FRISCO, Texas – The Southland Conference announced its annual football awards and all-conference teams Wednesday, highlighted by Player of the Year Lindsey Scott, Jr., of UIW and Coach of the Year Frank Scelfo of Southeastern.
Conference co-champions UIW and Southeastern led the all-conference honorees with the Lions earning 14 picks (six first teamers and eight second teamers) and the Cardinals earning 13 picks (nine first teamers and four second teamers.
Northwestern State and McNeese each had eight honorees, Texas A&M-Commerce had five picks, Nicholls earned four selections, HCU notched three picks, and Lamar had one honoree.
Walter Payton Award nominee Scott’s impressive season helped push UIW to a co-conference championship, a 10-1 record, and the No. 7 national seed in the FCS playoffs. He completed 240-of-328 passes for 3,791 yards with 50 touchdown passes against only four interceptions. He became the first FCS quarterback to throw seven touchdown passes in a half on two occasions. Scott leads the nation in passing efficiency (218.1), yards per pass attempt (11.56), point responsibility (348), and point responsibility per game (31.6), and ranks second in the nation in passing touchdowns (50), total passing yards (3,791), and passing yards per game (344.6). Scott also earns first team all-Southland honors at quarterback and is the first UIW player to ever earn Southland Player of the Year laurels.
The conference’s other Walter Payton Award nominee – running back Deonta McMahon of McNeese – was named the Offensive Player of the Year. He ranks fifth nationally in total rushing yardage and yards per game, carrying the ball 191 times for 1,408 yards and 12 touchdowns, averaging 128.0 yards per game. He is the first McNeese Cowboy to lead the SLC in rushing since Toddrick Penland in 2008. As well as his first team all-Southland honors at running back, McMahon is the second team honoree at kickoff returner. He is the first McNeese player to win Offensive Player of the Year since Cody Stroud in 2013.
UIW’s Kelechi Anyalebechi earned Defensive Player of the Year honors, becoming the first UIW player to win the award. He also won first team all-Southland at linebacker, recording 88 total tackles (8.0 per game). The Buck Buchanan Award finalist had double-digit tackles in six games, including 15 stops in a win at Texas A&M-Commerce. He added 7.5 tackles for loss, two interceptions, a fumble recovery, and three pass breakups.
John Allen of Southeastern was named the Offensive Lineman of the Year, helping pave the way for a Lion offense that averaged 432.8 yards per game and claimed co-Southland championship honors. The Lions finished in the top three in the conference in both rushing and passing offense. He’s the first Lion to ever win this award.
Freshman of the Year honors went to Eli Ennis of Nicholls. The linebacker is a Jerry Rice Award nominee and led the conference in tackles for loss at 1.11 per game. He’s the first Colonel to win this award since 2004.
Wide receiver Zach Patterson of Northwestern State was named the Newcomer of the Year, and also earned second team all-conference honors. He ranked fourth in the league in receiving yards per game at 64.5. He had 83 catches for 710 yards and five touchdowns in his first season for the Demons. He’s the first NSU player to win Newcomer of the Year since 2013.
Southeastern’s Frank Scelfo was named the Southland Coach of the Year after leading the Lions to their third Southland championship with a 5-1 conference record and 8-3 overall mark. The Lions earned the league’s automatic qualification to the playoffs, where they will host a playoff game for the second straight season. This is his second time to win Coach of the Year (2019) and the third honor for Southeastern (Ron Roberts, 2013).
2022 Southland Conference Football Individual Superlative Winners
Player of the Year: Lindsey Scott, Jr., UIW
Offensive Player of the Year: Deonta McMahon, McNeese
Defensive Player of the Year: Kelechi Anyalebechi, UIW
Newcomer of the Year: Zach Patterson, Northwestern State
Freshman of the Year: Eli Ennis, Nicholls
Offensive Lineman of the Year: John Allen, Southeastern
Coach of the Year: Frank Scelfo, Southeastern
2022 Southland Conference Football First Team All-Conference Offense

QBLindsey Scott, Jr.UIWGr.Zachary, La.
RBDeonta McMahon 2McNeeseSr.Frostproof, Fla.
RBJulien GumsNichollsSr.New Orleans, La.
TE/HBTravon JonesNorthwestern StateFr.Miami, Fla.
WRAndrew ArmstrongTexas A&M-CommerceSo.Dallas, Texas
WRTaylor Grimes 2UIWSr.Godley, Texas
WRDarion ChafinUIWGr.Wichita Falls, Texas
OLJohn Allen 2SoutheasternJr.Jackson, Miss.
OLCaleb JohnsonUIWGr.Mount Pleasant, Texas
OLEvan Roussel 3NichollsSo.Lutcher, La.
OLReid FrancisUIWSr.College Station, Texas
OLCalvin BarkatMcNeeseSr.Sachse, Texas
PKGarrison SmithMcNeeseFr.Norwalk, Ohio
PAustin DunlapSoutheasternJr.Slidell, La.

2022 Southland Conference Football First Team All-Conference Defense

DLChris WhittakerUIWGr.Lauderdale Lakes, Fla.
DLSteven ParkerUIWSr.Dallas, Texas
DLCelestin HabaTexas A&M-CommerceSr.Columbia, S.C.
DLMasry MapieuMcNeeseSr.York, Neb.
LBKelechi Anyalebechi 4UIWGr.Pearland, Texas
LBKordell Williams 2McNeeseR-Sr.Carencro, La.
LBRodney Dansby 2HCUSo.Houston, Texas
DBJack HendersonSoutheasternSo.Mandeville, La.
DBDonte ThompsonUIWJr.Pensacola, Fla.
DBZy AlexanderSoutheasternSo.Loreauville, La.
DBFerlando Jordan 2SoutheasternR-Sr.Atlanta, Ga,
DBD’Ante SmithTexas A&M-CommerceSr.Richardson, Texas
KRGage Larvadain 2SoutheasternSo.Donaldsonville, La.
PRBJ BusbeeTexas A&M-CommerceSr.Long Beach, Calif.

2022 Southland Conference Football Second Team All-Conference Offense

QBZachary ClementNorthwestern StateSo.Broussard, La.
RBMarcus CooperUIWGr.Altair, Texas
RBCarlos Washington, Jr.SoutheasternSr.Clinton, Md.
TE/HBIvan DrobockySoutheasternSo.Bowling Green, Ky.
WRJavon AntonioNorthwestern StateR-Jr.LaPlace, La.
WRGage Larvadain 2SoutheasternSo.Donaldsonville, La.
WRZach PattersonNorthwestern StateJr.Corinth, Miss.
OLJimeto ObigboUIWSo.Arlington, Texas
OLNash Jones 2UIWJr.Nacogdoches, Texas
OLDom Serapiglia IIISoutheasternR-So.Jefferson Hills, Pa.
OLCaron ColemanMcNeeseSr.St. Louis, Mo.
OLJhy OrgeronSoutheasternSo.Galliano, La.
PKRiley CallaghanSoutheasternFr.Ashburn, Va.
PBrady Buell 2HCUSr.Traverse City, Mich.

2022 Southland Conference Football Second Team All-Conference Defense

DLPerry Ganci 2NichollsJr.New Orleans, La.
DLJalyx HuntHCUJr.DeBary, Fla.
DLJomard Valsin, Jr. 2Northwestern StateSr.Port Arthur, Texas
DLArlen WilliamsSoutheasternR-Jr.Boothville, La.
LBDonte’ DanielsSoutheasternSo.Slidell, La.
LBTyler JacksonLamarJr.DeSoto, Texas
LBDee WalkerTexas A&M-CommerceSr.Moultrie, Ga.
DBJordan JacksonNichollsJr.Prairieville, La.
DBPJ HerringtonNorthwestern StateSr.Natchez, Miss.
DBWilliam HooperNorthwestern StateSr.Montgomery, Ala.
DBKaleb Culp 2UIWJr.Dallas, Texas
DBTyler BarnesMcNeeseSr.D’Iberville, Miss.
KRDeonta McMahonMcNeeseSr.Frostproof, Fla.
PRPJ HerringtonNorthwestern StateSr.Natchez, Miss.

2 = Two-time All-Conference
3 = Three-time All-Conference
4 = Four-time All-Conference

Southland award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s head coach. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. No player may earn more than one superlative award. 

{Courtesy: Southland Conference}