Evangel’s Sam Morton Named Heart Defensive Player of the Year

Evangel football senior Sam Morton highlighted a group of 12 Crusaders who earned All-Heart honors voted on by the league coaches and announced by the league office Monday.

Morton is the third consecutive Evangel player to be named Heart Defensive Player of the Year joining Andreas Moeller from last season and Josh Evans from 2017. He is the sixth Crusader all-time to earn the honor after producing one of the best seasons in Evangel history.

The Strafford, Missouri native finished his career with the second-most tackles for a loss (43.0) and eighth-most sacks (18) after finishing second in the nation in tackles for a loss this season. He led Evangel and was top 10 in the conference in tackles and finished first in the Heart South in sacks with 10.

In addition to being a First Team linebacker, Morton was joined on the First team by defensive lineman Dominic Swillum and tight end Haaken Friend.

The Crusaders placed eight on the All-Heart Second Team with three offensive linemen, Garrett McGuire, Derrick Johnson, and Pierce Smith. Jansen Acklin also received second-team honors at wide receiver but was named First-Team kick returner, while Andrew Poppen and Athanie Leeviraphan earned a spot on the second-team at defensive back.

Evangel safety Dalton Taylor also was named to the All-Heart Second Team at athlete after setting the school record for blocked kicks.

Earning honorable mention All-Heart for the Crusaders was quarterback Cameron Hardesty, defensive lineman Myles Williams, and defensive back Dalton Cloyd.