Atlanta, GA —The Millsaps’ Majors football team swept the Southern Athletic Association’s player of the year awards with senior quarterback Garrett Pinciotti winning the offensive player of the year award and sophomore defensive lineman Zach Bell winning the defensive player of the year as announced by the conference on Monday.
The Majors went 7-3 on the season including 3-1 in conference to win a share of the conference crown in the SAA’s inaugural season. The conference coaches took notice as Majors’ head coach Aaron Pelch also took home coach of the year honors.
Pinciotti lapped the field in passing statistics. His 2729 passing yards were 800 yards more than the next best conference quarterback, his 24 touchdown passes were nine more than any other quarterback. The senior completed nearly 60 percent of his passes and had a six to one touchdown to interception ratio. In addition to being named conference offensive player of the year, Pinciotti was named First-Team All-SAA.
Sophomore Zach Bell led the conference with eight sacks and 15 tackles for loss. His 68 tackles were good for 7th in the conference and his game-changing ability was evident with his conference high three forced fumbles. Bell also was named First-Team All-SAA as a defensive lineman.
Joining Pinciotti on the All-SAA first team offense include wide out Kegan Joplin, the senior led the SAA in receiving yards (688) and touchdowns (8). Offensive lineman Nathan Quick and Kyle MacDonald also earned First Team All-SAA. The lineman anchored an offense that had the SAA’s leading passer, top-two leading receivers and the conference leaders in rushing touchdowns.
Zach Bell had plenty of company on the defensive First Team All-SAA. Defensive back Jonathan Moore earned first team honors, he racked up 54 tackles, three interceptions and five pass break-ups on the season. Linebacker Jeb White was all over the field for the Majors, recording 68 tackles on the season including double-digit tackles in three of four conference games. Defensive lineman Jeff Milner earned first team honors, his five sacks were third in the conference. Milner also recorded 41 tackles and had six tackles for loss. Joiner Stewart rounds out a trio of defensive lineman to make the first team. Stewart was second in the conference with 5.5 sacks and was tops in the conference with 43 sack yards. Stewart also tallied 47 total tackles and nine tackles for loss.
The second team features running back Mike Barthelemy, he finished second in the conference in rushing and led the SAA with 14 rushing touchdowns. Trevor King received second-team honors at the wide receiver position; King was second to only teammate Keegan Joplin in receiving yards and was second in the conference with 47 receptions. Lineman Kyle Skene also received second team honors, helping anchor an offensive line that allowed only six sacks all season .
Defensive backs Russell Pellichino and Nick Arnold each got the nod for second-team All-SAA. Pellichino had 8.5 tackles for loss on the season as well as three pass break-ups and an interception. Nick Arnold was top-10 in the conference with 63 tackles. Arnold also recorded eight pass break-ups and an interception. Defensive lineman Alex Stewart recorded two sacks and recovered a fumble during conference play. Couple that with three tackles for loss and Stewart received second team All-SAA honors.