Stetson’s Payne becomes first three-time winner, highlights 2016 Pioneer Football League Major Award recipients
Monday, November 28, 2016
SAINT LOUIS, Mo. – Stetson redshirt senior defensive back Donald Payne was named the Pioneer Football League’s Defensive Player of the Year for a third consecutive year, highlighting the league’s 2016 Major Award recipients, presented Monday.
Payne becomes the first athlete to receive any of the PFL’s major awards three times during their career. San Diego senior running back Jonah Hodges was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year and head coach Dale Lindsey was the recipient of the league’s Coach of the Year citation. In addition, Drake senior punter/kicker Josh Lee was awarded the league’s Special Teams Player of the Year award.
The league also presented its freshman awards, Monday. Davidson quarterback Stockton McGuire received the league’s Freshman Offensive Player of the Year and Marist defensive lineman Peter Delatour nabbed the Defensive Player of the Year honor.
These honors launch the PFL’s annual awards week. The PFL will announce its 24th All-PFL squads, Tuesday. The league then will announce its Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Wednesday, coinciding with the announcement of the 24th Academic All-PFL teams.
Payne, a senior from Fayetteville, Georgia, led the league with 85 tackles (12.1 pg), including 55 solo tackles (6.9 pg) during in his seven PFL outings. Payne finished the entire season ranked fifth among all FCS tacklers with 11.4 total tackles per game and third in solo tackles (7.4 pg). He also ranked nationally in blocked kicks (2nd, 3), tackles for loss (16th, 1.6 pg), fumbles recovered (20th, 2.0 pg), forced fumbles (23rd, 0.3 pg).
Hodges, of Santa Cruz, California, rushed for nearly 1,000 yards in league play alone, finishing the year with 981 rushing yards (123.9 ypg) and 13 touchdowns in eight league contests. He was the FCS’ seventh-leading rusher (119.0 ypg) and its fifth-leading scorer (10.2 ppg) during regular-season play. Hodges also was the FCS’ leading all-purpose runner for most of the season, finishing the year ranked third with 173.5 all-purpose yards per game. Hodges becomes the sixth San Diego player to receive the league’s top offensive award.
Lee, of Decorah, Iowa, handled all kicking duties for Drake and was perfect on both field goals (8-of-8) and PATs (27-of-27) during conference play. He also averaged 38.6 yards per punt on 37 punts in PFL action, finishing sixth in punting average. Lee converted all 40 of his PATs in the regular season, one of just six kickers in the FCS this season to attempt 40 or more PATs and convert all of them. He becomes the sixth Drake player to earn one of the league’s major awards.
McGuire, of Douglasville, Georgia, becomes the third Davidson player to earn the league’s Freshman Offensive Player of the Year since that award was established in 2008. He finished his first season of PFL play ranked fourth among the league’s rushers (77.7 yards per game) and seventh among its passers (152.5 ypg) in six league outings. McGuire was the only freshman to amass more than 1,000 total offensive yards in PFL play, finishing with 1,381 total offensive yards (230.2 ypg).
Delatour, of Miami, Florida, becomes the second Marist athlete to earn a PFL award, joining Terrence Fede who earned Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. He played in all eight PFL contests and led all freshmen with three sacks while finishing with six tackles for loss (second among PFL freshmen). Delatour finished the entire campaign ninth among PFL tackles in sacks (0.45 pg) and 14th in tackles for loss (0.82 pg).
Lindsey earned his second Coach of the Year citation after leading San Diego to the first undefeated PFL campaign by since 2010. It is San Diego’s third PFL title in his four seasons at the helm and led to league’s automatic bid to the Division I Football Championship. Under Lindsey’s tutelage, San Diego led the FCS in scoring defense (12.1 ppg) and total defense (249.6 ypg) while also ranked atop the league in 14 statistical categories.
San Diego won the 2016 PFL title outright with an unblemished 8-0 mark. It is the Toreros eighth PFL crown, all coming since the 2005 campaign (12-season span).
2016 PFL AWARDS