McGhee, Owens Earn FCS All-American Honors

By Beacon Staff

Montana State quarterback DeNarius McGhee and linebacker Jody Owens were named to the American Football Coaches Association FCS All-America Team yesterday.

Elevens players were honored on both offense and defense and three specialists in the FCS.

“This is a tremendous honor for two players that have meant so much to this football program,” Montana State coach Rob Ash said in a statement.

“Jody and DeNarius are both extremely productive on the field and they both represent all the attributes that our program tries to stand for.”

Owens and McGhee both earned Big Sky MVP honors recently. Montana State’s fourth Big Sky Defensive MVP in the last 10 seasons, Owens leads the Bobcats in tackles with 90 on the season. He has 12.5 tackles-for-loss, including four sacks, and forced four opponent fumbles while hurrying the quarterback twice and breaking up one pass. Owens earned Big Sky Player of the Week honors once this season, earning unanimous First Team All-Big Sky honors in addition to his league MVP trophy.

McGhee earned his second Big Sky Offensive MVP award this season after leading the Bobcats to a 10-1 regular-season record and a third consecutive league crown. The junior from Euless, Tex., presently stands 18th in the FCS in total offense. His 30 career wins and 70 career touchdown passes are both the most in Montana State history, and he becomes the first Bobcat quarterback named First Team All-America quarterback. Kelly Bradley was third team All-America in 1984.

Montana State hosts Sam Houston State in the FCS Playoffs quarterfinal round on Friday at 6 pm.

Ash is the reigning Liberty Mutual FCS Coach of the Year, and he was named 2012 FCS Region 5 Co-Coach of the Year by the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA). Ash shares the honor with Willie Fritz, the head coach of Sam Houston State, which is playing the Bobcats on Friday.

The Bobcats faced Region 1 award winner Sean McDonnell of New Hampshire in the 2011 FCS Playoffs, earning a second round win over the Wildcats, and last week topped Region 2 co-winner Chuck Priore and his Stony Brook squad. Fritz and his Bearkats knocked MSU from the Playoffs a year ago with a 49-13 victory in Huntsville.

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