By Brian Ramsey
OBU Sports Information
ARKADELPHIA — The Ouachita Baptist University football team has earned four selections to the 2021 NCAA Division II Conference Commissioners Association All-Region Teams.
· Peyton Stafford, D2CCA All-Region First Team Offensive Lineman
· TJ Cole, D2CCA All-Region Second Team Running Back
· Anthony Freeman, D2CCA All-Region Second Team Defensive Lineman
· Xaylon Falls, D2CCA All-Region Second Team Return Specialist
All four of these student-athletes recently earned All-Great American Conference First Team honors at their respective positions. With Stafford’s first team all-region selection, he will now be eligible to earn All-America honors.
Stafford was Ouachita’s top offensive lineman this year, with a final grade of 90 percent for the season. He totaled 11 domination blocks and did not allow a sack all year. The junior from Amarillo, Texas helped Ouachita finish the regular season as the fourth best rushing team in the nation.
Cole broke the GAC single-season rushing record this year with a final total of 1,530 yards on 236 carries for an average of 6.5 yards per carry. The junior from Texarkana, Texas found the endzone 14 times on the ground, and led the league in rushing yards and all-purpose yards. He ranked fifth in the nation with an average of 138.9 rushing yards per game. He posted nine games of at least 100 yards, and four games with at least 150 yards. His most impressive outing came in Ouachita’s come-from-behind win over East Central with 271 rushing yards and four touchdowns.
Freeman led the Tigers this year in sacks (7.5 for a loss of 49 yards) and tackles for a loss (14 for 64 yards). The junior Monroe, Louisiana was second in the GAC in sacks. His best game of the year came against Southern Arkansas with four tackles for a loss and 2.5 sacks. In addition to his TFL and sack numbers, Freeman had eight quarterback hurries, and forced one fumble, which was a strip-sack.
Falls had an impressive freshman campaign as one of the most explosive kickoff returners in the nation. The Camden, Arkansas native was one of nine players in the nation with two touchdown returns, both for 93 yards. He finished the season atop of the GAC leaderboard with an average of 34.1 yards per return, which would rank third in the nation if he met the NCAA minimum of 1.2 returns per game. Following his second touchdown return, opponents only gave Falls three opportunities for a return in the final six games of the year.