Kicker Paul Schumacher Named Big South Conference Special Teams Player of the Week

GWUPhotos.com  |  Jeff Sochko Photo
GWUPhotos.com | Jeff Sochko Photo

CHARLOTTE – Gardner-Webb kicker Paul Schumacher was named Big South Conference Special Teams Player of the Week on Monday, following a clutch effort in the 2016 season finale.

Schumacher (West Palm Beach, Fla. / The King's Academy) scored a season-high 10 points in Gardner-Webb's 34-33 overtime win against Monmouth on Saturday afternoon. Each of those points was critical to the outcome of the game, including his final PAT which wound up the game winner.

The 5-foot-10, 172-pound junior gave Gardner-Webb an early 3-0 lead with a 29-yard field goal, then pushed the lead to 20-13 late in the third quarter with a 34-yarder. Schumacher's kick difficulty was intensified by swirling winds gusting from 18-25 miles per hour in Spangler Stadium all afternoon.

He connected on all four of his PAT attempts as well and boomed one kickoff into the end zone for a touchback.

Schumacher capped a consistent, and accurate, season kicking the football for Gardner-Webb. He leads the Big South Conference – and ranks No. 3 nationally – with a 90.9 percent accuracy rate (10-of-11) on field goals. He has also gone a perfect 32-of-32 on PAT kicks, which also leads the Big South in accuracy.

Schumacher ranks second in the league with a school-record 23 touchbacks on kickoffs – more than tripling his previous career total. He had kicked off for touchbacks only seven times in his previous two seasons with the Runnin' Bulldogs combined.

Schumacher has scored a career-best 62 points this season, with career-highs in field goals (10) and extra points (32). He has scored 145 career points, which includes a 70-of-72 effort on PAT kicks. Schumacher now has 25 career field goals made in three seasons.

Gardner-Webb finished the 2016 season with a 3-2 mark and tied for third in the final Big South Conference standings. It was GWU's first league finish above the .500 mark since 2003.

GWU opens the 2017 season next September 2 at home against North Carolina A&T.

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