ST. LOUIS -- Three Sycamores have been named to the Missouri Valley Football Conference All-Newcomer Team as announced today (Nov. 27) by the league office following a postseason vote of head coaches, sports information directors as well as a media panel.
Redshirt freshman Connor Underwood was named to the MVFC All-Newcomer Team and finished third in the MVFC Newcomer and Freshman Of The Year balloting, as Sawyer Kollmorgen of Northern Iowa took both honors. Underwood is joined by sophomore transfer Mike Perish and redshirt freshman Mark Sewall on the MVFC All-Newcomer Team.
In addition to his MVFC All-Newcomer honors and third place finish for the league's newcomer and specialty awards, Underwood is also an All-MVFC Honorable Mention selection as a redshirt freshman for the Sycamores. He finished fifth on the team with 48 total tackles, including 19 solos and 29 assists and posted 9.5 tackles for a loss of 42 yards. Underwood led the team with six quarterback sacks for 27 yards and added one interception at Western Illinois, with three pass breakups and five quarterback hurries. He averaged .55 quarterback sacks per game, which ranked fourth in the MVFC and tied for 57th nationally while his .86 tackles for a loss was 12th in the MVFC. Underwood recorded a season-best 10 tackles at No. 1 North Dakota State with two tackles for a loss and recorded a season-best three tackles for a loss of 20 yards versus Drake. He was credited with a season-best two quarterback sacks at North Dakota State.
Mike Perish took home MVFC All-Newcomer honors as he was the team's leading passer with 155 completions on 280 attempts for 1,615 yards and 10 TDs, with a long pass completion of 43 yards. Perish averaged 37.09 yards per game, which ranked 20th in the MVFC and went over 200 yards passing three times, including a season-best 221 yards at Youngstown State. He posted two touchdown passes in three different games while maintaining a 109.88 passing efficiency rating, which was ninth-best in the MVFC. Perish tallied 134.45 yards of total offense per game, ranking ninth in the league.
The Sycamores' third honoree was redshirt freshman defensive back Mark Sewall, who was named to MVFC All-Newcomer Team just as he older brother Alex did at the same position in 2008. He posted 31 total tackles, including 12 solos and 19 assists with 2.5 tackles for a loss of three yards. Sewall had a 77-yard interception return against Quincy and tallied four pass breakups, recovered a fumble for a touchdown at Western Illinois and blocked one kick. His .11 interceptions per game ranked tied for 25th in the MVFC and he recorded a season-best seven total tackles at No. 1 North Dakota State, with a tackle for loss. Sewall broke up two passes against South Dakota State.
Earlier this week, the Sycamores set a school record and led the league with 14 All-MVFC honorees, including five first team selections. The MVFC All-Academic Team will be announced on Wednesday, November 28.