OBU dominates all-GAC football team
its second Great American Conference championship in the last four years, and third overall, Ouachita Baptist was well represented on the all-GAC football team released Tuesday.
The Tigers led all schools with 17 total selections while Todd Knight was named coach of the year for the third time.
OBU wide receivers Allie Freeman and Drew Harris received first-team all-GAC honors along with offensive linemen Cori and Justin Gooseberry.
Harris set a conference record with 27 total touchdowns, including seven in a 49-42 win over Henderson State on Saturday, while Freeman hauled in 63 passes for 879 yards and nine touchdowns.
Finishing with 67 receptions for 1,109 yards and 16 touchdowns, Arkansas-Monticello receiver Jalen Tolliver was named offensive player of the year. His 16 receiving touchdowns tied for first in Division II.
Preseason favorite Southern Arkansas had a leaguehigh seven first-team selections, Davondrick Lison named defensive player of the year after leading the conference in sacks (7.5) and tackles for loss (16.5).
Quarterback Barrett Renner, running back Michael Nunnery, receiver Karonce Higgins, tight end Tanner Hudson, defensive tackle Travis Williams and safety Elgin Moore joined Lison on the first-team for the 7-4 Muleriders.
Rebounding from an 0-3 start to finish 8-3 under firstyear coach Paul Simmons, Harding received eight all-GAC selections. Offensive lineman Gavin De Los Santos (Lake Hamilton) and linebacker Sam Blankenship represented the Bisons on the all-GAC first team.
Arkansas Tech received five first-team selections while Henderson State had three. Safety Cua’ Rose was a unanimous selection for the 8-3 Wonderboys, joined on the first-team by fullback Chris Eastburn, offensive lineman Trey Bradley, linebacker KJ Reid and return specialist Braden Stringer.
Center Cory Stitle, defensive end Sam Johnson and punter Cody Mickell represented the 6-5 Reddies on the all-GAC first-team.
Leading the conference with 1,097 rushing yards while scoring eight touchdowns, East Central running back Ontario Douglas was named the freshman of the year. His 1,097 yards ranked second among all freshmen in Division II.
OBU quarterback Austin Warford (Malvern) and running back Kris Oliver (Arkadelphia) were named to the all-GAC honorable mention team. Warford passed for 2,072 yards and 13 touchdowns, adding 643 yards and six scores on the ground.
Oliver paced the Tigers with 795 rushing yards, scoring three touchdowns.
OBU and Harding were selected for the NCAA Division II playoffs Sunday afternoon. The No. 5 seed Tigers travel to Ferris State in the first round Saturday while the No. 7 seed Bisons travel to Indianapolis.