Johnson Named Defensive POY as 4 Bishops make All-Conference 1st team

Antonio Johnson
Antonio Johnson

The USA South Athletic Conference has announced its 2018 All-Conference awards for football. Methodist University's Vontre Howard was named Offensive Player of the Year while Brevard College's Dalton Cole earned Offensive Rookie of the Year honors. N.C. Wesleyan College's Antonio Johnson collected Defensive Player of the Year accolades. Finally, Maryville College's Shaun Hayes collected Coach of the Year honors to wrap-up the individual awards. 

Along with Johnson, three other Bishops were named to the all-Conference First Team while those four were joined by two lineman on the second team and senior tight end Quinn Tobias on the Sportsmanship team.

Johnson, a Beaufort, North Carolina junior linebacker, becomes the fifth Battling Bishop in program history to be named USA South Defensive Player of the Year. He finished the year with 54 total tackles, 41 of which were solo which ranked eighth in the League and included 4.5 tackles-for-loss which resulted in a total loss of 18 yards. He also had two sacks and 3 pass break-ups.

Johnson led the League with three fumble recoveries, one of which he returned 59 yards for a touchdown against Averett, was tied for second with two forced fumbles and also collected two interceptions, which he also returned for a score against Greensboro. All of his forced turnovers came against USA South competition. For his efforts, Johnson was named a First Team All-Conference linebacker for the second consecutive year. Finally, he collected USA South Defensive Player of the Week accolades twice this fall as he helped lead NC Wesleyan to a 5-5 overall record and 4-3 in the conference as they finished tied for 3rd in the league.

Standout senior wide receiver Trey Lancaster was also named to the all-conference First Team for the second time in his career for his stellar 2018 campaign. This season, he made 69 receptions for over 1,000 yards and 4 TDs. He averaged 107 yards/game (ranked 1st in the USA South) and 15.5/catch including two 200-yard games and three 100 yarders. His total receiving yards also ranked him 1st in the conference by well over 200 yards.

Fellow pass-catcher, junior tight end Ben Dorfman was also named to the all-conference First Team for the first time as he finished the season with 39 catches for 486 yards and five touchdowns averaging 48 yards/game and 12.5 yards/catch. Dorfman was also a second team selection in 2016.

NC Wesleyan then had three offensive lineman chosen as all-conference members with junior RG Breon Foust making the First Team and senior LT Malachi Farmer and junior C Wyatt French chosen to the second team. This was Foust's first time selected to the First team, but 2nd time selected to a conference team as he was also an all-conference second teamer in 2017.