UWA sweeps conference Player of the Week awards

Published 9:56 am Monday, November 12, 2012

LIVINGSTON – West Alabama quarterback Gary Johnston, defensive end Ridge Wilson and kick returner Malcolm Butler are the Gulf South Conference Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams Players of the Week for the period ending November 10.

Johnston, a junior from Gulf Shores, Ala., collects his second career player of the week honor since nabbing his first honor in 2011. The senior led UWA to its first-ever outright GSC title in Thursday night’s 42-27 GSC-TV home victory over rival North Alabama. The native had a direct hand in five touchdowns, passing for three and rushing for two more. Johnston completed 12-of-15 passes for 216 yards and also ran for a game-best 151 yards on 26 carries.

Wilson garners his first award in three weeks, spearheading the Tigers’ defense in the victory over UNA. The senior was a one man wrecking crew, leading the team with 10 total tackles and eight solo stops. The Louisville, Ky., native did not stop there, rolling up a GSC season-best five tackles for a loss of 25 yards, including two sacks for 15 yards.

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Butler is the third different UWA Special Teams winner of the season, sparking the Tigers’ in the return game versus UNA. The junior gave West Alabama a 21-14 lead with just 1:17 left in the first half when he returned a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. The Vicksburg, Miss., native became just the 13th GSC player to record a 100-yard return and for the night, he racked up three returns for 135 yards.

The Tigers host Miles College in the opening round of the NCAA Division II Playoffs at Tiger Stadium Saturday. Kickoff is set for noon. Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and can be purchased online at www.uwaathletics.com or by coming by the UWA Athletic Department in Faust Hall on the UWA campus.