By: Sean Neidig, sports information graduate assistant
AUSTINTOWN, Ohio – The Ohio Athletic Conference announced the 2018 All-OAC football teams on Monday with four members of Capital University Football honored. Senior quarterback Thomas Wibbeler (Zanesville, Ohio/Zanesville) and senior wide receiver Dartavious Stanford (Zanesville, Ohio/Zanesville) were both named All-OAC First Team while junior linebacker Kole Carter (Gallipolis, Ohio/Gallia Academy) and junior receiver David Barnett (Springfield, Ohio/Shawnee) were tabbed Honorable Mention. The two first team selections were the most for Capital since 2011 when the team also had two.
Wibbeler lit up opposing defenses all season long, leading the conference with 3,012 passing yards and 301.2 passing yards per game. His 24 passing touchdowns were third in the conference and he added five rushing scores. The senior had four games with at least three passing touchdowns and two games with five. On Sept. 8 against Marietta College, Wibbeler had a career day with 511 passing yards and five passing touchdowns while running for another score. Wibbeler was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week for his performance against the Pioneers. Against Ohio Northern University on Oct. 20, the signal caller threw five touchdowns and passed for 464 yards. In Capital's come-from-behind win in the season finale against Muskingum University, Wibbeler threw for four scores.
On the other end of most of Wibbeler's passes was fellow Zanesville native and Capital wide receiver Dartavious Stanford. This is the second consecutive year Stanford has been named All-OAC. Stanford led the conference with 85 catches and 1,083 yards while hauling in 12 touchdowns, the second-most in the conference. Stanford eclipsed the 100-yard mark in six contests this year and found the end zone at least once in six games. The senior had four multi-score games including two three-score days that tied the program record for most receiving touchdowns in a game. Against Marietta, Stanford caught seven balls for 153 yards and three touchdowns. A week later against Heidelberg University, Stanford had 150 yards and scored twice. Stanford caught three touchdown passes against Muskingum, including the game-winning score late in the fourth quarter.
Despite playing only seven games because of injury, Stanford's partner on the outside, junior wide receiver David Barnett, was named All-OAC Honorable Mention for what he was able to accomplish in those seven contests. Barnett caught 53 passes for 681 receiving yards and five touchdowns and surpassed 100 receiving yards three times. Against Marietta, Barnett exploded for a career-best 225 receiving yards and a score. Even though he missed the final three games of the year, Barnett finished sixth in the conference in yards. Barnett was Second Team All-OAC in 2016 and was on the honorable mention list in 2017.
On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Kole Carter received his first all-conference award with an All-OAC Honorable Mention nod. Carter was a force in the middle of the Crusader defense and was second on the team with 67 total tackles. Carter led the team with three sacks and was second on the squad with two interceptions. His 6.5 tackles for loss tied the team lead. He also forced and recovered a fumble. Carter had three nine-tackle games and three more with eight. On Oct. 27 against Otterbein University, Carter blocked an extra point and returned the ball 98 yards for a safety.
Through these players' combined efforts, the Crusaders finished the year on a three-game winning streak.