Kevin Johnson named Southland Newcomer of the Year

GO CARDINALS <b>Wide receiver Kevin Johnson was named the Southland's Newcomer of the Year on Tuesday.</b>
Wide receiver Kevin Johnson was named the Southland's Newcomer of the Year on Tuesday.

Nov. 20, 2012

BEAUMONT – After tying the school single-season record with 13 touchdowns, Lamar University sophomore Kevin Johnson was recognized as the Newcomer of the Year as the league office announced the 2012 All-Southland Conference Football Teams on Tuesday.

Lamar also had a pair of players named to the all-conference second-team in senior offensive lineman Sean Robertson and junior defensive lineman Jesse Dickson. Johnson, defensive lineman John Prescott, linebackers Jermaine Longino and Marcus Malbrough and defensive backs Branden Thomas and Chad Allen were all named honorable mention all-conference.

Johnson caught 10 touchdowns, returned two kickoffs for scores and added a rushing touchdown to tie the mark set by Sammy Carpenter in 1952. His 10 receiving touchdowns is the second best single-season total in LU history behind Howard Robinson’s 12 in 1979.

A transfer from Oklahoma State, Johnson tied Lamar single-game records with four touchdowns and 24 points scored against McMurry. The Houston native also had a pair of three-touchdown games, becoming the first player in school history with more than one such game.

Johnson was named honorable mention all-conference at both wide receiver and kick return specialist.

Robertson, a senior who started 19 games at right guard after transferring to Lamar from Blinn Junior College, graded out at better than 85 percent for his career. A native of Copperas Cove, Robertson was one of only two returning starters on the Cards’ offensive line.



Dickson started 10 games for the Cardinals this season, leading the team in tackles for loss with nine and in sacks with four. A product of Houston’s Alief Taylor High School, the junior finished sixth on the team with 43 total tackles and added a pair of pass break ups.

Longino, a junior transfer from Trinity Community College, led all Southland Conference players with 107 total tackles and 63 solo stops. A junior college All-America as a sophomore, Longino added five quarterback hurries, three forced fumbles and two sacks in his first season with Lamar. Longino, who had a season-high 16 tackles at Stephen F. Austin, averaged 8.9 tackles per game to rank second in the league.

A Beaumont native who transferred to Lamar from Missouri, Malbrough registered 25 tackles with seven coming for loss in his senior campaign. The former West Brook High School standout was second to Dickson with 3.5 sacks and he led the Cardinals with seven quarterback hurries.

Also a native of Beaumont, Prescott played two seasons for Lamar after transferring from Cisco Junior College. The Ozen High School product started 22 of his 23 games played for the Cardinals, recording 32 tackles and three sacks this season. Prescott capped Lamar’s 34-24 win over Nicholls this year with a 26-yard interception return for a touchdown.

Thomas led the Cardinals with four interceptions which tied for the most by any Southland Conference player this season. The junior from Beaumont Central High School recorded 45 tackles on the year and had 10 passes defended. Thomas returned an interception 53 yards for a touchdown in Lamar’s 52-21 win over McMurry.

Allen was second on the team in tackles with 79, adding a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. A junior from Coldspring, Allen registered a career-high 17 tackles at Stephen F. Austin for the second most by a Southland player this season.

For the second straight season, Sam Houston State running back Timothy Flanders was named the conference’s Player of the Year. The Bearkats, who shared the league title with Central Arkansas, also had the Defensive Player of the Year in defensive back Darnell Taylor.

UCA, which earned the league’s automatic playoff bid, swept the other four specialty awards. Quarterback Wynrick Smothers was named Offensive Player of the Year, Corey Howard was the Offensive Lineman of the Year, defensive end Jonathan Woodard was the Freshman of the Year and Clint Conque earned Coach of the Year honors after guiding the Bears to a 9-2 record and 6-1 league mark.


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