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Six Owls land spots on the 2023 All-NCAC Team

CLEVELAND — The Kenyon College Owls had six student-athletes named to the 2023 All-North Coast Athletic Conference football team. Honored members were announced Thursday by the conference office and included Jordon Benjamin, Andy Canonico, Cole Garrison, Park Penrod, Dominic Simpson and Chris Zaiser.

Benjamin and Canonico were selected to the All-NCAC Second Team, while Garrison, Penrod, Simpson and Zaiser claimed third-team honors. The all-conference award was a first for all Kenyon team members, with the exception of Canonico, who claimed a spot on the 2022 second team.

Benjamin, a sophomore running back, was one of two offensive team honorees for the Owls. He played in all 10 games this past season and led the team with 829 rushing yards and eight rushing touchdowns on 182 carries. His yardage total and his average yards per game (82.9) both ranked third best among all players in the conference.

Making way for Benjamin and also creating time for Kenyon quarterbacks, was Zaiser, a senior offensive lineman. Playing in all 10 games and providing leadership in the trenches, Zaiser made way for the Owls offense to generate averages of 157.8 rushing yards per game and 141.9 passing yards per game.

Leading Kenyon’s defensive honorees was Canonico, a junior lineman. He secured his second straight all-conference award by putting together a 2023 campaign that included 48 tackles. Seven-and-a-half of those tackles went for losses and two-and-a-half went for sacks. Additionally, Canonico had seven quarterback hurries, two blocked kicks, a forced fumble and a safety.

Another defensive lineman, Garrison, a senior, finished off his collegiate career with a 2023 season that contained 27 tackles, 7.5 tackles-for-loss and a pair of quarterback sacks. He was also credited with four quarterback hurries in his 10 games played.

Kenyon’s other defensive honoree was Simpson, a first-year defensive back that made a huge impact. He led the Owls with 85 tackles, three interceptions and two forced fumbles. Through the regular-season, Simpson’s tackle total and average tackles per game (8.5) led all players in the conference. He, too, played all 10 games and was credited with two tackles-for-loss and two pass break-ups.

Penrod was Kenyon’s final all-conference award-winner. Although he played both quarterback and punter, he was named to the All-NCAC Team as a punter. Throughout the year, he fired off 60 punts and averaged 34.17 yards per boot. Six of his punts traveled 50 yards or more and 14 of them pinned opponents inside their own 20-yard line.

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