Redhawks football cleans house with OVC honors
Southeast football claimed major Ohio Valley Conference honors as both players and coaches were recognized with awards voted on by conference coaches Nov. 20 after finishing the regular season with an 8-3 record.
SEMO head coach Tom Matukewciz was named the OVC Roy Kidd Coach of the Year, senior running back Marquis Terry was named the OVC Offensive Player of the Year and junior inside linebacker Zach Hall was named the OVC Defensive Player of the Year.
The trio are all finalists for national Football Championship Subdivision awards as well. Matukewicz is among the 15 finalists for the Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year award for the Football Championship Subdivision. Terry is a finalist for the Walter Payton Offensive Player of the Year honor and Hall is in contention for the Buck Buchanan Defensive Player of the Year award.
Matukewicz, in his fifth season as head coach, led the Redhawks to a second-place finish in the OVC and a berth in the FCS playoffs for only the second time in program history. It was the first winning season for Matukewicz at Southeast.
Terry is the second Redhawk to ever win the award, behind 14 rushing touchdowns and 1,162 yards rushing on the season. Terry broke the single-game OVC rushing record with 311 yards vs. SIUC and ran for over 100 yards in six games.
Hall finished the season with 150 tackles, which ranked second nationally and only one behind the SEMO single-season record, anchoring a defense that finished first in the nation in turnover margin (+2.09 a game) and held nationally ranked Jacksonville State to just 14 points on Oct. 20.
Junior transfer quarterback Daniel Santacaterina, senior left tackle Drew Forbes and sophomore free safety Bydarrius Knighten joined Terry and Hall as they were named to the All-OVC First Team.
Santacaterina finished second in the OVC in touchdowns (25) and passing efficiency (147.8) while throwing for 2,598 yards as he started every game under center for the Redhawks. Knighten had 72 tackles, one interception and returned a blocked field goal attempt for a touchdown against Jacksonville State.
Junior receiver Kristian Wilkerson, senior center Luke Orchard, junior defensive end Clarence Thornton and junior outside linebacker Justin Swift were all named to the All-OVC Second Team.
Wilkerson had 54 catches on the season and led the Redhawks with 806 yards receiving and 12 touchdowns. His accomplishments included a school-record 263 yards receiving in a road victory against UT Martin on Oct. 27.
Swift had 12.5 tackles for loss (fifth in OVC), including 6.5 sacks (third in OVC), and added three interceptions. Thornton had 6.5 tackles for loss, including 2.5 sacks.