ROCK HILL, S.C. – Nine Carson-Newman football players have been recognized by the South Atlantic Conference with postseason all-league honors, the conference office announced Wednesday morning.
C-N was represented by running back Antonio Wimbush (Kingsland, Ga.) and offensive lineman Phillip McDowell (Boiling Springs, S.C.) on the first team offense. Montel Presley (Bushnell, Fla.), Temoris Coats (Greenwood, S.C.) and Desmond Fairell (Miami, Fla.) were recognized on the first team defense.
Derrick Evans (Macon, Ga.), Jordan Seal (Morristown, Tenn.) and Dawson Campbell (Travelers Rest, S.C.) picked up second team offensive honors, while Brian Bembry (Parrish, Fla.) was recognized as a member of the second team defense.
Wimbush turned in another stellar season to earn All-SAC first team honors for the second time in his career. He finished the season with 1,206 rushing yards to lead the South Atlantic Conference. The season-ending total represents the 18th best single-year on the ground for an Eagle rusher. He found the end zone seven times on the ground and once more through the air.
Wimbush had a string of four straight 100-yard games at the mid-point of the season and finished the year with 100-yard rushing efforts in five of Carson-Newman's final six games. He moved up to 11th on both Carson-Newman's career rushing yards and rushing touchdown charts.
Wimbush earned South Atlantic Conference Player of the Week honors following his performance at Virginia Union when he had 21 carries for 184 yards and three scores. That rushing tally marked a career high for Wimbush. He also went for more than 150 yards rushing against both Limestone and Virginia-Lynchburg.
His 8.0 yards per carry are the eighth highest single-season total in Carson-Newman football history and the second highest total in NCAA Division II this year.
McDowell rewrote Carson-Newman's knockdown record book in his junior year. McDowell took over the Eagles' all-time record in career knockdowns in week six against Limestone. McDowell bypassed Robby Ignagni (44) and now has 57 for his career.
While that alone is impressive, McDowell did it in grand fashion by besting his own single-game record with a whopping 10 knockdowns. McDowell played 54 snaps against the Saints. He had a knockdown every 5.4 plays.
He helped Carson-Newman to lead the South Atlantic Conference in rushing yards with 347.6 yards per game on the ground. The Eagles have the second highest rushing average in the country.
Presley earned first team All-SAC accolades on the defensive line for a second straight season. Presley turned in 36 tackles, 5.5 for loss and a sack. Presley's best game came against Lenoir-Rhyne when he made seven stops against the Bears. He also topped five tackles against Newberry and Catawba.
Coats turned in one of the best ever seasons by a Carson-Newman linebacker. Coats led the Eagles with 96 tackles, 47 of which were solo stops. Most notably, he brought home state defensive player of the week honors from the Tennessee Sportswriters Association three times in his senior season and a program-record four times in his career. He earned the three honors this year following C-N's wins over Virginia Union and Catawba, and a loss to Newberry.
Coats inserted his name directly into the Carson-Newman record book with 18 tackles for loss on the year. He moved past Eric Rice who had 17 in 20\06 to take over the top spot for the single-season total for that stat.
Coats had a top-flight effort against Catawba when he led Carson-Newman with nine tackles. He inserted his name into the C--N record books with 5.5 tackles for loss. That's the third most in school history behind Daryl Gooden's 7.5 against Howard Payne in 1992 and William Moody's 6.0 against New Haven in 2002. The 5.5 tackles for loss are the second most in NCAA Division II this year.
He wrapped up his career at Burke-Tarr Stadium with a 15-tackle effort against Lenoir-Rhyne to put a bow on his home career with a career-high for stops. He had five double-digit tackle efforts on the year.
For a second straight year, Fariell earned postseason All-SAC honors. Fairell has been a remarkable modicum of consistency for the Eagles. The corner finished the year with four interceptions for a third straight season to lead Carson-Newman and the South Atlantic Conference.
Fairell turned in a multi-interception performance against Virginia-Lynchburg, the second multi-pick day of his career. He also recovered two fumbles on the year to lead the South Atlantic Conference in takeaways.
He earned TSWA State Defensive Player of the Week honors following his performance against Virginia-Lynchburg. Fairell is in a tie for eighth on C-N's all-time career picks list at 12 with Carson-Newman Hall of Famer Joe Fishback. His next interception will move him into a tie for seventh on the all-time list with Tim Foutz (13 picks from 1983-84). JJ Simmons sits in sixth with 15 from 1995-98.
Fairell also had 50 tackles on the year, topping out at eight against Virginia Union
Evans earned All-SAC honors on the second team for a second straight year. The junior quarterback completed 45-of-91 passes for 637 yards and three scores. He also rushed 131 times for 439 yards and six scores, an average of 39.9 yards per game.
His most complete game on the ground came against Mars Hill when he tallied 13 carries for 92 yards and a pair of scores. He had his lone 100-yard rushing performance against Limestone with 131 yards rushing on 14 carries and a score.
Seal proved efficient and effective at moving people around en route to All-SAC second team honors for a second straight season. Seal tallied the second most knockdowns in a single-game in school history when he had eight against Mars Hill. He graded out in seven of Carson-Newman's 11 games. Seal finished the year with 24 knockdowns and has 37 for his career. He needs seven more knockdowns to move into second on Carson-Newman's career charts. He had a five-knockdown performance against Wingate and a four-knockdown effort against Virginia-Lynchburg.
Campbell's presence on the All-SAC teams gives Carson-Newman an all-league longsnapper for a sixth year out of seven. Carson-Newman only had two kicks blocked on the year with Campbell snapping.
Bembry brings home All-SAC second team honors for a second straight year. Bembry was a wrecking crew up front for the Eagles. He led C-N in sacks with five and ranked third on the team with eight stops behind the line of scrimmage. He finished the year with 32 tackles.
He had a season-high seven tackles against Lenoir-Rhyne. He also had a multi-sack effort against the Bears.