SLC presents awards, McMahon Offensive Player of the Year – American Press

SLC presents awards, McMahon Offensive Player of the Year

Published Thursday, November 24, 2022 at 11:00 am

McNeese State running back Southland Conference rushing and all-purpose yards champion Deonta McMahon was named the conference’s Offensive Player of the Year on Wednesday.

McNeese ended up eighth in the two teams.

In addition, McMahon was called up to the first-team as a second-team running back and kick returner. Offensive lineman Calvin Barkat earned first-team honors, as did linebacker Kordell Williams, defensive lineman Masry Mapieu and freshman placekicker Garrison Smith.

Second-team awards went to offensive lineman Caron Coleman and defensive back Tyler Barnes.

Co-champions Incarnate Word and Southeastern Louisiana led the All-Conference honorees, with the Lions earning 14 picks (six first and eight second) and the Cardinals earning 13 picks (nine first and four second).

UIW quarterback Lindsey Scott, one of 30 finalists for the Walter Payton Award for Outstanding Offensive Player in the Football Championship Subdivision, was named Player of the Year. Southeast Louisiana’s Frank Scelfo was Coach of the Year.

Scott completed 240 of 328 passes for 3,791 yards with 50 touchdown passes against four interceptions. Scott leads the nation in passing efficiency (218.1), yards per passing attempt (11.56), points responsibility (348), and points responsibility per game (31.6), and ranks second in the nation in passing touchdowns (50), passing Total yards (3,791) and yards per game (344.6).

McMahon rushed for 1,408 yards at an average of 128 per game, which earned him fifth place in the FCS. His 7.4 yards-per-carry average ranked fourth in the nation and No. 1 in the conference. He became the first cowboy to win the League 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.

The senior rushed for 100 yards or more seven times, including three straight season-ending games when he rushed for 211, 197 and a career-high 239 yards.

He officiated the conference and ranked 20th in the nation with 12 rushing touchdowns and 1st overall in the SLC and 14th nationally with 14 touchdowns scored. Additionally, he ranked second in the FCS (first in the SLC) with 171.8 all-purpose yards per game.

A preseason All-Conference pick, Barkat, a native of Sachse, Texas, played a key role in the success of McMahon and the Cowboys’ running game, which led the conference at 200.5 yards per game. He started in all 11 games and finished his career with 29 straight starts.

Williams, a Buck Buchanan Award nominee for FCS’s Best Defensive Player, led the Cowboys and placed second in the conference with 108 total tackles and an average of 10.8 tackles per game. He ranked seventh in the league with nine tackles lost while adding 2.5 sacks, a pass break-up and three quarterback rushes. He recorded 10 or more tackles six times with a high of 15 stops against Alcorn State and Southeastern Louisiana.

Mapieu appeared in all 11 games and recorded 27 tackles with 2.5 tackles for loss and a sack.

Smith hit on 10 of 11 field goal attempts and was 25-to-25 on extra-point kicks. He hit a long field goal of 47 yards. His 10 field goals ranked second in the SLC, while his 84 points also ranked second, tying him with McMahon. Twenty-seven of his 44 kickoffs went for touchbacks.

Coleman was an all-conference offensive lineman in 2021 and was a preseason selection that season. He missed the first five games due to concussion protocol but returned to start the last six.

In his freshman year and only season as a Cowboy, Barnes led the Cowboys while finishing second in the conference with three interceptions. He recorded 52 tackles with four tackles for the loss. He finished eighth in the league with seven passes and finished seventh with 10 passes defended. He also forced two fumbles.