GSC Club Football Returns Home as 2022 NCFA National Champions, NCFA Awards Several Highlanders

By Karolina Philmon, GSC Marketing Manager

Gordon State College Club Football Highlanders are 2022 National Club Football Association (NCFA) National Champions after a 35-15 defeat over Ohio State University Buckeyes at the Dec. 3 championship game in Waynesburg, Pennsylvania. NCFA announces individual awards to four Highlanders including Bowl Game MVP, Defensive POY, Assistant of the Year, and Freshman of the Year.

“I am overwhelmed with pride and enthusiasm for Gordon State College’s Club Football National Championship! The student-athletes and coaching staff have worked so hard this season to bring this distinguished honor to Barnesville, Georgia,” said GSC Dean of Students, Dr. Matthew K. Robison. “The State of Georgia now has two national championship football programs. Highlanders Forward!”

GSC Club Football head coach Kevin Adkins said the “Highlanders defense had an amazing performance holding the nation best offense to only 7 points.”

The Highlanders scored 29 unanswered points to pull away from the Buckeyes in the fourth quarter. Offensively, the team leaned on a rushing attack accounting for 332 yards. Cornerback Antione Johnson secured a late interception, his ninth of the season, to put a stamp on the team’s victory.

“This win is an amazing accomplishment, and I’m proud of the players, staff, and administration,” Adkins said. “We found a way to win the Highlander way in becoming champions. Thank you to all the fans and their support for an astounding and memorable season. Go Highlanders!”

Running back Cedrion Brundage was awarded NCFA 2022 Bowl Game MVP and Freshman of the Year. He led the Highlanders with 16 carries for 209 yards and three touchdowns. Robison gave Brundage a special shout and said he was “integral to the team this season.”

Antione Johnson was awarded NCFA 2022 Defensive POY. He led the team with four tackles and two interceptions. According to NCFA, GSC was “spearheaded all year by the league’s No. 1 defense.” NCFA said Antione Johnson was one of the “most important pieces to that puzzle.”

GSC Co-Defensive coordinators Tim Shelley II and Rod Brown were awarded NCFA 2022 Assistant of the Year. NCFA said Shelley and Brown are the first to be awarded the title and that both were the “string pullers of the best defense in the NCFA during the 2022 season and one of the best defenses in NCFA history.”

Adkins recognized “outstanding performances” by Omari Drake with nine tackles and one interception; Isaiah Johnson with eight tackles and one interception; Jacory Gaines with seven tackles; and Will Richardson who added 100 yards and one touchdown on 10 carries.

In November, GSC Club Football claimed the South Atlantic Conference Championship title for the second year in a row after a 20-12 defeat over Columbus State University. That win advanced the team to the semi-final national game against Sacred Heart University in Fairfax, Virginia where they secured a 55-7 win at RAC field on the campus of George Mason University.