McNeese’s Livings, Sutton earn Player of Week honors
by DAVID BERRY
McNeese’s 24-21 win over Abilene Christian last Saturday earned two Cowboy players Southland Conference honors.
On Monday, the SLC named junior defensive end Chris Livings its Defensive Player of the Week and sophomore wide receiver/punt returner Cyron Sutton its Special Teams Player of the Week.
It is the second-consecutive week and fourth week out of six this season that a McNeese defender earned the player of the week honor; last week it was senior linebacker B.J. Blunt that picked up the honor.
Livings earned the honor for his six-tackle, five-sack performance against ACU. Coming into the game, the Wildcats had only allowed four sacks all season. Livings, a Lake Charlesnative and Barbe alum, tied the McNeese single-game record for sacks, picking up the fifth one on the last play of the game.
The plan was not to have Livings on the field as much as he was against ACU. He had dealt with a high ankle sprain that kept him out of the Stephen F. Austin game.
“He felt confident enough that he could play on third down,” McNeese head coach Lance Guidry said of Livings after the ACU game. “And as the game went, he felt good. I guess just the emotions and the adrenaline. And he started playing on first and second down and man we needed him. I’m very proud of him and being a tough guy like that because he knew his teammates needed him.”
Aside from conference honors, Livings also received national recognition as he was named national honorable mention for national defensive player of the week by STATS.
Sutton’s special teams performance came in relief of Parker Orgeron, who missed the game due to injury. While Sutton faced 10 punts, nine of them were not returned because they were downed or fair caught. But the sophomore from New Orleans made the most of his one return as he broke a couple of tackles, shook loose to his right, then put his foot in the ground and cut upfield, sprinting to the end zone for a 73-yard punt return touchdown. The score was vital because up until that point, McNeese was holding onto a 17-14 lead. Given that ACU responded to Sutton’s touchdown with a touchdown of their own to cut the Cowboy lead down to three, his score was the difference in the game.
“The (punt return) team had a great block, and I just made a play,” Sutton said.
Sutton also contributed offensively, with three catches for 82 yards, including a 46-yard reception that set up McNeese’s first touchdown of the game.
McNeese State Cowboys wide receiver Cyron Sutton (1) hauls in the deep reception during their Southland Conference game at Cowboy Stadium in Lake Charles, La., Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018. (Rick Hickman/Lake Charles American Press)