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Lake Erie

Bilal Named National Finalist for Harlon Hill

Bilal Named National Finalist for Harlon Hill

FLORENCE, Ala.-- Lake Erie College junior running back Anthony Bilal (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) was announced as a national finalist for the prestigious Harlon Hill Award announced Tuesday (Dec. 2).

The Harlon Hill is awarded to the top player in NCAA Division-II football regardless of position. 

The finalists were selected by the NCAA Division-II sports information directors in regional voting and will now be placed on the national ballot where all 168 of the division's sports information directors will select the award's 29th winner. The top two players from each of Division II's Super Regions advanced to the national ballot, with the exception of Super Region 4 where three players advanced due to a tie in the voting. 

The winner of the 2014 award, which is presented by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee, will be announced via webcast on Friday, December 19 and the winner will be honored at a luncheon on the University of North Alabama campus on January 9, 2015.

The Hill Trophy is sponsored by the City of Florence, Ala., Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, Opti-Net, the Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa and Herff Jones.






Anthony Abenoja


Pittsburg State

Super Region 3

Anthony Bilal


Lake Erie

Super Region 4

Andy Hibbert



Super Region 2

Steven Laurino


LIU Post

Super Region 1

Sean McCartney


West Chester

Super Region 1

Mark Miller


Ohio Dominican

Super Region 4

Kevin Rodgers


Henderson State

Super Region 3

Tyler Sullivan


Delta State

Super Region 2

Jason Vander Laan


Ferris State

Super Region 4



Anthony Bilal broke several school records en route to becoming the Storm's first 2,000 yard rusher and earning his second All-GLIAC honors.  As the GLIAC Offensive Back of the Year and First-Team All-GLIAC Running Back, Bilal ended the year tied for lead nationally in rushing touchdowns with 29 and second in rushing yards with 2,091 on just 254 carries (8.2 avg.).  Against Ohio Dominican University, Ferris State University and Michigan Tech University- three teams that qualified for the NCAA playoffs- Bilal totaled 626 yards and six touchdowns. Against an Ohio Dominican defense that allowed just 89 rushing yards per game, Bilal had 163.  Against Ferris State, who allowed 97 rushing yards per game, Bilal had 193.  His 270 yards in the final week against Michigan Tech- a team which allowed just over 120 yards per game to opponents- set a school record which he previously set earlier in the season.  Against Walsh University, Bilal scored six rushing touchdowns, which tied the GLIAC record for most in a game.  Overall, Bilal rushed for 200 or more yards in six games this season and scored three or more touchdowns in five games.  Bilal had eight touchdowns of 40 yards or more including two 70-plus yard touchdowns. 

2014 Highlights

GLIAC Offensive Back of the Year

First-Team All-GLIAC

2091 rushing yards *

29 rushing touchdowns *

254 carries

8.2 yards per carry *

190.1 rushing yards per game *

270 rushing yards at Michigan Tech *

200 or more rushing yards in six games

626 rushing yards, six touchdowns against NCAA playoff teams (Michigan Tech, Ferris State and Ohio Dominican)

Three or more rushing touchdowns in five games

Six rushing touchdowns vs. Walsh *#

Eight touchdowns of 40-yards or longer

Two touchdowns over 70-yards

GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week

ECAC Offensive Player of the Week

Preseason All-American



4488 rushing yards *

61 touchdowns *

662 carries *

6.8 yards per carry

144.8 rushing yards per game *

Two-time All-GLIAC selection

Tied or led GLIAC in rushing touchdowns past two seasons

* School Record

# Tied GLIAC record


The initial Harlon Hill Trophy was won by North Dakota State quarterback Jeff Bentrim in 1986, followed by Texas A&M-Kingsville running back Johnny Bailey - in 1987, 1988 and 1989.

Another North Dakota State quarterback, Chris Simdorn, claimed the 1990 award, followed by Pittsburg State receiver Ronnie West in 1991, Pittsburg State running back Ronald Moore in 1992, New Haven running back Roger Graham in 1993 and Valdosta State University quarterback Chris Hatcher in 1994. North Alabama linebacker Ronald McKinnon became the first defensive player to win the award when he claimed the Hill Trophy in 1995.

Truman State University running back Jarrett Anderson won the 1996 award and Bloomsburg University running back Irvin Sigler claimed the Hill Trophy in 1997 award. Running back Brian Shay of Emporia State won in 1998, followed by Northern Colorado quarterback Corte McGuffey in 1999 and Valdosta State quarterback Dusty Bonner in 2000 and 2001, and Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes in 2002.  The 2003 trophy was awarded to North Alabama quarterback Will Hall, and Chad Friehauf of the Colorado School of Mines won the 2004 award. Terwilliger claimed the 2005 Hill Trophy as a junior. 

Chadron State's Danny Woodhead won the Hill Trophy in 2006 and 2007, joining Bailey and Bonner as the only multiple winners of the award. Abilene Christian's Bernard Scott won the 2008 Hill Trophy, followed by Wayne State's (Mich.) Joique Bell in 2009, Central Missouri quarterback Eric Czerniewski in 2010, Mars Hill running back Jonas Randolph in 2011, Shippensburg quarterback Zach Zulli in 2012 and Bloomsburg running back Franklyn Quiteh in 2013.