LAKE CHARLES – McNeese cornerback Darion Dunn and kick returner D’Andre Hicks have been named this week’s Southland Conference Players of the Week – Dunn as the league’s top defensive player and Hicks on special teams while Chris Livings was recognized by College Sports Madness as the league defensive player of the week.
Both Dunn and Hicks were also named Louisiana Players of the Week – Dunn sharing the defensive award with Nicholls’ Sully Laiche. Hicks also garnered STATS honorable mention honors for national special teams player of the week.
The trio played a pivotal part in McNeese’s 30-20 win over Northwestern State this past Saturday in helping the Cowboys notch their third straight win while closing out the home slate and Senior Day with a victory.
Dunn intercepted two passes in the game that led to scores – a 23-yard field goal and third quarter touchdown that ignited a 21-point McNeese run.
The junior from Oakdale, who finished with four tackles on the game, leads the Cowboys and the Southland Conference with five interceptions on the season. He now has two, two-interception games on the season.
Hicks gave McNeese its first kickoff return for a touchdown on the season and first since a 99-yarder by Benjamin Jones in last year’s season finale against Lamar. His 96-yard first quarter score is the longest in the conference this season and tied as the fourth-longest in school history.
Livings recorded three sacks in the game and a team-high seven tackles.
His sack total moved him to 28 in his career and needing three more to tie and 3.5 to break the school career mark of 31 held by Bryan Smith.
UCA quarterback Breylin Smith was named the SLC offensive player of the week after guiding the first place Bears to a 45-17 win at Lamar. Smith threw for 434 yards on 30 of 37 passing and accounted for five touchdowns – four passing and one rushing.
McNeese will have its open week this Saturday before returning to action Nov. 16 at Nicholls.