SCAC Announces 2016 All-Conference Football Team

SCAC Announces 2016 All-Conference Football Team

LAWRENCEVILLE, Ga. – After sweeping through the regular season with a perfect 6-0 league mark (7-3 overall), Southwestern University was rewarded with a near sweep of the league’s major awards in exclusive all-conference voting by the head coaches of the Southern Collegiate Athletic Conference. Complete Release

The Pirates’ Justin Broussard was named SCAC Defensive Player-of-the-Year while teammate Luke Fierst was voted Newcomer-of-the-Year. Additionally, Nik Kelly earned the league’s Special Teams Player-of-the-Year award for the second consecutive year and Southwestern head coach Joe Austin was selected SCAC Coach-of-the-Year. The Pirates’ Matt Gillen shared Offensive Player-of-the-Year honors with Texas Lutheran University’s Marquis Barrolle, who won the award as a sophomore in 2014.

Marquis Barrolle, a 150-pound senior running back from Ingleside, Texas, led the league in rushing for the second time in three years as he carried the ball 242 times for 1,107 yards and eight touchdowns during the 2016 season. He capped his career at TLU with a season-high 215 yards rushing and three touchdowns on Saturday in a 35-31 loss to Southwestern. In that game, Barrolle became the league’s all-time leading rusher as the 2014 All-American finished his career with 3,991 yards – surpassing the former mark of 3,897 held by Tim McDaniel of Centre College (1988-1991). He also posted 4,867 all-purpose career yards and 38 touchdowns (33 rushing, five receiving). When he rushed for 1,792 rushing yards in 2014, he led the nation and charted the second-highest single-season total in league history. Barrolle was the SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year in 2014 and his selection marks the fourth consecutive year that a TLU player has won or shared the honor. A three-time First-Team All-SCAC honoree, he is only the third running back and the first since Kelvin Gladney of Millsaps College in 1994 to twice be named SCAC Offensive POTY.

Matt Gillen, a 6-4, 195-pound senior receiver from Coppell, Texas, led the SCAC in almost every receiving category, including yards (951), yards per game (95.1) and receptions (73). He was also second in receiving touchdowns (7) and all-purpose yards (951) and third in yards per catch (13.0). Gillen had a streak of five consecutive games where he had at least seven catches and at least 135 yards receiving, which included a 14-catch game against Wisconsin-River Falls on September 24 and made him the only receiver in SCAC history to record multiple 14-reception games in a career. He set a new conference single-game record and earned SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors with five touchdown receptions in a 48-0 victory over Trinity on October 15. A four-time First Team All-SCAC selection, Gillen finishes his career with 187 receptions (fifth in SCAC history) for 2,523 yards (seventh in SCAC history) and 18 touchdowns. He is the first receiver since Alex Koors of DePauw University won the award in back-to-back years in 2009 and 2010 to win or share SCAC Offensive Player-of-the-Year honors.

Justin Broussard, a 6-1, 235-pound senior defensive end from Beaumont, Texas, finished the 2016 season with 60 tackles, including 20.5 tackles for loss (third in the SCAC/ninth in the nation) and 15.5 sacks (second in the SCAC and in the nation). The most disruptive force on the conference’s stingiest defense, Broussard was a three-time SCAC Defensive Player-of-the-Week selection during the regular season, including in Week 7 when he set a new single-game conference record with 5.5 sacks against Trinity. He also earned National Team-of-the-Week honors for that performance. A four-time First Team All-SCAC selection, Broussard ends his career with 67.5 tackles-for-loss and 37 sacks, which is tied for the second-most in SCAC history. He is not only Southwestern’s first SCAC Defensive POTY honoree, but the first non-linebacker to win the award since 2007.

Luke Fierst, a 5-10, 175-pound freshman placekicker from Kerrville, Texas, finished his inaugural college season as the second leading scorer in the league among kickers – and third among all players – with 55 points. He was 7-for-12 on field goals attempts (tied for second in the SCAC in field goals made) with a long of 46 yards – which tied for the longest field goal in the conference this season and was the longest by a Southwestern kicker since the program was reinstated in 2013. He was twice named SCAC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week, including in Week 10 when he connected on two field goals and a pair of extra points to accumulate eight points in the 20-7 victory over Trinity which clinched the outright SCAC title for the Pirates. He is just the second placekicker, and the first since Centre College’s Jordan Gay won the award in 2010, to be selected as the league’s Newcomer-of-the-Year.

Nik Kelly, a 5-7, 170-pound junior kick returner/defensive back from League City, Texas, was second in the league in kick return average (28.9 yards per return) which included the first kick return for a touchdown in the SCAC in almost two years as he went 89 yards to the end zone in the 42-38 victory against Texas Lutheran on October 22. It was also the longest kickoff return by a Pirate since the reinstatement of the program in 2013. He also had 53 punt return yards, the second-most in the SCAC this season. Additionally, the versatile Kelly had 32 tackles (22 solo), a league-high four interceptions and seven pass break-ups from his starting position in the Pirates’ defensive secondary. Kelly, who has earned one of the league’s major individual awards each of his three seasons in the SCAC, was voted Newcomer-of-the-Year in 2014 and then backed that up with consecutive Special Teams POTY selections in 2015 and 2016.

Southwestern head coach Joe Austin led his Pirates to a 7-3 overall mark and a perfect 6-0 conference record to complete a season full of firsts for a program that had lain dormant since 1950 when he arrived in Georgetown in February 2012. Progress was apparent, but slow, as Austin’s first three seasons produced just three overall wins and the Pirates were 0-9 in league play. That all changed, however, in 2016. Just four years after resurrecting the program, and buoyed by 34 seniors who had been with the program since Day 1, Southwestern clinched it’s first-ever SCAC championship two weekends ago with a 20-7 victory over Trinity. It also marked the program's first conference title since being crowned Texas Conference co-champions in 1946. The team’s five-game turnaround from the 2015 season is the largest single-season turnaround for a SCAC school since Trinity improved to 10-1 in 2011 after going 4-6 the previous season. Austin, who also serves as the team’s offensive coordinator, oversaw an offense that led the SCAC in yards (429.1) and points (28.9) per game.

To read the complete 2016 All-SCAC Football Team release, click here.

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