December 12, 2008

ANNOUNCEMENT OF WINNER

For IMMEDIATE RELEASE - December 12, 2008
CONTACT: JEFF HODGES - (256) 765-4595

BERNARD SCOTT WINS 2008 HARLON HILL TROPHY AS DIVISION II FOOTBALL PLAYER OF THE YEAR

FLORENCE, Ala.
-- Abilene Christian (Texas) University senior running back Bernard Scott claimed the Harlon Hill Trophy Friday as the 2008 Division II College Football Player of the Year.

Scott, the runner-up for the 2007 Hill Trophy, received 253 total points and held a commanding 168- point margin in the voting.
University of North Alabama senior quarterback A.J. Milwee and Central Washington University senior quarterback Mike Reilly tied for second in the voting with 85 total points each.

The award winner is determined in voting by the Division II sports information directors and was presented in front of a crowd of 400 at the 23rd annual Harlon Hill Trophy award banquet at the Marriott Shoals Conference Center.

The Harlon Hill Trophy is sponsored by the City of Florence, Florence-Lauderdale Tourism, Opti-Net, Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa and Herff Jones.

Scott, a native of Vernon, Texas, received 66 first-place votes and received points on 94 of the 97 ballots cast.

This season Scott rushed for 2,156 yards and 28 touchdowns and caught 47 passes for 826 yards and another six TDs. He led Division II in scoring (17.0) and all-purpose yards (256.8) and was second in rushing with a 179.7 yard average per game.
He led Abilene Christian to an 11-1 record and a Lone Star Conference championship this season. He averaged better than eight yards per carry and rushed for more than 200 yards in four of his last six games. He rushed for more than 100 yards in his last 17 straight games.

In one playoff game alone against West Texas A&M, Scott rushed for 292 yards and six TDs and added another touchdown on a pass reception.

Scott is the first Hill Trophy winner from Abilene Christian and is the first winner from the Lone Star Conference since Texas A&M-Kingsville's Johnny Bailey won three straight from 1987-89.

Scott received the third highest vote total in the award's 23-year history, trailing only the 303 points by Brian Shay in 1998 and the 271 by Curt Anes in 2002.

It marks the third straight year that the Hill Trophy has gone to a running back, after a streak of seven straight wins by quarterbacks from 1999 to 2005.

This is the 12th time in the last 23 years that Abilene Christian has had a Hill candidate, and the third time the school has had a finalist.

Milwee and Reilly tied for second with 85 points each. Reilly received nine first-place votes to seven for Milwee, but Milwee received votes on more ballots - 51 to 50.


Following that trio in the voting was Minnesota-Duluth senior quarterback Ted Schlafke, junior quarterback Brad Iciek of Grand Valley State (Mich.) University, senior quarterback Corey Russell of Tusculum (Tenn.) College, senior wide receiver Michael Washington of West Chester (Pa.) University and junior quarterback Trevor Harris of Edinboro (Pa.) University.

Milwee, a senior from Boaz, Ala., had a 33-5 record as a starting quarterback at North Alabama and led the Lions to a 12-2 record in 2008 and into the playoff semifinals. He threw for 3,313 yards and 27 touchdowns in 2008 and is ranked sixth nationally in passing efficiency with a 164.3 rating. He was picked off just five times in 363 passes this season and his career interception ratio is a remarkable 2.13, or just 22 interceptions in 1,030 career passes. He accounted for more than 9,000 yards of career total offense at UNA and had 73 career touchdown passes and 18 rushing TDs.

Reilly, a senior from Kalispell, Montana, threw for 3,706 yards and 37 touchdowns this season. He set an NCAA all-divisions record by throwing at least one touchdown pass in 46 consecutive games. He ranks third in Division II history in both career passing yards (12,448) and career total offense (13,711). He led the Wildcats to a 10-2 record and into the Division II playoffs this Fall. He ranked in the top seven in Division II in six offensive categories in 2008.

The Hill Trophy is named for a former UNA player - Harlon Hill - who was a standout with the Lions from 1950-53 before going on to fame in the National Football League with the Chicago Bears.

North Dakota State quarterback Jeff Bentrim won the initial Hill Trophy in 1986, before Texas A&M- Kingsville running back Johnny Bailey won three straight Hill trophies from 1987-89.

Another North Dakota State quarterback, Chris Simdorn, claimed the 1990 award, followed by Pittsburg State's Ronnie West in 1991 and Ronald Moore in 1992, New Haven running back Roger Graham in 1993, Valdosta State quarterback Chris Hatcher in 1994, North Alabama linebacker Ronald McKinnon in 1995 , Truman State running back Jarrett Anderson in 1996, Bloomsburg running back Irvin Sigler in 1997, Emporia State running back Brian Shay in 1998 , Northern Colorado quarterback Corte McGuffey in 1999, Valdosta State quarterback Dusty Bonner in 2000 and 2001, and Grand Valley State quarterback Curt Anes in 2002.
University of North Alabama senior quarterback Will Hall claimed the trophy in 2003. Colorado-Mines quarterback Chad Friehauf took the trophy in 2004, East Stroudsburg's Jimmy Terwilliger in 2005 and Chadron State's Danny Woodhead in 2006 and 2007.


2008 HILL VOTE TOTALS
TOTAL 1st 2nd 3rd
Points Player Place Place Place
253 Bernard Scott RB SR Abilene Christian 66 27 1
85 A.J. Milwee QB SR North Alabama 7 20 24
85 Mike Reilly QB SR Central Washington 9 17 24
41 Ted Schlafke QB SR Minnesota-Duluth 7 5 10
39 Brad Iciek QB JR Grand Valley State 2 11 11
36 Corey Russell QB SR Tusculum 3 7 13
25 Michael Washington WR SR West Chester 1 6 10
18 Trevor Harris QB JR Edinboro 2 4 4



 


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National Harlon Hill Awards Committee
Florence, AL 35361 U.S.A.