AUSTINTOWN, Ohio -- The Heidelberg University football team made an impact across the Ohio Athletic Conference this season as seven players were honored with all-conference postseason awards.
Headlining the honors for the Berg were freshman Zachary Blackiston and senior Austin Baker earning first-team accolades. Blackiston is the first freshman in the history of Heidelberg football to earn first-team All-Conference accolades. Baker repeats on the first-team after being named his junior season as well.
Blackiston, a native of Massillon, Ohio, announced his arrival to college football early, collecting 16 tackles and three sacks in his debut vs. Olivet College earning OAC Defensive Player of the Week and D3football.com Team of the Week honors. The middle linebacker went on to lead the league in total sacks with 11.5 and total tackles with 103, and he was second in the league in tackles per game with 10.3 and tackles for a loss with 16.5. Blackiston also tallied one fumble recovery over his freshman campaign.
Baker, a native of Green Springs, Ohio, continued his dominance punting the football in 2018, leading the nation in yards per punt with 43.7 ypp. His long on the season was a NCAA Division III record, 95-yard boot at John Carroll. He twice earned OAC Special Teams Player of the Week this year, as well as once being selected to the D3football.com Team of the Week.
Jerome, a senior native of Madison, Ohio, was third in the league with 56 receptions and ninth in total yardage with 657 yards on the season. Jerome also hauled in four touchdown catches on the season.
Matthews, a sophomore native of Miami, Florida, was tied for fifth in the OAC with nine receiving touchdowns on the year, including three against Ohio Northern. Matthews was seventh across the conference with 670 receiving yards this year, on just 34 receptions, good for a 19.7 yards per catch.
Wienhold, a junior native of Madison, Ohio, started all 10 games this season at center for the Berg. He was an instrumental piece of the offensive line that helped pave the way for The Student Princes' rush, which averaged 151.5 yards per game. As well as creating the seams, Wienhold also helped protect the Berg pass game, allowing 206.8 passing yards per game.
Pecoraro, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, finished the season with 57 total tackles,including 6.5 for a loss. As a key part of the defensive line, Pecoraro also tallied 4.5 sacks this season.
Reynolds, a native of Middletown, Ohio, finished inside the top-10 of the conference in rush yards per game (65.4), total rush yards (654), pass yards per game (171), total pass yards (1710), and pass touchdowns (13).
Heidelberg finished the 2018 campaign 5-5, good for fifth place in the always tough OAC conference.