Chang named top freshman, Pios with most All-NWC picks since 2013

Chang named top freshman, Pios with most All-NWC picks since 2013

HILLSBORO, Ore. -- Lewis & Clark had a pair of defensive ends highlight the Northwest Conference postseason awards as freshman Cameron Chang was selected NWC Freshman of the Year and junior Andrew Werst made the All-NWC First Team, the conference office announced Monday.

Chang and Werst highlighted seven student-athletes overall named to the All-NWC teams, the best for the Pioneers since 2013. Michael Abraham, Heisman Hosoda and Devon Franklin were offensive selections to the All-NWC Honorable Mention team, while Remington Campbell, Tawayne Malone and Chang were honorable mention defensive choices.

A two-time All-NWC selection, Werst is the first first-team pick for the Pios since former quarterback Keith Welch was selected for the third time in four years after the 2013 season. Werst, who was a second-team choice last year, finished the year tied for the most forced fumbles in the conference and ranked 14th nationally. He was responsible for four takeaways in all and ranked third on the team in total tackles with a career-high 44. A Chemistry major from Keizer, Ore., Werst had a career-best 8.5 tackles for loss, which was 11th in the NWC, to go with 2.5 sacks.

Chang had 4.5 sacks through his first six career games to finish among the top ten in the conference. Out of Honolulu, Chang totaled five tackles for loss on the season and had 18 tackles after starting all nine games for the Pioneers. The NWC started the Freshman of the Year award following the 2016 season and Chang, an Economics major, is the first Pioneers student-athlete to win.

Abraham, a freshman from Portland's Central Catholic High School, finished fifth in the NWC in rushing yards per game with 469 yards, the most by a Lewis & Clark running back since 2012. He averaged 3.7 yards per carry, which ranked fifth in the NWC among running backs with more than 100 carries. Abraham ran for 114 yards on 19 carries, a season-high average of 6.0 yards per carry, on Oct. 21 against Pacific.

Hosoda had a fast start to his first season with the Pios. The Kaimuki, Hawaii sophomore had 70-plus yards receiving in three of his first four games to lead the conference in receiving yards per game through Sept. 24. He finished the year with a career-high 102 receiving yards last Saturday at Pacific Lutheran and led the team with 37 total catches this season. The Political Science major had four touchdowns, the most by a Lewis & Clark wide receiver and eighth overall in the conference.

Franklin started eight games this year on the right side of the offensive line. From Elk Grove, Calif., the sophomore helped the Pioneers rush for their most yards per game (106.8) and their best conference ranking in sacks allowed in the three years under head coach Jay Locey.

Campbell had his third consecutive season with more than 50 tackles, finishing with a team-high 5.8 per game. Throughout his senior season, the Brawley, Calif. native was involved in key takeaways, including a goal-line interception in the Pioneers' 24-21 win over Willamette on Sept. 30 that gave Lewis & Clark the Wagon Wheel traveling trophy for the first time since 2000. Campbell, a Biochemistry and Molecular Biology major, finished with two fumble recoveries, a sack and four tackles for loss this season.

Malone ranked third in the NWC in pass break-ups and interceptions this season, both career highs. He was 29th in the nation in break-ups and had a forced fumble and a fumble recovery at George Fox on Oct. 28. A Psychology major from Sacramento, Calif., Malone didn't miss a game for a third-straight season and finished with 43 total tackles and two tackles for loss.

The seven All-NWC selections ranks sixth among in the eight-team conference and was one shy of Puget Sound's eight. Lewis & Clark snapped a 33-game losing streak with back-to-back victories during the team's first three games. The consecutive wins were the first for the team since 2012. The Pioneers gained 116 points in point differential compared to the 2016 season and improved in margin of victory or defeat in seven of their nine games this season.

Other than Campbell, all of the team's All-NWC picks are scheduled be among the 59 returning student-athletes to the team next year.