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Lake Erie

Anthony Bilal Finishes Third in Harlon Hill Vote

Anthony Bilal Finishes Third in Harlon Hill Vote



FLORENCE, Ala.—Lake Erie College junior running back Anthony Bilal (Painesville, Ohio/Riverside) finished third in the Harlon Hill Trophy voting, the top award in Division-II football, announced by the National Harlon Hill Award Committee Friday (Dec. 19).

Bilal was one of nine finalists for the award which is presented the top player in NCAA Division-II football regardless of position.  He received 61 total points, including five first-place votes and was first among running backs.

The initial list of 36 nominees was cut to two per region for the national vote.  Super Region IV, in which Lake Erie resides, had three nominations due to a tie in voting.  From there, the Division-II Sports Information Directors voted on the winner.

Quarterback Jason Vander Laan of Ferris State University was awarded the 2014 trophy, receiving 152 points and 34 first-place votes.  Kevin Rodgers, quarterback from Henderson State University, finished second, receiving 143 points and 29 first-place votes.  Following Bilal was quarterback Anthony Abenoja of Pittsburg State University.  Fifth-place was awarded to Sean McCartney, quarterback of West Chester University. Quarterback Sean Laurino of LIU Post, quarterback Mark Miller of Ohio Dominican University, running back Andy Hibbert of Carson-Newman University and quarterback Tyler Sullivan of Delta State University rounded out the voting.

Bilal earned several honors this offseason, including First-Team All-American selections by Daktronics, AP Little All-American, Beyond Sports Network and USA College Football, as well as First-Team All-Region honors by Daktronics and Don Hansen.  He was named the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Offensive Back of the Year, earning a spot on the First-Team.

Bilal broke several school records en route to becoming the Storm's first 2,000 yard rusher.  He 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. 

In his career at Lake Erie thus far, Bilal has 4,488 rushing yards on 662 carries (6.8 avg.) for 61 touchdowns.  He owns school season and career records in rushing yards, carries, rushing touchdowns, total offense and all-purpose yards.

Bilal will return to the Storm for his senior year next season, looking to build upon his already illustrious career.




Total Votes

Jason Vander Laan


Ferris State


Kevin Rodgers


Henderson State


Anthony Bilal


Lake Erie


Anthony Abenoja


Pittsburg State


Sean McCartney


West Chester


Steven Laurino


LIU Post


Mark Miller


Ohio Dominican


Andy Hibbert




Tyler Sullivan


Delta State