Peters, Howard
get SLC honors

Two University of Central Arkansas Bears earned Southland Conference Player of the Week honors Monday for their performances on the final regular-season weekend.

Senior cornerback Marcus Peters was named the SLC Defensive Player of the Week, while junior quarterback Ryan Howard earned SLC Offensive Player of the Week honors.

Peters, one of 12 seniors who closed out their careers Saturday with a convincing 49-31 victory over No. 9 Sam Houston State, intercepted two passes, returning one 54 yards for a touchdown. Peters is a senior from Daingerfield, Texas.

Howard, from Vestavia Hills, Ala., threw four touchdown passes in the first half as the Bears rolled to a 42-10 halftime lead. For the game, Howard completed 24 of 36 passes for 349 yards with no interceptions to earn his second SLC award of the season. He led the Bears to 490 yards of total offense against Sam Houston State.

Junior place-kicker Eddie Camara earned honorable mention after going 7 of 7 on point-after attempts on Saturday.

Three SLC teams
gain playoff spots

Three Southland Conference teams have earned berths in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision playoffs and all will play their first games at home.

Two teams, conference champion Southeastern Louisiana (10-2) and second-place McNeese State (10-2) earned first-round byes among the top eight seeds in the playoffs.

McNeese was ranked sixth in The Sports Network final regular-season poll and will enter the playoffs as a No. 6 seed. The Cowboys will host the Samford/Jacksonville State winner in the second round.

Although it defeated McNeese State head to head, Southeastern was ranked seventh in the TSN poll but will go into the playoffs as a No. 4 seed. The Lions will host the winner of Saturday’s game between Southern Utah and 14th-ranked Sam Houston State, the defending FCS runner-up, in the second round.

Two-time defending national champion North Dakota State (11-0), Eastern Illinois (10-2) and Eastern Washington (10-2) are the top three teams as they have been for several weeks.

UCA (7-5), which finished with a victory over Sam Houston State, fell out of the TSN Top 25 two weeks ago and finished with a No. 29 ranking in that poll.