Courtesy of the Big Sky Conference
OGDEN, Utah – All-American and Northern Arizona Hall of Famer Archie Amerson is one of seven Big Sky Conference players that earned the Walter Payton Award, as the group ranks sixth on the Big Sky's list of "50 Greatest Men's Moments.'' Amerson also earned the 14th best moment on the list for winning the Walter Payton Award.
For 27 years The Sports Network has honored the top football player in the FCS with the Walter Payton Award.
No conference can claim as many winners as the Big Sky. Since the award's inception, six league quarterbacks and a running back have been considered the best of the best in the FCS (or Division I-AA for purists). It shouldn't come as surprise since the Big Sky has long been known for innovative and pass-happy offenses.
During a stretch of eight seasons from 1989-1996, Big Sky players won the Payton five times, earning the conference the nickname "Payton Place.''
Amerson, who won the 1996 Walter Payton Award, rushed for 2,079 yards on 333 attempts, an average of 6.2 yards per carry, with 25 touchdowns during the 1996 season. His 2,079 rushing yards is the seventh-best totals in I-AA history and his 25 touchdowns rank first in NCAA Division I-AA history. He also set various national records with 2,429 all-purpose yards, 25 rushing touchdowns, seven rushing/total touchdowns in a single game vs. Weber State on Oct. 5 as well as scoring 42 points. Amerson finished his two-year career at NAU with 526 carries for 3,196 yards (6.1 per rush average) and 37 touchdowns.
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