Record-setting Harrington is SLC's Player of the Year

(STATS) - Having run into unprecedented territory many times this season, Kade Harrington pulled off that feat again Tuesday.

The Lamar junior running back became the first in program history to be named the Southland Conference player of the year following a remarkable year.

Harrington shattered the league's single-season rushing record with 2,092 yards - breaking the mark by 409 yards and in two fewer contests - and set a single-game record with 347 against Abilene Christian on Oct. 10.

Harrington also became the seventh in Division I history to surpass 2,000 yards in 10 games, joining a list that includes Barry Sanders and Marcus Allen. He recorded eight of the top 16 rushing performances in Cardinals history while becoming the program's career leader in three years.

The STATS Offensive Player of the Year candidate led the FCS with 21 rushing touchdowns and 2,347 all-purpose yards, finishing just shy of Larry Centers' league-record 2,388 set in 1989.

"Kade has far exceeded our expectations when we recruited him," coach Ray Woodard told the school's official website. "He has gone from a young running back fighting for playing time to one of the best in the country. This is quite an honor for him, and it says a lot about Kade and our program."

Sam Houston State quarterback Jared Johnson was named the Southland's offensive player of the year after throwing for a league-best 18 touchdowns with one interception. Despite sharing snaps with Jeremiah Briscoe earlier this season, Johnson finished second in the league with 2,176 yards and had 433 on the ground with five TDs.

His blindside protector, Donald Jackson III, earned offensive lineman of the year honors while paving the way for one of the nation's most prolific offenses. The No. 6 Bearkats, who host No. 17 Southern Utah in their playoff opener Saturday, are second with 544.5 yards per game and fourth with a 43.8-point average.

League champion McNeese State, the No. 4 seed in the postseason, also had two major honorees. Defensive back Wallace Scott was named defensive player of the year honor and Matt Viator is coach of the year.

Scott was part of a defense that allowed an FCS-low 78.6 yards per game along with 11.1 points per contest. He was the first to return two fumbles for touchdowns in a season in program history.

The No. 3 Cowboys finished in the top 10 by yielding an average of 280.8 total yards while going 10-0 and becoming the first team to go 9-0 in the Southland.

Viator is also a finalist for STATS Coach of the Year. Southland newcomer of the year, Incarnate Word's Myke Tavarres, is on the Defensive Player of the Year Watch List.

Tavarres had a league-best 8 1/2 sacks and 22 1/2 tackles for loss while posting a program-record 110 total tackles.

Abilene Christian defensive back Jabari Butler was named freshman of the year after snagging a league-best six interceptions.

Central Arkansas defensive lineman Jonathan Woodard became the seventh four-time all-Southland honoree. The 2014 Southland defensive player of the year finished his career with a program-record 30 1/2 sacks and 5 1/2 this season.

Northwestern State's Ed Eagan was honored as an all-purpose player, wide receiver and kick returner. Southeastern Louisiana's Harlan Miller was named to the first team as a defensive back and punt returner.

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SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE AWARDS=

Player of the Year: RB Kade Harrington, Lamar

Offensive Player of the Year: QB Jared Johnson, Sam Houston State

Defensive Player of the Year: DB Wallace Scott, McNeese State

Offensive Lineman of the Year: OT Donald Jackson III, Sam Houston

Freshman of the Year: DB Jabari Butler, Abilene Christian

Newcomer of the Year: LB Myke Tavarres, Incarnate Word

Coach of the Year: Matt Viator, McNeese

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SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE FIRST TEAM=

OFFENSE=

QB Jared Johnson, Sam Houston

RB Kade Harrington, Lamar

RB Cory Avery, Sam Houston

TE/HB Cole Wick, Incarnate Word

WR Ed Eagan, Northwestern State

WR Desmond Smith, Central Arkansas

WR Reggie Begelton, Lamar

OL Donald Jackson III, Sam Houston

OL Quinton Marsh, McNeese

OL Kyle Stouffer, Central Arkansas

OL Cody Elenz, Lamar

OL Bret Treadway, Lamar

AP Ed Eagan, Northwestern State

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DEFENSE=

DL Jonathan Woodard, Central Arkansas

DL P.J. Hall, Sam Houston

DL Isaiah Golden, McNeese

DL Larance Hale, Lamar

LB Myke Tavarres, Incarnate Word

LB Bo Brown, McNeese

LB Sam Denmark, Abilene Christian

DB Wallace Scott, McNeese

DB Harlan Miller, Southeastern Louisiana

DB Trenier Orr, Sam Houston

DB Tremon Smith, Central Arkansas

DB Jabari Butler, Abilene Christian

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SPECIALISTS=

K Chris Moore, Northwestern State

P Jean Breaux, McNeese

KR Ed Eagan, Northwestern State

PR Harlan Miller, Southeastern Louisiana

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