Bears nab three ASUN weekly honors

CONWAY — The University of Central Arkansas Bears nabbed three of the four ASUN Conference Player of the Week honors on Monday following Saturday’s 31-16 road victory over Idaho State.

Junior linebacker Corley Hooper was named the ASUN Defensive Player of the Week, sophomore running back Darius Hale earned the ASUN Offensive Player of the Week honor and redshirt freshman defensive back Sean Smith was named the ASUN Freshman of the Week.

Hooper, a transfer from Itawamba Community College and a native of Ecru, Miss., finished with seven tackles, including 1.5 tackles for loss and a half sack. He also intercepted his first pass in the end zone in the first quarter that squelched an Idaho State drive. Hooper was an honorable mention for the STATS Perform National Defensive Player of the Week.

Hale, from Pearland, Texas, and the reigning ASUN Freshman of the Year, scored all three of UCA’s offensive touchdowns. He had scoring runs of 2 and 1 yards and also caught a 13-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Will McElvain, who completed 24 of 29 passes for 259 yards.

Smith, a redshirt freshman from Arlington, Texas, had his first interception late in the third quarter and also added two kickoff returns for 37 yards.

The Bears continue their road swing at Southeast Missouri at 2 p.m. Saturday in Cape Girardeau, Mo. The game will be carried live on The Point 94.1, The Bear 91.3 and ESPN+.