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
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
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
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