Southland announces 2018 All-Conference football teams

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FRISCO, Texas – Nicholls’ Chase Fourcade headlines the 2018 Southland Conference All-Conference Football teams, announced by the league Tuesday. The Colonels’ quarterback is the Southland’s Player of the Year and is joined on the two all-conference teams by 14 of his teammates. The league’s yearly awards are presented by Ready Nutrition.

Fourcade paced the conference in passing efficiency (148.5), throwing the league’s fewest interceptions (six) and completing 176 passes for 2,447 yards and 19 touchdowns to lead the Colonels to a conference co-championship. He added nine scores on the ground and rushed for 488 yards, which ranked second among quarterbacks in the league.

The Metairie, La., native is one of seven superlative award winners announced Tuesday, along with Coach of the Year Eric Morris (Incarnate Word), Offensive Player of the Year Jazz Ferguson (Northwestern State) and Defensive Player of the Year BJ Blunt (McNeese).

UIW quarterback Jon Copeland is the Freshman of the year, and Abilene Christian’s Billy McCrary and Lamar’s Jordan Hoy are co-Newcomers of the Year. Offensive Lineman of the Year is Lamar’s Garrett Bowery.

A first-year head coach, Morris engineered an amazing turnaround in guiding the Cardinals to a regular-season co-championship after a 1-10 mark last season. UIW is in its second season of Division I competition and was picked to finish ninth in the conference preseason poll.

Ferguson led the Southland and ranked top-10 nationally with 1,117 receiving yards and 13 touchdown catches, and he topped 100 yards on six occasions, including a 138-yard performance against Sam Houston State. The St. Francisville, La., native scored the most points of any wideout in the conference (82).

A nightmare for opposing offenses, Blunt finished among the top-10 in the country in three categories: Sacks per game (1.1), solo tackles per game (6.0) and tackles for loss per game (2.0). He tallied 5.5 tackles for loss against Stephen F. Austin and compiled 20 total tackles against ACU, both of which are the third-most by an FCS player this season.

Copeland played a vital role in UIW’s run to a share of the conference title and established himself as one of the top arms in the league, finishing as the conference leader in passing yards per game (298.4) and ranking third in total yards (2,984) and efficiency (137.3).

McCrary averaged the most yards per carry in the conference (8.2) and found pay dirt 10 times through the air and on the ground.

Hoy, a two-time Offensive Player of the Week, scored seven of his nine touchdowns and racked up 692 yards of total offense in two crucial road wins against SFA and UCA in place of Darrell Colbert Jr.

Bowery, a first-team pick in his final season, paved the way for a Lamar rushing attack that led the conference and ranked 12th nationally in yards per game (250.3).

Nicholls leads the way with 15 total all-conference selections, followed by Central Arkansas, UIW and Southeastern Louisiana each with seven. ACU, McNeese and SHSU each placed five on the all-league teams, and Lamar, NSU and SFA rounded out the list with three, two and one, respectively.

In total, 12 honorees are returning all-Southland selections, led by three-time selections Chandler Arceneaux, Sully Laiche and Allen Pittman of Nicholls and SHSU’s Davion Davis and Nathan Stewart.

All-Southland Conference teams are voted on by the league’s head coaches and sports information directors. Voting for one’s own athletes is not permitted. To receive honorable mention, a player must appear on 25 percent of ballots.

2018 Southland Conference Football Individual Superlative Winners
Coach of the Year: Eric Morris, Incarnate Word
Player of the Year: Chase Fourcade, Nicholls
Offensive Player of the Year: Jazz Ferguson, Northwestern State
Defensive Player of the Year: BJ Blunt, McNeese
Freshman of the Year: Jon Copeland, Incarnate Word
Co-Newcomer of the Year: Jordan Hoy, Lamar
Co-Newcomer of the Year: Billy McCrary, Abilene Christian
Offensive Lineman of the Year: Garrett Bowery, Lamar

2018 Southland Conference Football First Team All-Conference Offense
Pos. Name School Class Hometown
QB Chase Fourcade Nicholls Jr. Metairie, La.
RB Ra'Quanne Dickens Incarnate Word Sr. Seminole, La.
RB Carlos Blackman2 Central Arkansas Jr. Gosnell, Ark.
TE/HB Bransen Schwebel Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Amite, La.
WR Jazz Ferguson Northwestern State Jr. St. Francisville, La.
WR Davion Davis3 Sam Houston State Sr. Hutto, Texas
WR Phillip Baptist Incarnate Word Sr. Fort Worth, Texas
OL Garrett Bowery Lamar Sr. Union Grove, Texas
OL Hunter Watts Central Arkansas Jr. San Antonio, Texas
OL Ryan Hanley2 Nicholls Sr. Metairie, La.
OL Chandler Arceneaux Nicholls Sr. Bourg, La.
OL Brandon Floores Incarnate Word Jr. La Vernia, Texas
AP Juwan Petit-Frere2 Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Orlando, Fla.
PK Lorran Fonseca2 Nicholls Sr. Hercules, Calif.
P Alex Kjellsten McNeese Sr. Lake Charles, La.
2018 Southland Conference Football First Team All-Conference Defense
Pos. Name School Class Hometown
DL Sully Laiche3 Nicholls Jr. Grammercy, La.
DL Derick Roberson Sam Houston State Sr. San Antonio, Texas
DL Chris Terrell2 Central Arkansas Jr. Pensacola, Fla.
DL Justin Alexandre Incarnate Word Sr. Elmont, N.Y.
LB BJ Blunt McNeese Sr. New Orleans, La.
LB Jeremiah Chambers Abilene Christian Jr. Austin, Texas
LB Evan Veron Nicholls Jr. LaPlace, La.
DB Davon Jernigan Lamar Sr. Navasota, Texas
DB Hayden Bourgeois Northwestern State So. Church Point, La.
DB Zyon McCollum Sam Houston State So. Galveston, Texas
DB Colby Burton McNeese Jr. League City, Texas
DB Juan Jackson Central Arkansas Jr. Gardendale, Ala.
KR Juwan Petit-Frere Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Orlando, Fla.
PR Devonte Williams Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Columbia, Md.
2017 Southland Conference Football Second Team All-Conference Offense
Pos. Name School Class Hometown
QB Jon Copeland Incarnate Word Fr. Argyle, Texas
RB Billy McCrary Abilene Christian Jr. Austin, Texas
RB Dontrell Taylor Nicholls Jr White Castle, La.
TE/HB Cody Ennis Abilene Christian Sr. San Antonio, Texas
WR Nathan Stewart3 Sam Houston State Jr. Dallas, Texas
WR Dai'Jean Dixon Nicholls So. New Orleans, La.
WR Juwan Petit-Frere Southeastern Louisiana Jr. Orlando, Fla.
OL Eddie Houston Nicholls Sr. Newton, Miss.
OL Terence Hickman II Incarnate Word Jr. Converse, Texas
OL Grant Burguillos McNeese Jr. Mandeville, La.
OL Bill Weber Abilene Christian Sr. Coppell, Texas
OL Dakota Laws Abilene Christian Sr. Denton, Texas
AP Cedric Battle Central Arkansas Sr. Wichita Falls, Texas
PK Jonathan Tatum Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Alexandria, La.
P Winston Jones Nicholls Jr. Thibodaux, La.
2017 Southland Conference Football Second Team All-Conference Defense
Pos. Name School Class Hometown
DL Chris Livings McNeese Jr. Lake Charles, La.
DL Daniel Crosley Lamar Jr. DeRidder, La.
DL Eric Jackson2 Central Arkansas Sr. Apopka, Fla.
DL Erick Fowler Sam Houston State Jr. Austin, Texas
LB Silas Stewart Incarnate Word Sr. Wilmington, Del.
LB Allen Pittman3 Nicholls Jr. St. Rose, La.
LB Tamarcus Russell Southeastern Louisiana Sr. Dadeville, Ala.
DB Darren Evans Nicholls So. Baton Rouge, La.
DB Ahmani Martin2 Nicholls Sr. Reserve, La.
DB Khristian Mims Nicholls Jr. Baton Rouge, La.
DB Bolu Onifade Abilene Christian Jr. Oklahoma City, Okla.
DB Alize Ward2 Stephen F. Austin Jr. San Diego, Calif.
KR Cedric Battle Central Arkansas Sr. Wichita Falls, Texas
PR Damion Jeanpiere, Jr. Nicholls Sr. Kenner, La.
Honorable Mention: QB: Luke Anthony, Abilene Christian; Darrel Colbert Jr., Lamar; Shelton Eppler, Northwestern State; Bailey Zappe, Houston Baptist RB: Kierre Crossley, Central Arkansas; Darren Johnson, Southeastern Louisiana; Myles Wanza, Lamar. TE/HB: Case Robinson, Lamar. WR: Jakari Dillard, Central Arkansas; Kody Edwards, Incarnate Word; Damion Jeanpiere, Nicholls; Tamrick Pace, Stephen F. Austin; Jarreth Sterns, Houston Baptist; Cyron Sutton, McNeese; Jaylen Watson, Northwestern State. OL: Pat Allen, Southeastern Louisiana; Frank Boudreaux, Northwestern State; P.J. Burkhalter, Nicholls; Kade Parmelly, Abilene Christian; Tristan Wendt, Sam Houston State. AP: Ameer King, Incarnate Word. PK: Gunnar Raborn, McNeese. DL: Isaac Adeyemi-Berglund, Southeastern Louisiana; Cole Burgess, Abilene Christian; Brandon Fontenot, Nicholls; Dedrick Garner, Lamar; Dante Hibbert, Abilene Christian; Obi Iheoma, Northwestern State; Jon Miller, Southeastern Louisiana; Darrius Montgomery, Incarnate Word; Ronald Ollie, Nicholls; Cody Roscoe, McNeese. LB: Chaston Brooks, Lamar; Mar’kel Cooks, Incarnate Word; Raphael Garner, Central Arkansas; Jack Gibbens, Abilene Christian; West Lambert, Incarnate Word; Langston Tunson, Houston Baptist. DB: Adrian Contreras, Sam Houston State; Adonis Davis, Abilene Christian; Trenton Gordon, Stephen F. Austin; Jackie Harvell, Central Arkansas; Aretavious Hendrix, Stephen F. Austin; Xavier Lewis, Southeastern Louisiana; Louis Otis, Incarnate Word; Malick Phillips, Incarnate Word; Rodney Randle, Lamar; Robert Rochelle, Central Arkansas. KR: Myles Ward, Northwestern State.