McNeese’s McMahon named Southland Conference OPOY | The game

McNeese running back Denota McMahon was named 2022 Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year - photo courtesy of McNeese Athletics
McNeese running back Denota McMahon was named the 2022 Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year — Photo courtesy of McNeese Athletics

LAKE CHARLES — McNeese running back Deonta McMahon was named the 2022 Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Year and was one of eight Cowboy players to receive awards at the 2022 All-Southland Conference.

McMahon also received All-SLC first-team honors on a running back and second-team honors on kick returner. He was joined on the All-SLC First Team by offensive lineman Calvin Barkat, linebacker Kordell Williams, defensive lineman Masry Mapieu, and place kicker Garrison Smith.

McNeese also had players honor the second team, with acknowledgments for offensive lineman Caron Coleman and defenseman Tyler Barnes.

McMahon rushed for 1,408 yards for the season at an average of 128.0 per game, ranking fifth in the FCS. He was the first cowboy to win the SLC Rushing title since 2008 (Toddrick Pendland) and the first to win the all-purpose title since 2013 (Diontae Spencer).

He is the sixth McNeese selection to be named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year in school history, and the first since Cody Stroud in 2013.

Barkat played an important role in McMahon’s success and the Cowboys’ running game, which led the conference at 200.5 yards per game. He started in all 11 games of the season and finished his career with 29 straight starts.

Williams led the Cowboys in second place in the conference with 108 total tackles and an average of 10.8 tackles per game.

Mapieu appeared in all 11 games and recorded 27 tackles with 2.5 tackles for a loss and a sack. Smith, meanwhile, made the connection on 10 of 11 field goals and recorded a perfect 25-25 on his extra-point kicks.

Coleman missed the first five games due to concussion protocol but returned to start the last six and helped the Cowboys win the league title. Barnes led the Cowboys while finishing second in the conference with three pass interceptions. He recorded 52 tackles in the season with four tackles for a loss, two of them against Alcorn State.

2022 Southland Conference Award Winner
Player of the Year:
Lindsey Scott, Jr., UIW
Offensive Player of the Year: Deonta McMahon, McNeese
Defender of the Year: Kelechi Anyalebechi, UIW
Newcomer of the Year: Zach Patterson, Northwest State
Newcomer of the Year: Eli Ennis, Nicholls
Offensive Lineman of the Year: John Allen, Southeast
Coach of the Year: Frank Scelfo, Southeast