Southern football lands nine on All-MIAA team

Complete All-MIAA Team Release

Kansas City, Mo. -- The Missouri Southern football team had nine players named All-MIAA today as the league announced its post season honors. 

Leading the way for the Lions was senior linebacker Gatlin Ridgway. The Danville, Ohio native was a second-team selection this year after finishing fourth in the MIAA in sacks with 5.5. He led the team in tackles with 80, and had a team-high 9.5 stops behind the line of scrimmage, as well as an interception, five quarterback hurries and one forced fumble. 

Junior fullback Chris Barnwell was a third team selection. The Savannah, Ga. native led the Lions this season with 878 yards and finished second on the team with seven rushing touchdowns. Barnwell helped the Lions to lead the MIAA in rushing for the second-straight season as Southern had a 1,000 more yards than second-place Pittsburg State. Barnwell was sixth in the MIAA in rushing as the Lions also broke school records for rushing yardage (3,684) and rushing touchdowns (42), both of which were set last season. Southern also broke the single-season rushing attempts record with 597 on the season, besting the mark of 581 set last year. 

Defensive back Gaige Washington was a third-team pick. He was third on the team with 53 tackles, 35 solo and had two tackles for a loss, as well as an interception and three pass break-ups. 

Sophomore quarterback Jay McDowell was an honorable mention selection as the Covington, La. native helped lead one of the most prolific rushing offenses in the NCAA. McDowell had a team-high nine rushing touchdowns on the season, and picked up 788 yards on the ground, while throwing for 855 and five touchdowns. 

Sophomore fullback Giresse Forchu was also an honoable mention selection for the Lions. He was third on the team this season with 526 yards and five touchdowns. 

Joining McDowell and Forchu as honorable mention picks were offensive linemen Caleb Benner and Austin Wolfe. Both helped anchor an offensive line that saw the Lions re-write the rushing record book at Missouri Southern this season. Linebacker Dalvin Taylor, as well as defensive back Johnquavious McBride were also named honorable mention selections. 

League champion Northwest Missouri dominated the yearly awards as quarterback Trevor Adams and defensive lineman Matt Longacre were the Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year, respectively. Head coach Adam Dorrell was the Coach of the Year, while Pittsburg State's John Brown was the Special Teams Player of the Year.