Updated: August 22, 2003, 2:13 AM ET

LITTLE ROCK -- Todd Knight is building momentum entering his fifth season as coach at Ouachita Baptist.

The Tigers were 5-5 last year, with victories over Arkansas Tech, North Alabama and Delta State, teams that have given OBU problems in the past.

"We've been here since 1999 now, so we need to be making a difference in the conference standings," said Knight, who is 13-27 at the Arkadelphia school. "We beat some people we have not beaten before and we really feel like our program is more competitive. We'd really like to get to the point to where our program is not just competitive. We'd like a chance to compete for the conference title."

If that's going to happen, running back MontoyaBrown will have a lot to do with it. The senior from Daingerfield, Texas, is the fourth-leading rusher in school history with 2,737 yards. He has rushed for 1,000 yards both years he has been healthy, including 1,012 and 10 touchdowns in 2002.

As a sophomore,Brown rushed for 500 yards despite playing just three full games before injuries sidelined him.

"(Brown) had a bunch of touches last year and he had just one fumble," Knight said. "Our backs put the ball on the ground two times total all last year that we lost. I would consider Montoya the total package. He's a great young man, great leader on our football team."

Josh Holcomb from Murfreesboro gives the Tigers a potent combination at running back and someone to takeBrown's place next year. The sophomore rushed for 461 yards, averaging 5.3 yards per carry, and he scored the winning touchdown against Delta State.

Quarterback Chris Lammers completes the backfield after a successful freshman season. The Stuttgart product took over as starter late in the season, completing 61 percent of his passes (50 of 82) for 538 yards and two touchdowns.

Knight andBrown are impressed with Lammers.

"He wasn't a typical freshman quarterback last year coming out nervous,"Brown said. "He tried to learn the game and then when he got out there he started making plays. He's the type of quarterback that we need."

Senior receiver Jett Furneaux from Star City returns after leading the Tigers with 37 receptions for 437 yards last year.

As good as the offensive returners are, Knight knows OBU needs to improve on defense if it wants to play with the Gulf South's elite teams. The Tigers allowed 363.9 yards and 28 points per game last year.

Ole Miss transfer Arthur Spear earned second-team all-conference honors after leading the team with 75 tackles and four interceptions. Defensive end Maurice Doaty had 56 tackles, including 15 for a loss.

OBU opens its season at home against Southeastern Oklahoma State on Sept. 6.

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