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Jennings & Ackley Capture Big South POW Honor

November 19, 2007  Lynchburg, Va.  RSS
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Steven Ackley was named this week's Big South Defensive Player of the Week, honoring his efforts in Liberty's 31-0 victory over Gardner-Webb.

Steven Ackley was named this week's Big South Defensive Player of the Week, honoring his efforts in Liberty's 31-0 victory over Gardner-Webb.

Rashad Jennings and Steven Ackley both played significant roles in helping the Flames to a 31-0 shutout victory over Gardner-Webb, on Saturday, to give Liberty its first-ever Big South football title. On Monday, the pair was dually honored by the league, as they were named Big South Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively.

Jennings (Jr., RB, Forest, Va.), who has been named Big South Offensive Player of the Week three other times this year, finished the game with 114 yards rushing and his team-leading 17th touchdown of the year.

Jennings carried the ball 26 times en route to his seventh 100-yard rushing performance of the year. The running back's first rushing attempt of the game pushed him over the 1,000-yard mark on the year, allowing him to end the season with a career-high 1,113 rushing yards. His touchdown against the Runnin' Bulldogs came by virtue of a 52-yard reception, his second longest reception of the year.

With the consecutive 1,000-yard seasons, Jennings becomes the third player in program history to reach the plateau in consecutive years. The two other running backs in school history to accomplish the feat were Stacy Nobles (1,040 in 1998 and 1,175 in 1999) and Dre Barnes (1,304 in 2003 and 1,347 yards in 2004).

Ackley (r-Sr., DL, Columbia, Tenn.) capped off his collegiate playing career by helping the Flames to their fourth shutout during the Danny Rocco coaching era. The senior finished the game against Gardner-Webb with four tackles, all of the solo variety, while Liberty held the conference opponent to an opponent season-low 187 yards of total offense.

Ackley also added 2.0 tackles for loss (10 yards), including a nine-yard sack and a forced fumble. The senior finished his career with 181 tackles, leading the squad among active players in career tackles. Over his four-year tenure on the defensive line, Ackley recorded 30.5 tackles for a loss, which ranks sixth best in Big South history.

Both players could be among a plethora of Flames to be honored tomorrow when the Big South Conference releases its annual football all-conference teams.