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Campus Connections

Saint Francis football coordinators earn honor

Joey Didier
Joey Didier
Eric Wagoner
Eric Wagoner
Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.The Associated Press
The honors keep coming in for the NAIA national champion University of Saint Francis football team.

Saint Francis co-defensive coordinators Joey Didier and Eric Wagoner were named 2016 FootballScoop NAIA Coordinators of the Year in a vote of former winners.

Saint Francis beat Baker 38-17 on Dec. 17 in Daytona Beach, Fla., to win its first NAIA title.

Baker entered the game averaging nearly 50 points per game and ranking No. 1 in offense in the country, so the play of the Cougars’ defense was pivotal in the title game.

Saint Francis (13-1) held eight of its opponents to 20 or fewer points and their scoring defense average of 18.4 points per game was sixth in the NAIA. The Cougars were also strong against the pass, intercepting 17 passes and recording 45 sacks.

Defensive end Lucas Sparks was named the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League Defensive Player of the Year. Other All-Mideast defensive players were linebackers Spencer Cowherd and Piercen Harnish, defensive tackle Eric Hemmelgarn and cornerback Na’Shawn Lewis. Hemmelgarn led the NAIA with 25.5 tackles for loss.

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