UCA’s Smith, McNeese’s Dunn and Hicks Named Southland Players of the Week

first_imgFRISCO, Texas – Central Arkansas’ Breylin Smith and McNeese’s Darion Dunn and D’Andre Hicks are the Southland Football Players of the Week, the league announced Monday.Smith claimed his second consecutive Offensive Player of the Week honor after leading the Bears (7-2, 5-1 SLC) to an impressive 45-17 road victory over Lamar. The sophomore tipped the efficiency charts, converting 30-of-37 pass attempts for four touchdowns and 434 yards. He also added in a trio of carries and a rushing touchdown in the UCA victory to keep the Bears in first place among Southland standings. Smith and the Central Arkansas squad will look to push their win streak to five games at home this Saturday at 3 p.m. CT against Southeastern Louisiana.Dunn nabbed his first Defensive Player of the Week award this season after boosting the Cowboys (6-4, 4-3 SLC) to a 30-20 win at home over Northwestern State. The junior locked down the McNeese defense with four tackles, two pass breakups and a pair of interceptions. Dunn’s impressive play came in the Cowboys’ home finale and marks their third consecutive victory.Hicks registered his first Special Teams honor after returning a pair of kicks for the Cowboys for 122 yards and one touchdown Saturday against NSU. The sophomore’s score came on a 96-yard kickoff return, pulling McNeese within one point (7-6) just 13 seconds after the Demons first touchdown. Hicks and the Cowboys will return to action this Saturday on the road against Nicholls in a 3 p.m. kickoff.Offensive Player of the Week: Breylin Smith, Central Arkansas – R-So. – Quarterback – Conway, Ark.Smith was nearly flawless, completing 30 of 37 passes (81%) for a career-high 434 yards and 4 touchdowns in three quarters of action. The sophomore completed five passes of 25+ yards to 10 different receivers, while also adding in a rushing touchdown. Smith led the No. 9/10 Bears to a season-high 505 yards of total offense, averaging 7.4 yards per play.Honorable Mention: Julien Gums, Nicholls; Cody Orgeron, McNeese; Devonte Williams, Southeastern La.Defensive Player of the Week: Darion Dunn, McNeese – Jr. – Cornerback – Oakdale, La.Dunn completed a pair of interceptions in McNeese’s 30-20 win over Northwestern State this past Saturday. His two picks led to 10-total points for the Cowboys. Dunn’s first interception sparked a seven-play drive for McNeese that resulted in a field goal to close the NSU lead to 10-9. His final interception of the game came late in the third quarter on the Cowboys’ 46-yard line, igniting a 21-point McNeese run. The junior cornerback now has a pair of two-interception games this season.Honorable Mention: Sully Laiche, Nicholls; Ferlando Jordan, Southeastern La.; Cameron Godfrey; Central Arkansas Special Teams Player of the Week: D’Andre Hicks, McNeese – So. – Kick Returner – Punta Gorda, Fla.Hicks produced McNeese’s first score of the game on a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, marking his first of the season and his first since the Cowboys’ 2018 season finale against Lamar. Hick’s return stands as the fourth-longest in school history. He concluded the contest with a pair of returns for 122 yards and a 61-yard return average for the evening.Honorable Mention: Hayden Ray, Central Arkansas; Austin Dunlap, Southeastern La.; Enrique Carmona, LamarSouthland weekly award winners are nominated and voted upon by each school’s sports information director. Voting for one’s own athlete is not permitted. To earn honorable mention, a student-athlete must appear on 25 percent of ballots.last_img read more