100 yards.

Wide receiver Harris is Marietta’s first three-time All-OAC player since Brian Hahn and Clay Ream. Harris garnered second team honors for the third straight season after leading the Pioneers with 57 receptions for 654 yards and three touchdowns.

Harris finished his career in the navy blue and white as Marietta’s all-time leader in receptions with 171 and receiving yards with 2225.

His 18 touchdown receptions are second all-time.

After leading the OAC in tackles a year ago, Hammer again ranked among the league’s leaders and earned second team honors for the second time.

Hammer led Marietta with 88 total tackles, including 30 solo stops and 58 assisted tackles.

Jeffries picked up his first all-conference honor after anchoring the Pioneers’ offensive line. A year ago, Marietta was ranked last in the OAC in rushing offense averaging 40.1 yards per game. A year later, the Pioneers finished the season ranked fifth in the OAC in rushing averaging 167.3 yards per game.

In addition to Jeffries at left tackle, Hitchcock started all 10 games on the offensive line and earning honorable mention accolades. Hitchcock started nine games at left guard and one at right guard.

Llaneza started nine games at tight end and one at full back for the Pioneers. He earned honorable mention honors after pulling down 37 catches for 455 yards and two touchdowns, ranking second on the team in all three categories.

The Pioneers, under the direction of first-year head coach Andy Waddle, finished the season 1-9 overall and 1-8 in the OAC.