Nine Earn Midseason All-Independent Honors

Raymond Maples ranks fifth in the nation in rushing yards per game.

Raymond Maples ranks fifth in the nation in rushing yards per game.

Oct. 12, 2012

CLEVELAND, Ohio  – A total of nine Army football players, including four first-team selections, were named to the 2012 Phil Steele Midseason All-Independent teams on Friday. The Black Knights’ top-ranked rushing offense garnered six honors, three of them on the first team.

Senior Trent Steelman (QB), junior Raymond Maples (RB), senior Frank Allen (OG) and senior Nate Combs (LB) were all first-team selections. Sophomore Larry Dixon (RB), sophomore Stephen Shumaker (OG), junior Michael Kime (OT), sophomore Geoffery Bacon (LB) and sophomore Stephen Fraser (KR) were named to the second team.

Steelman has guided Army’s triple option offense to an average of 397.2 rushing yards per game, the best average in the nation. He is the team’s third-leading rusher with 431 yards and leads the team with eight rushing scores. The Bowling Green, Ky., native is the Black Knight’s all-time leader in rushing attempts, rushing yards, rushing touchdowns and points scored by a quarterback.

Maples leads the team and is ranked fifth in the nation with 134.2 rushing yards per game. A 1,000-yard rusher in 2011, Maples is averaging 6.5 yards per carry and has found the end zone once this season. The Philadelphia product has run for at least 100 yards in four of Army’s first five games. He is on pace to become just the third Army player to record multiple seasons of at least 1,000 rushing yards.

Allen has started all five games this season and has been with the first unit in 29 of the last 30 outings. He anchors the offensive line that has blocked for the No. 1 rushing offense and has allowed only five sacks.

Nearly one-third of Combs’ 25 tackles this season have been behind the line of scrimmage. His 8.0 tackles for loss leads the team, while his 1.2 quarterback sacks per game (6.0 total) is tied for seventh in the nation. He has recorded two sacks in four of his last six games dating back to last season. Combs also has a team-high two fumble recoveries.

Dixon is the Black Knights’ second-leading rusher with 460 yards (92.0 per game). He has three 100-yard rushing games this season and ranks second on the team with five rushing touchdowns.

Shumaker is in his first season as the starter at right guard. He has not missed a game in 2011. Kime has started all five games at right tackle. He started twice last season, including one game at center and one game at left tackle.

Bacon is the Black Knights’ leading tackler with 48 stops. He has 1.0 tackle for loss and has broken up one pass. Fraser has been Army’s primary kick returner. He is averaging 21.0 yards per return with a long run of 37  yards.

Army finishes a three-game homestand on Saturday versus Kent State. Kickoff is set for 12:05 p.m.

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