Lions pull away from Eastern New Mexico in the second half to get 85-78 win and stay unbeaten.
COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce men’s basketball team defeated Eastern New Mexico 85-78 on Thursday to remain perfect on the year. After a back-and-forth first half, the Lion offense came alive as A&M-Commerce led by as many as 15 in the second half.
The win brings the Lions to 8-0 on the year and 3-0 in the Lone Star Conference. It is only the fourth time in program history the team has started the season with eight consecutive wins. The Greyhounds fall to 3-6 and 0-3 in conference play.
The Lions return to action on Saturday, hosting Western New Mexico. The game will be at 1:00 p.m. at the Field House.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Willie Rooks led all scorers with 25 points on the day, making three from downtown and making all six of his foul shots. He had two blocks as well.
– Dorian Armstrong had 16 points, five rebounds, and two steals.
– Reggie Reid had 13 points, seven assists, and seven rebounds. Daquane Willford added 12 points and four assists.
– The Lions assisted on 18 of their 31 field goals. The Lions shot better than 60 percent from the field, shooting 66.7 percent in the second half.
– The only other teams in program history to start their season 8-0 were the teams in 2013-14, 1953-54 and 1947-48.
– There were 15 lead changes in the first half. The Lions never trailed in the second half.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The lead exchanged hands multiple times early in the game, seven times in the first seven minutes. The Lions then went on a run, with five different Lions scoring on an 11-0 run. The Lions led 21-11 midway through the half.
The Greyhounds then answered, scoring 11 in a row of their own to retake the lead. The lead changed hands multiple times again in the later stages of the half. Rooks scored the final five points of the half for the Lions. He hit a three with a minute remaining to give the Lions a 37-35 lead at halftime, a lead they would not relinquish again. Armstrong led the team with 11 points in the first half while Rooks added nine.
Reid had all seven of his assists in the second half as he was a floor general for the Lions. He assisted three consecutive shots, including a fast-break layup and a fast-break dunk that pushed the Lion lead to seven points in the early stages of the second half. It was part of a 10-2 run.
The Lions again pushed their lead to double digits in the middle stages of the second half. Rooks had a three and a layup. The edge eventually pushed to 15 with just under seven minutes left in the game. The Greyhounds tried to rally, scoring nine points in a row to cut the lead to only six points with under five minutes remaining.
The teams traded buckets late, which did not help the ENMU cause. The Lions made enough shots down the stretch to win the game by seven.
Fourth quarter surge leads Lions to a 64-57 overtime victory over Eastern New Mexico on Education Day.
COMMERCE– The Texas A&M University-Commerce women’s basketball team defeated Eastern New Mexico 64-57 in an overtime game on Thursday. Behind the screams of more than 2,000 local ISD school spectators, the Lions overcame an eight-point deficit in the final quarter to force overtime and get the win.
The victory brings the Lions to 5-4 on the season and 2-1 in the Lone Star Conference. ENMU falls to 3-5 and 0-3 in conference play.
The Lions return to action on Saturday, hosting Western New Mexico. The game will be at 11:00 a.m. at the Field House.
INSIDE THE BOX SCORE
– Brianna Wise scored a career-high 30 points, spending a large part of her time at the free throw line. She went 19-for-23 from the charity stripe and had six rebounds.
– Princess Davis had eight points and had two assists. She moved into sixth place in program history, passing former teammate Ashlee Johnson.
– Jenna Price had eight points and seven rebounds.
– The Lions shot 35 free throws in the game, making 27 of them. ENMU shot 11 free throws.
– ENMU led by as many as 14 early in the third quarter. The Lions outscored the Greyhounds by 15 points in the final quarter plus overtime.
HOW IT HAPPENED
The Greyhounds jumped out early, scoring the first seven points of the game. After a layup from Price, ENMU scored two threes in a row to push their lead to 10 points late in the first quarter. Wise had a jumper, and London Holland hit a three-pointer to bring the ENMU lead to 13-8 after the first quarter.
The Lions cut the Greyhound lead to three points early in the second quarter. ENMU then pushed its lead back up to eight. ENMU improved its lead to as many as 12 in that quarter. Wise was active inside, reaching the foul line seven times, making six. The Lions trailed 30-20 at halftime.
Wise had 11 points in the first half. She was the only Lion in half to score more than one basket. The Lions shot just 29 percent in the first half while ENMU shot 50 percent.
An early three from ENMU gave them their largest lead of the day, a 34-20 lead, early in the third quarter. Davis made a bucket plus drew a foul, completing a three-point play to stem the Greyhound rally. It was part of a 6-0 run that cut the Greyhound lead to just eight midway through the third quarter.
Melanie Ransom and Jocelyn Pierce both hit jumpers as the lead was cut to six points late. The Greyhounds held a 40-32 lead going into the fourth quarter.
The Lions cut the lead to just four points early in the fourth quarter. ENMU went on a 5-0 run before Wise hit a three-pointer and two free throws to bring the edge back to four.
Wise took over the game late for the Lions. She scored the final 15 points of the quarter for the Lions and 17 of the Lions’ 19. She was aggressive inside and got to the free throw line 10 times, making all 10 of them. She scored all points in an 8-0 run that gave the Lions their only lead in regulation. She drew a foul with 19 seconds remaining and drained both free throws to give the Lions a 51-49 lead.
ENMU had one final chance to tie the game and succeeded. Mikaehla Connor drove into the lane and nailed an off-balance shot with six seconds remaining. The Lions called timeout but could not hit a buzzer-beating chance to win, sending the game into overtime tied at 51.
After being held scoreless with foul trouble in regulation, Artaejah Gay drained a jumper early in the overtime period to give the Lions a lead. Ransom then hit a three as A&M-Commerce scored the first five points of overtime. Two free throws from Price gave the Lions a 59-53 lead halfway through the overtime.
ENMU hit two consecutive jumpers to bring the Lion lead back down to just two with two minutes left. However, those were the last points the Greyhounds would score. Gay, Ransom, and Wise scored the final five points from the free throw line, and the Lions escaped with the overtime win.
Texas A&M Commerce Mens Basketball – Texas A&M-Commerce vs. Eastern New Mexico – December 7, 2017
The Field House Commerce, Texas
Final Score: Eastern New Mexico 78 at A&M-Commerce 85
Final stats can be downloaded in PDF, HTML and XML formats using the URLs below:
PDF – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182885.pdf
HTML – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182885.html
XML – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182885.xml
If you have any additional needs or questions, please direct them to Texas A&M Commerce.
Texas A&M Commerce Women’s Basketball – Texas A&M-Commerce vs. Eastern New Mexico – December 7, 2017
The Field House Commerce, Texas
Final Score: Eastern New Mexico 57 at A&M-Commerce 64
Final stats can be downloaded in PDF, HTML and XML formats using the URLs below:
PDF – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182873.pdf
HTML – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182873.html
XML – http://archive.statbroadcast.com/182873.xml
If you have any additional needs or questions, please direct them to Texas A&M Commerce.
Regional champion and eighth-ranked Lions host Harding in National Semifinal.
COMMERCE – The No. 8 Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions’ football team aims to keep a fantastic run alive, hosting the NCAA Division II Football Championship Semifinal against the Harding University Bisons on Saturday in front of a nationally televised audience.
WHO: Harding University at Texas A&M University-Commerce
WHERE: Commerce | Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium
WHEN: 2:30 p.m. CST on Saturday, December 9
RECORDS: A&M-Commerce is 12-1 overall. Harding is 11-3.
RANKINGS: A&M-Commerce is ranked No. 8 in the AFCA Coaches’ Poll and the D2Football.com Media Poll. Harding is unranked in either poll but is receiving votes in the AFCA poll.
SEEDINGS: A&M-Commerce is the second seed of the remaining four teams after winning Super Region Four with road wins over No. 12 Winona State, No. 7 Central Washington, and No. 1 Minnesota State. Harding is the third seed of the remaining four teams after winning Super Region Three with road wins over No. 6 Indianapolis, No. 9 Ashland, and No. 10 Ferris State.
VISIT PLAYOFF CENTRAL
LIVE AUDIO: Lion Sports Network — KETR 88.9 FM, Commerce (http://www.ketr.org)
LIVE VIDEO: WatchESPN
LIVE STATS: HERE
LIONS WIN ON THE ROAD, HOST SEMIFINALS
• The Lions took down the No. 1 ranked Minnesota State Mavericks, 31-21, on the road to clinch the regional championship for the first time in school history.
• It is the first time the Lions have played four games in a single postseason.
• The win gave the Lions seven road wins, the most in a season in program history.
STILL PUSHING #ToTheTop
• The Lions ended the regular season at No. 8 in the nation in both the AFCA and D2Football.com polls.
• A&M-Commerce has been ranked in 38 straight AFCA polls, dating back to the 2015 preseason poll.
• It is A&M-Commerce’s 44th all-time appearance in the AFCA poll since its inception in 2000.
• The Lions have played five nationally-ranked teams this season, all inside the top 12.
• A&M-Commerce is the fourth nationally-ranked team the Bisons have faced, all in the top 10 and all in the playoffs.
CARTHEL 5TH IN SCHOOL HISTORY IN WINS
• Head coach Colby Carthel now ranks fifth in A&M-Commerce history in coaching wins with 46 wins.
• However, he will be in fifth for a while, as his 46 wins are still 18 behind J.V. Sikes’ 63 wins in fourth place.
|3||Bob Berry||1935-41, 46-50||72-34-8|
AGAINST THE BISONS
• A&M-Commerce is 3-1 all-time against Harding.
• The Bisons won the last matchup in 2013 in the Live United Texarkana Bowl, 44-3.
• That game was the Lions’ first postseason appearance since 1995. The Lions defeated Harding in 1995 (40-0 in Searcy), 1996 (43-28 in Commerce), and 2001 (14-11 in Commerce).
• The Lions are 18-27-1 all-time against teams from the state of Arkansas.
TOUGH ROAD TO THE SEMIS
• The Lions have won three straight road games to advance to the National Semifinal.
• A&M-Commerce went down the most terrible road since the NCAA Division II playoff field expanded to five rounds in 2004.
• The Lions have defeated three opponents with a combined record of 34-1.
– Winona State (10-1)
– Central Washington (11-0)
– Minnesota State (13-0)
• Only two other teams have beaten three teams with 33 combined wins in a single playoff – Grand Valley State in 2015 (33-1) and Harding this season (33-2).
• 18 teams have won three games to advance to the National Semifinals in the 13 years since the field expanded to five rounds.
• Before this season, six teams advanced to the semifinals with no home games in the first three rounds.
• In 2017, three of the four teams in the semifinals have pushed with three road wins – A&M-Commerce, Harding, and West Florida.
• Of the 18 teams to advance to the semifinals with three wins, only the 2016 Shepherd team hosted their semifinal matchup. That Shepherd team was also undefeated until the semifinal loss to North Alabama.
• Of the 18 three-win semifinalists, two have advanced to the National Championship Game, with the winner of today’s game guaranteed to be the third. A West Florida win at Indiana (Pa.) would be a fourth. The previous two were Northwest Missouri State in 2005 and Wayne State (Mich.) in 2011.
SENIORS BREAK SCHOOL RECORD
• With the win at Tarleton, the senior class broke the school record for wins in a four-year period. The previous record stood since the Tangerine Bowl runs of the early 1950s.
• That record extended with the win at Minnesota State to 40 games won in a four-year span.
PEREZ’ OUTSTANDING SEASON AND CAREER LEAD TO HARLON HILL FINALIST
• The Harlon Hill Trophy announced Lion quarterback Luis Perez as a finalist.
• The AFCA named him a second-team All-American on Wednesday. D2CCA previously named him as the Super Region Four Offensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-Region quarterback.
• He has won the Lone Star Conference J.W. Rollins Award as Offensive Player of the Year. He also earned First-Team All-Lone Star Conference honors for the second consecutive season.
• A Lion quarterback has earned first-team all-LSC honors a total of 17 times since the league’s formation in 1931.
• He became the Lions’ fourth quarterback to repeat as a first-team all-LSC selection, joining Bobby Bounds (1990-91), LSC Hall of Honor member Wade Wilson (1979-80), and R.A. Hitt (1933-34), who was the second-ever all-LSC quarterback.
• Perez’ passing-average has vaulted him to the top of the Division II ranks. He is one of nine passers in Division II averaging over 300 yards passing per game.
|1||Luis Perez, A&M-Commerce||Sr.||13||532-374-10||42||4,388||337.5|
|2||Connor Jessop, Shepherd||Sr.||11||394-249-9||40||3,532||321.1|
|3||Tanner Garry, Slippery Rock||Sr.||11||437-268-9||32||3,522||320.2|
|4||Amir Hall, Bowie St.||Jr.||11||381-249-4||41||3,519||319.9|
|5||Grant Russell, Ohio Dominican||Sr.||10||305-221-3||30||3,182||318.2|
|6||Nick Rooney, Adams St.||Jr.||10||441-271-10||29||3,153||315.3|
|7||Brook Bolles, Central Mo.||Jr.||12||430-242-12||23||3,766||313.8|
|8||Y. Gavalas, LIU Post||Sr.||10||363-257-8||37||3,087||308.7|
|9||Javia Hall, Western N.M.||Sr.||10||458-255-12||24||3,006||300.6|
|10||Barrett Renner, Southern Arkansas||Sr.||11||397-265-10||35||3,204||291.7|
• He did not play high school football, and was a competitive bowler, with 12 perfect 300 games to his name.
• He now has 15 games of 300-plus passing yards in his career, including ten straight games.
• He went 267 passing attempts without an interception over the course of 6-plus games.
• 449:46 of game time elapsed between Perez interceptions.
|SINGLE SEASON PASSING TOUCHDOWN LEADERS|
- Perez also became the school’s single-season passing yardage leader.
• He ranks second in all NCAA Divisions in passing yards this season through 13 games, behind only Oklahoma State’s Mason Rudolph (4,553). The only other quarterback with 4,000 yards this season is Oklahoma’s Baker Mayfield (4,340).
|SINGLE SEASON PASSING YARDAGE LEADERS|
- Perez is also the Lion career leader in three major passing categories.
|CAREER PASSING YARDAGE LEADERS|
|CAREER PASSING COMPLETION LEADERS|
|1.||618||Luis Perez (618-921-15)||2016-pres.|
|2.||375||Bob Bounds (375-706-36)||1987-91|
|3.||372||Kyle Mackey (372-751-44)||1980-83|
|4.||367||Terry Skinner (367-813-45)||1973-77|
|5.||353||Adam Farkes (353-700-30)||2009-10|
|CAREER PASSING TOUCHDOWN LEADERS|
- He ranks first in Division II and ninth in all of the NCAA in career passing yards per game.
|1||Luke Falk , Washington St.||FBS||Sr.||43||2,055-1,404-39||14,486||119||336.9|
|2||Mason Rudolph , Oklahoma St.||FBS||Sr.||41||1,415-894-26||13,267||90||323.6|
|3||Devlin Hodges , Samford||FCS||Jr.||33||1,346-922-25||10,301||79||312.2|
|4||Josh Rosen , UCLA||FBS||Jr.||30||1,169-711-26||9,302||59||310.1|
|5||Riley Ferguson , Memphis||FBS||Sr.||25||884-558-19||7,669||68||306.8|
|6||Gage Gubrud , Eastern Wash.||FCS||Jr.||28||1,005-654-27||8,568||74||306.0|
|7||Chase Burton , Franklin||D-III||Sr.||38||1,255-842-20||11,579||121||304.7|
|8||Baker Mayfield , Oklahoma||FBS||Sr.||47||1,462-1,003-29||14,320||129||304.7|
|9||Luis Perez , A&M-Commerce||D-II||Sr.||26||921-618-15||7,714||74||296.7|
|10||Ryan Sample , Benedictine (IL)||D-III||Sr.||30||1,133-647-34||8,806||82||293.5|
KICKIN’ IT WITH KRISTOV
• Kicker Kristov Martinez was named the Lone Star Conference’s first team All-Conference kicker. He was also named second-team All-Super Region Four by the D2CCA.
• He hit his 50th career field goal at Minnesota State to become the school leader in that category. The 50th field goal was a career-long 48-yarder.
• He hit field goals of 38 yards in each of the two overtime periods of the 34-31 win at Central Washington
• He became the all-time leading scorer with an LSC Player of the Week effort in the regular season finale at Tarleton.
• He scored 15 points in that game and scored 10 points or more in seven games this season. The four field goals at Tarleton tied a school single-game record.
• He has scored 117 points this season. The late Saul Martinez scored 134 points in 2014 to set the school single-season record.
•Martinez was also an LSC All-Academic selection for the second consecutive season. He is majoring in management.
|CAREER SCORING LEADERS|
|1.||318||Kristov Martinez (168 PAT, 50 FG)||2015-pres.|
|2.||281||Billy Watkins (134 PAT, 49 FG)||1990-93|
|3.||224||David Dell (104 PAT, 40 FG)||1995-98|
|4.||222||Aundra Thompson (37 TD)||1972-75|
|5.||219||Saul Martinez (126 PAT, 31 FG)||2013-14|
|CAREER PATs MADE LEADERS|
|1.||168||Kristov Martinez (168-175)||2015-pres.|
|2.||134||Billy Watkins (134-143)||1990-93|
|3.||126||Saul Martinez (126-130)||2013-14|
|4.||121||Leonard Allen (121-134)||1973-76|
|5.||105||Kevin Garman (105-113)||1981-84|
|CAREER FIELD GOALS MADE LEADERS|
|1.||50||Kristov Martinez (50-67)||2015-pres.|
|2.||49||Billy Watkins (49-84)||1990-93|
|3.||40||David Dell (40-61)||1995-98|
|4.||31||Saul Martinez (31-38)||2013-14|
|5.||29||Ha’a Bento (29-44)||2004-05|
|29||Leonard Allen (29-52)||1973-76|
FIREWORKS AFTER A SCORE
• The Lions have excelled on kickoffs, both when kicking the ball away, and when receiving.
• The Lions rank 1st nationally in kickoff return defense, allowing 11.63 yards per return. That average dropped after the Minnesota State game.
• A&M-Commerce is 6th in the nation in kickoff return average at 26.84 yards per return.
WILSON TAKES IT TO THE HOUSE
• Buck Wilson was named the first team all-LSC kick return man. He returned a first-quarter kickoff for a 100-yard touchdown against West Texas A&M, earning LSC Special Teams Player of the Week honors.
• Wilson is the fourth Lion on record with a 100-yard touchdown. He is the 25th player in LSC history with a 100-yard kickoff return. He is the seventh player in Division II this season with a 100-yard kickoff return.
|Bob Sloan||vs. Midwestern State, 1950|
|Marvin Brown||vs. Midwestern State, 1951|
|Gary Berry||vs. Sam Houston State, 1958|
|Buck Wilson||at West Texas A&M, 2017|
• Wilson averages 31.7 yards per kickoff return on 11 returns.
• If he met the return quantity qualification, Wilson would rank fourth in the nation in kick return yardage.
• Wilson also returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown on his first career punt return at Minnesota State.
MACHORRO NAMED ALL-AMERICAN, O-LINEMAN OF THE YEAR
• Tackle Jared Machorro was named a first-team All-American by the American Football Coaches’ Association on Wednesday. It is his second consecutive season as an AFCA All-American after earning second-team honors in 2016.
• It is his fifth career All-America honor.
• He was also named D2CCA First Team All-Region and the Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year.
• The senior was named first team all-LSC after leading the offensive line to a dominant season that saw the Lions qualify for the NCAA Division II playoffs for the third consecutive season.
• It is the second consecutive season he has earned first team all-LSC honors.
• Instituted in 1985, Machorro is the sixth Lion to win ‘Offensive Lineman of the Year’ honors, and the first A&M-Commerce player to do in a single-division LSC.
• He also ranks 11th in the LSC in average punt yardage at 35.5 yards per punt.
• That’s just awesome.
• Actual punter Tristan Perry ranks fourth in the conference with a 39.6-yard punting average. He was named all-LSC honorable mention.
HOBBS EARNS TOP HONORS
• Tight end (or A in the Lions’ system), Vincent Hobbs has had key touchdown receptions in each of the Lions’ playoff victories this season.
• He was named first team all-Lone Star Conference when the league honors were released.
• He is the first Lion tight end to be named first team all-conference since Corey Goodall in 2006.
• The shortlist of Lion tight ends named the first team all-conference include Gary Compton (1988 & 1990), Javier Cardenas (1983 & 1984), Dudley Slice (1972), and Tom Black (1967).
• Cornerback Yusef Sterling-Lowe was named a second-team All-American by the AFCA after earning first team all-Lone Star Conference honors for a highly successful season in both run and pass defense.
• He was named the LSC Defensive Player of the Week with two interceptions at A&M-Kingsville.
• He had 27 regular season tackles as a cornerback with a season-best eight stops against Eastern New Mexico.
•At Winona, he had a key pass breakup.
• At CWU, he had four tackles with a tackle for loss and a pass breakup.
FIRE AND ICE
• Today’s game features two offenses on the opposite spectrum of styles of play, while both are exceptional in their right.
• The Lions own the nation’s top passing offense, throwing the ball to the account of 355.2 yards per game.
• The Bisons have the nation’s No. 2 rushing offense, carrying the ball for 347.7 yards per game. The only team ahead of Harding in rushing offense is A&M-Commerce’s LSC rival Eastern New Mexico, who leads the nation at 352.7 yards per game on the ground.
ALL-LEAGUE HONORS FOR TOP STOPPER
• Middle linebacker Brucks Saathoff earned first team all-Lone Star Conference honors after he led the Lions in the regular season with 59 stops including three tackles for loss and two sacks. He forced a fumble, had a pass breakup, and five quarterback hurries.
• He had a season-high 12 tackles in the win at West Texas A&M, winning LSC Defensive Player of the Week honors.
• After earning all-Conference honors, Saathoff was the defensive leader for the Lions at Winona State with a critical goalline interception, as well as eight tackles and a tackle for loss.
• He had 11 tackles with a sack to lead the Lion defense at Central Washington.
LIONS ALL-TIME IN THE POSTSEASON
|Jan 1, 1953|
Machorro, Perez, Sterling-Lowe named AFCA All-Americans.
WACO — The Texas A&M University-Commerce football team has become the first team ever to have three players named All-American by the American Football Coaches Association in the same season, as they announced the teams Wednesday morning. Offensive lineman Jared Machorro was named First Team All-American, and quarterback Luis Perez and cornerback Yusef Sterling-Lowe earned Second Team All-American honors.
With these selections, national semifinalist A&M-Commerce now has the second-most All-Americans in the history of the AFCA program, with 19 players earning a total of 22 All-American honors. The Lions’ streak of five straight seasons with a selection going back to the 2013 season is the longest active streak in Division II.
Machorro – a senior tackle from Coldspring – is one of six repeat honorees as an AFCA All-American in 2017 after earning second-team honors in 2016. It is his fifth career All-America honor. He was previously named first team All-Region by the Division II Conference Commissioners’ Association, the Lone Star Conference Offensive Lineman of the Year, and was named first-team all-LSC after leading the offensive line to a dominant season that saw the Lions lead the nation in passing. He has twice earned first-team all-LSC honors. Machorro is the sixth Lion to win Offensive Lineman of the Year honors since the award became instituted in 1985, and the first A&M-Commerce player to do in a single-division LSC.
Perez – a senior quarterback from Chula Vista, Calif. – earns his second career postseason All-America honor after leading the nation in passing. Perez was also named the Super Region Four Offensive Player of the Year and First Team All-Region by the D2CCA. The Harlon Hill Trophy finalist is Division II’s leading passer, averaging 337.5 yards per game, completing 374-of-532 passes for 4,388 yards with 42 touchdowns and ten interceptions, throwing for over 300 yards in 10 consecutive games. Perez won the Lone Star Conference’s J.W. Rollins Award as the offensive player of the year and has been named the First Team All-Lone Star Conference quarterback in both of his seasons as a Lion.
He is Division II’s active career leader in passing yards per game (296.7 yards per game in his career), ranking ninth in all NCAA divisions. He is one of only three players in all NCAA divisions with over 4,000 passing yards this season. He has a career record of 23-3 as the Lions’ starting quarterback. Over his two-year Lion career, Perez has completed 618-of-921 passes for 7,714 yards with 74 touchdowns and 15 interceptions. He has thrown for over 300 yards in 15 of his 26 career games.
Sterling-Lowe – a senior quarterback from Oakland, Calif. – was previously named First Team All-Lone Star Conference and earns his first career All-America award. He has been one of the top cornerbacks in the nation in both pass and running defense. He has made 34 tackles with 5.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, and eight total passes defended.
The Lions (12-1) host the NCAA Division II Football Championship National Semifinal on Ernest Hawkins Field at Memorial Stadium this Saturday. Kickoff against Harding University is 2:30 p.m. Tickets are available by visiting www.WeAreLionsTix.com, calling (903) 468-8756, or visiting the Box Office in the Field House.
|2017 AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America – First Team|
|RB||*Kamal Cass||5-11||185||Sr.||Eastern New Mexico|
|WR||Donta Armstrong||5-10||151||Sr.||West Alabama|
|WR||Weston Carr||6-2||200||So.||Azusa Pacific|
|TE||Seth Hebert||6-4||225||R-Jr.||Central Missouri|
|OL||Desmond Harrison||6-7||288||Sr.||West Georgia|
|DL||Blake Nelson||5-11||230||Sr.||Colorado Mesa|
|DL||*Marcus Martin||6-2||255||R-Sr.||Slippery Rock|
|DL||*Zach Sieler||6-6||290||Jr.||Ferris St.|
|DL||Nathan Shepherd||6-5||300||Sr.||Fort Hays St.|
|LB||Brandon Payer||6-4||248||Jr.||Colorado St.-Pueblo|
|DB||Max Redfield||6-1||205||Sr.||Indiana (Pa.)|
|DB||Chris Johnson||6-3||200||Jr.||North Alabama|
|DB||Marcus Jones||6-0||178||Sr.||Northwest Missouri St.|
|DB||Andrew Spencer||6-1||210||Sr.||Winona St.|
|PK||Casey Bednarski||6-1||230||Jr.||Minnesota St.|
|P||Cody Mikell||6-0||215||Sr.||Henderson St.|
*-2016 AFCA All-American
**-2015 & 2016 AFCA All-American
|2017 AFCA Division II Coaches’ All-America – Second Team|
|RB||*Chris Robinson||5-9||196||Sr.||Delta St.|
|RB||Ja’Quan Gardner||5-7||205||Sr.||Humboldt St.|
|WR||Keshaun Taylor||6-1||180||Sr.||Mars Hill|
|WR||J.T. Luper||5-9||175||Sr.||Central Oklahoma|
|TE||Tanner Hudson||6-5||239||R-Sr.||Southern Arkansas|
|OL||Dontavius Blair||6-7||294||Sr.||West Alabama|
|OL||Taylor Nikithser||6-4||300||Sr.||California (Pa.)|
|OL||Austin Fleer||6-8||300||Sr.||Colorado Mesa|
|OL||Sam Lee||6-5||300||Sr.||Augustana (S.D.)|
|OL||Islam Sbeih||6-1||298||Sr.||Midwestern St.|
|DL||Davondrick Lison||6-2||213||R-Jr.||Southern Arkansas|
|DL||Adonis Davis||6-3||257||R-Jr.||Florida Tech|
|DL||Markus Jones||6-3||255||Jr.||Angelo St.|
|LB||Dennis Gardeck||6-0||205||Gr.||Sioux Falls|
|LB||Kevin Haynes||6-1||228||Sr.||Central Washington|
|DB||Tevin Madison||5-10||168||Sr.||West Alabama|
|DB||Tavierre Thomas||6-0||205||Sr.||Ferris St.|
|DB||Darius Williams||6-0||195||Jr.||Colorado St.-Pueblo|
|P||Justin Marcha||6-1||200||Sr.||Emporia St.|
*-2016 AFCA All-American
Team Background: The five teams now chosen for each AFCA division evolved from a single 11-player squad in 1945. From 1945 until 1967, only one elected. From 1967 through 1971, two teams – University Division and College Division – were selected. In 1972, the College Division split into College I and College II. In 1979, the University Division split into two teams — FBS and FCS. In 1996, the College I and College II teams were renamed Division II and Division III respectively. In 2006, the AFCA started selecting an NAIA-only team. From 1965-81, they chose a 22-player (11-offensive, 11-defensive) team. In 1982, they added a punter and placekicker to the team. In 1997, a return specialist was added, giving us the current 25-player roster. The return specialist position was replaced by an all-purpose player in 2006.
Selection Process: The AFCA’s Division II All-America Selection Committee is made up of three head coaches from each of the AFCA’s seven districts, one of whom serves as a district chairman, along with another head coach who serves as the chairman of the selection committee. The coaches in each district are responsible for ranking the top players before conference call between the district chairmen and the committee chairman on which they select teams.