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RUSSELLVILLE -- Two Ouachita Baptist players and a Henderson State wide receiver were among the four Great American Conference football players of the week, the league office announced this week.

OBU freshman kicker Gabe Goodman, OBU senior cornerback Keandre Evans, HSU receiver L'liott Curry and Northwestern Oklahoma State senior linebacker all earned the season's inaugural player of the week honors.

Goodman, of Arkadelphia, earned the special teams honor. He kicked the game-winning field goal with 1:05 left on the clock to propel the Tigers past No. 18 Harding, 16-14, going 3-for-4 on field goal attempts with a longest make of 38 yards.

Also nominated for the special teams award were Arkansas-Monticello kicker/punter Josh Marini, HSU kicker Temo Martinez, Southern Arkansas kicker Austin Wilkerson, Arkansas Tech punter/kicker Jesus Zizumbo and Oklahoma Baptist punter Hayden Ashley.

Curry, of Guthrie, Okla., earned the offensive honor after catching eight passes for 178 yards and three touchdowns in his debut for the Reddies, who won 35-28. The yardage marked the highest gained by a Reddie receiver in a game since Darius Davis garnered 181 against Arkansas Tech in 2014.

OBU receiver Allie Freeman, UAM receiver C.J. Parham, SAU running back SirCharles Perkins, Arkansas Tech running back Deon Simmons, Oklahoma Baptist receiver Joshua Cornell, Southwestern Oklahoma State quarterback Tyler Marr and Southern Nazarene receiver Reid Roelofs were also nominated for the award.

Evans, of Junction City, and Driskill, of Wichita, Kan., shared the defensive honors. Evans pulled in a pair of interceptions, his second coming with 45 seconds remaining to secure the Tigers' 13th straight season opening win, and he also deflected a field goal attempt by the Bisons in the second quarter. Driskill tallied 14 stops and recovered two fumbles, covering one in the Rangers' end zone to prevent an East Central score and had a 48-yard scoop-and-score in the third quarter.

Also nominated for the defensive award were UAM cornerback Kerenzo Credit, Arkansas Tech linebacker Chris Kale, HSU linebacker Colby Turner, SAU defensive back Lorenzo Watkins and SWOSU defensive back Braden Sweet.

Harding junior earns

GAC volleyball honor

RUSSELLVILLE -- Harding junior middle blocker Emily Smith earned the GAC's first Offensive Player of the Week honor, the league office announced this week.

Oklahoma Baptist junior defensive specialist Diana Carranza earned defensive honors while SNU senior Kyle Smith earned setting honors.

The Harding junior from Aledo, Texas, guided the Lady Bisons to three wins with a .424 attack percentage in their four matches at the UAH Invitational. Smith hit .500 with 18 kills and 11 blocks in Harding's season opener against Montevallo and hit at least .400 against both Less-McRae and Alabama-Huntsville.

Arkansas Tech OH Allie Anderson, OBU middle blocker Emily Low, UAM OH/DS Leslie Polanco, SAU OH Seven Powers, HSU OH Sabrina Show, Oklahoma Baptist OH Malia Leatherland and SNU OH Bailee Turang were also nominated for the offensive award.

Carranza, of Lima, Peru, tallied at least 20 digs in three of four games at the Loper Preseason Invitational, including 33 in a five-set battle against No. 11 Nebraska-Kearney. She added 27 digs with five aces against Adams State, averaging 5.71 digs per set to earn her place on the All-Tournament Team.

Also nominated for the defensive award were Harding DS Katherine Cowart, Arkansas Tech MB Greer Rogers, SAU middle hitter Lauren Smith, HSU libero MaKenzie Thoman and SWOSU libero Kaitlyn Dillon.

Smith, of Deer Park, Texas, averaged a GAC-leading 9.20 assists per set while leading the Crimson Storm to a 3-1 weekend at the Point Loma Seaside Invitational. She had a 28-assist, 12-dig double-double in a three-set sweep of Point Loma, adding three aces while hitting .273 in 33 attempts.

Others up for the setter award were Arkansas Tech's Emily Acker, HSU's Abby Blackburn, Harding's Arika Johnson, SAU's Morgan Schuster, SWOSU's Allie Hoang and Oklahoma Baptist's Rylen Moore.

Harding sophomore among

soccer weekly awardees

RUSSELLVILLE -- Harding sophomore Donnell Bowes earned the GAC's Defender of the Week honor for the first week of the season while Fort Hayes senior Cullen Fisch earned the goalkeeper award and Rogers State senior Jake Simpson earned offensive honors.

Bowes, a Greenford, England, product, led a strong defense that helped the Bisons hold on for a 3-1 win over William Jewell, the team's first-ever road win over a Division II opponent in a season opener. The Bisons' defense allowed just four shots on goal, and Harding won its first season opener for the first time since 2012.

Rogers State's Jaime Ponce and Fort Hays State's Sergio Villalba were also nominated for the honor.

Simpson, a midfielder from Cambridge, England, scored goals in each of the Hillcats' first two games of the season. He scored the tying goal and assisted on the winning goal in the season opener, and he scored in the 73rd minute against Rockhurst to even the game at 1-1 before the eventual 2-2 draw.

Harding defender Christian Ramos and Northeastern State forward Aaron Ugbah were also nominated for the offensive award.

Fisch, of La Vista, Neb., turned in a clean sheet and posted a 1.00 goals-against average across the first two games of the season. He had five saves in the first two games for an .833 save percentage, and his shutout against Rockhurst was the third of his career.

Harding goalie Carlos Calderon was also nominated for the award.

Oklahoma Baptist earns

pair of GAC weekly awards

RUSSELLVILLE -- Oklahoma Baptist junior defender Hannah Evans and junior keeper Emily Griffith earned the GAC's women's soccer defender and goalkeeper weekly awards for the first week with SWOSU senior forward Sandra Nabweteme earning the offensive player award.

Evans, of Mustang, Okla., helped the Bison allow just three goals against Washburn and No. 17 Dallas Baptist, playing 180 minutes. She blocked two shots in the team's 2-1 win over Washburn.

Griffith, of Parker, Colo., earned her ninth Goalkeeper of the Week award, racking up 10 saves in the Bison's first two games of the season. She tallied seven saves against Washburn before adding three more against the Patriots.

The NCAA Division II's active leader in goals and points, Nabweteme, of Kampala, Uganda, scored three more goals and added seven points in SWOSU's opening contests. She scored once against No. 7 Central Missouri and had two goals and an assist as the Bulldogs took a 3-0 win over Oklahoma Christian.

Oklahoma Baptist midfielder Reagan Mann and Harding forward Melanie Spurgeon were also nominated for the offensive award. No other players were nominated for the defensive or goalkeeper awards.

Sports on 09/11/2019

Print Headline: OBU leads first football weekly honors list

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