McAlester News-Capital, McAlester, OK

State House

November 20, 2013

East Central University lands nine on All-Great American Conference teams

RUSSELLVILLE, Ark. —      East Central University defensive players Qumain Black and Fred Gaines were first-team members of the 2013 All-Great American Conference football team released Tuesday.

     Seven other ECU players also earned all-conference honors, as voted on by the league’s head coaches.

     Seniors Caleb Holley (WR), Travis Hening (OL) and Alex King (DE) and junior JuJu Turituri (DT) were all named to the second team. ECU also saw juniors Michael Allen (UT) and Kellan Taeatafa-DeLaRosa and senior Charles Ramsey (DT) earn honorable mention honors.

     Henderson State’s Kevin Rodgers and Keaton Stigger led the Reddies to a second-straight undefeated regular season and earned the Great American Conference’s Offensive and Defensive Player of the Year honors. Reddie head coach Scott Maxfield won his second GAC Coach of the Year award, and Southeastern Oklahoma State’s Devlon Wortham ran his way to the Freshman of the Year award.

   Black (CB) finished the season with 15.5 total tackles (9-13), one tackle-for-loss, one fumble recovery, three interceptions, one defensive touchdown and six pass breakups. The Ada High graduate recorded two of his interceptions in the opening game of the season against Arkansas-Monticello and returned one for an 80-yard touchdown. He missed several games with an injury.

     Gaines (S) had a strong season, recording 54.5 (42-25) total tackles, six TFL, two interceptions and five pass breakups. The Fresno, Calif., native had his best game of the year at Harding (Nov. 9), when he garnered 13.5 (11-5) total tackles, including five TFL (10 yards).

     Holley set three records for the Tigers during the course of the season, including the single-season receiving yards record. Holley tallied a total of 970 yards, which surpassed the 930 set by Chris Barnes in 2001. The Anchorage, Alaska, native also set the record for the single-game receiving yards against Southern Nazarene (Oct. 5) with 224.

     Hening was a strong force on the offensive line for the Tigers, who tallied 37 touchdowns and went 35-of-41 in the red zone for the season.

     King made a name for himself on the defensive line for ECU, earning D2Football.com Defensive Player of the Week honors during the course of the season. The Rancho Cordova, Calif., native finished the season with 46.5 (30-33) total tackles, 14.5 TFL, seven sacks, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, four quarterback hurries and two pass breakups. King had an outstanding game against Southwestern Oklahoma State (Oct. 26), with 12.5 total tackles (11-3), 5.5 TFL and two sacks.

   JuJu Turituri was also a forced on defense for the Tigers. The San Jose, Calif., native tallied 21 (11-20) total tackles, 10 TFL and six sacks for 40 yards during the season. He also registered three quarterback hurries and one pass breakup. Rodgers, one of 28 Harlon Hill Candidates, captured the Offensive Player of the Year award by unanimous vote for a second-consecutive season. In addition to his 36 touchdown passes, he set the GAC and Henderson State single-season record for passing yardage with 4,240.

   In addition to claiming the Defensive Player of the Year honor, Stigger became the GAC’s first three-time First-Team All-GAC selection. He led the conference in tackles, 120, and added 11.5 tackles for loss.

   Wortham ended the year with a GAC-leading 1,119 yards and 12 touchdowns.

 

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