|« Colgate's Eachus out for at least three weeks||Lehigh Offense Listless in 28-21 Defeat to Central Connecticut State »|
FCS Conference Players of the Week, 9/7/09
Aaron Boyce, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound senior from Kent, Wash., hauled in six catches for 126 yards and a touchdown in the Eagles’ 35-14 victory over Western Oregon. Boyce caught a 53-yard touchdown pass from Matt Nichols in the second quarter to put the Eagles ahead for good, 14-7. This is the first Player of the Week honor for Boyce, a 2007 First Team All-Conference selection. Boyce has 189 catches for 2,822 yards and 24 touchdowns in his career.
Kevin Hatch, a 5-9, 180-pound senior from Spokane, Wash., intercepted two passes, broke up two more and recorded six tackles in the Eagles’ victory. Hatch picked off a pass in the end zone at the end of the first half with EWU clinging to a 14-7 lead. His other interception led to a touchdown that gave EWU a 28-14 lead. Hatch finished with three solo tackles and three assisted stops. This is the first Player of the Week honor for Hatch.
Sam Gratton, a 6-foot, 197-pound freshman from Billings, Mont., made a big special teams impact in the Grizzlies’ 38-0 victory over Western State. Gratton broke through for a blocked punt in the fourth quarter. Montana recovered the punt on the Western State 13-yard line and scored a touchdown three plays later. Later in the quarterback, Gratton assisted on a tackle of the punter for an 8-yard loss on a bad snap. Montana took over on the Western State 12-yard line and scored four plays later to cap the 38-0 win.
* * *
Mike Brown caught 11 passes for 157 yards and a touchdown, and later added a rushing touchdown in Liberty’s season-opening loss at FBS member West Virginia. His 20-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter tied the ballgame at 10-10, while his nine-yard scamper in the fourth quarter provided the game’s final margin at 33-20. Brown’s 157 receiving yards were the second-highest by a Big South player against an FBS opponent, while his 11 receptions marked the first time a Liberty receiver caught 10 passes in a game during head coach Danny Rocco’s tenure. Brown added 107 kickoff return yards to finish the day with 271 all-purpose yards, the fifth-highest single-game total in Big South history.
Eric Church recorded a career-high 13 tackles in helping VMI to a 14-13 win over Robert Morris. Church had nine solo tackles as well as two tackles-for-loss for 11 yards, including a sack for a seven-yard loss. He had 10 tackles in the first half alone, and helped the Keydets hold the Colonials to 267 total yards – the Keydets’ lowest amount since holding Coastal Carolina to 252 yards last season on Oct. 11.
Ryan Gates tied the Big South single-game kick scoring record with 16 points in Gardner-Webb’s 58-14 win over Mars Hill. He booted all seven of his PAT attempts, and connected on field goals from 30, 31 and 30 yards in the game. He has now made 19 field goals in 12 career games with the Runnin’ Bulldogs and has scored 10 points in a game four times.
Matthew Goods came off the bench late in the first quarter to tie for the team-lead with six tackles against Mars Hill. He collected a team-high 3.5 tackles-for-loss (minus-17 yards), one sack, one pass break-up and two quarterback hurries. With the game tied 7-7 early in the second quarter, Goods stepped up in one series with a sack, batted down pass and quarterback pressure during a three-play sequence.
* * *
Offensive Player of the Week - Brandyn Harvey, WR, Villanova
Harvey, the CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week, helped lead Villanova to a come-from-behind win over Temple last Thursday, 27-24. The senior hauled in a career-high nine catches for a career-best 142 yards in the win over the Owls. Harvey, a native of Spring Valley, Calif., scored the Wildcats’ game-tying touchdown on a six-yard toss from ‘Nova quarterback Chris Whitney with just 1:24 left in the contest. Eight of Harvey’s nine catches and 132 of his 142 receiving yards came during the game’s second half.
Defensive Player of the Week - B.W. Webb, DB, William and Mary
Webb, who made his first career start Saturday in William and Mary’s 26-14 win over Virginia, is the CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week. The redshirt-freshman forced three of the seven Wahoo turnovers in the way of interceptions marking a William and Mary frosh record. The Newport News, Va., native put the finishing touches on his evening and the win for the Tribe when he picked off a Jameel Sewell pass at the 50 and returned it for a touchdown. The pick-six put William and Mary up 25-14 with just under three minutes left in the game.
Special Teams Player of the Week - Nick Yako, PK, Villanova
Yako, the CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week, helped Villanova top Temple 27-24 Thursday evening in Philadelphia, Pa. The redshirt-freshman placekicker was perfect on the night connecting on 3-of-3 PATs and 2-of-2 in field goal tries. The Cleveland, Ohio, native, who had drilled a 27-yard field goal attempt earlier in the game, lifted the Wildcats to their third win all-time over an FBS foe when he hit a 32-yarder as time expired in the contest at Lincoln Financial Field.
Rookie of the Week - D.J. Adeoba, LB, Massachusetts
Adeoba earned CAA Football Rookie of the Week honors after helping pull Massachusetts within five of Kansas State on the road Saturday evening with a special teams highlight. The redshirt-freshman, who made his first career start, picked up a blocked punt early in the fourth quarter and returned it 26 yards for a touchdown cutting the K-State lead to 21-16. Adeoba, a Hollywood, Fla., native also recorded seven tackles in UMass’ 21-17 loss to the Wildcats.
* * *
QB Noah Shepard - South Dakota (6-2, 215, Sr., Thornton, Colo.)
Quarterback Shepard went 15-for-23 for 249 yards with four touchdowns to lead South Dakota’s offense to over 500 yards of total offense in a 52-0 rout of William Penn on Thursday.
DB Joel Schwenzfeier - North Dakota (6-2, 175, Jr., Hallock, Minn.)
Schwenzfeier had a defensive hat trick with three interceptions in the season opener on the road at Big 12 South Division champion Texas Tech. His first grab came early in the second quarter when he picked off TTU’s Taylor Potts (a member of the preseason Davey O’Brien Award list) on the UND nine, stopping a potential scoring drive. He recorded his second of the game with just 00:12 left in the first half, and the final came at the 11:06 mark in the final quarter. The last time a Fighting Sioux player nabbed three picks in one game was on Oct. 15, 1994 when Mike Mooney grabbed three against Augustana.
K Ryan Griffith - Southern Utah (6-0, 190, Sr., Hemet, Calif.)
In his first game as a kicker since high school, Griffith was perfect on the night, kicking an SUU single-game record five field goals as well as three extra points to account for half the team’s points in the 36-7 victory over Dixie State. He hit field goals of 20, 21, 23, 32 and 37 yards, three of them into the wind, and scored the T-Bird’s first six and final nine points on field goals. He has played receiver for the Thunderbirds the past three years but made the move to kicker in the spring and beat out out two recruited kickers this fall to keep the job.
* * *
* * *
Curtis Pulley (QB, 6-4, 200, Sr., Hopkinsville, Ky.) completed 12 of 19 passes for 140 yards to lead the Rattlers to their first conference victory of the season with a 21-12 win over Delaware State. He also rushed 15 times for 196 yards and scored FAMU’s final TD of the game on a 47-yard run in the game’s third quarter.
Jarrell Herring (DE, 6-2, 253, Sr., Detroit, Mich.) tallied six solo tackles with four for a loss of 13 yards. He added two sacks for a loss of eight yards, a broken up pass and recovered a fumble that set up the Aggies fourth-quarter touchdown in a 19-10 season opening win over Winston-Salem State.
McDaniel (WR, 6-0, 185, Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.) returned an 82-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Pirates 31-24 win over the North Carolina Central Eagles.
Javier Wallace (OL, 6-3, 270, r-Sr, Austin, Texas) anchored the Rattlers that accounted 485 yards of total offense in a 21-12 win over Delaware State. Wallace yielded two sacks and tallied three pancake blocks. He graded out at 97-percent of his assignments.
Derrick Wiley (QB, 6-1, 195, Fr., Rockingham, NC) came off the bench to direct two scoring drives and help the Bulldogs hang on for a 34-31 win over Grambling in the MEAC/SWAC Challenge. He rushed 13 times for 78 yards and a score, and also completed 4-of-6 passes for 40 yards to set up a second score. Wiley was named the game’s Most Valuable Player.
* * *
QB Matt Barr, Western Illinois, Jr., 6-2, 210, Belvidere (Ill.) High
Barr threw for 437 yards in the season-opening win at Sam Houston State. He completed 18-of-26 passes for three touchdowns in the win. It marks just the 19th time in league history that a QB had thrown for 400+ yards. It ranks eighth-best in league history for a single game and second-best all-time for Western.
QB Pat Grace, UNI, Sr., 6-2, 240, Sioux City (Iowa) Heelan High
Grace passed for a career-high 270 yards and nearly led UNI to an upset over No. 21-ranked Iowa. Grace completed 23-of-37 passes and a score against the Hawkeyes. Grace engineered an 11-play, 68-yard drive in the final two minutes which ended with a pair of field goal attempts to close the game.
ILB Brandin Jordan, Southern Illinois, Sr., 5-11, 230, Kenner (La.), John Curtis Christian High
Jordan had a game-high 12 tackles against Marshall with one sack and another game-high two tackles for a loss. Jordan had a hand in forcing both of Marshall’s turnovers. He forced the fumble on MU’s second offensive drive of the game and caused the interception their first drive with his quarterback hurry.
P Scott Ravanesi, Southern Illinois, Sr., 6-0, 195, Carol Stream (Ill.) Glenbard North High
Ravanesi averaged 45.5 yards on his four punts with one being downed inside the 20-yard line in the three-point loss at Marshall. Ravanesi’s long punt on the day went for 50 yards and SIU netted 41.5 yards on his punts.
* * *
Dave Williams, Duquesne
Jr., WR, 5-10, 180, Monroeville, PA/Gateway
Williams made the most of his Duquesne debut after transferring from Michigan State. The junior receiver caught 11 passes, second-most in program history, for 145 yards and one touchdown in helping Duquesne past Bucknell, 24-19, on opening day. The 5-foot-10 Western PA native delivered what turned out to be the game-winning score when he reached paydirt on a 35-yard pass from Connor Dixon. The scoring strike, which extended the Dukes’ advantage to 24-13 with 11:24 to play, was Williams’ second catch of more than 20 yards on the drive.
James Mallory, Central Connecticut State
Sr., RB, 5-10, 200, Buffalo, NY/Kenmore West
Mallory was the offensive catalyst behind Central Connecticut State’s 28-21 road win over Lehigh. Carrying the ball 31 times for 117 yards and one touchdown, the senior running back allowed CCSU to chew up the clock. Eight of Mallory’s carries resulted in either a first down or touchdown as the Blue Devils held possession for nearly three full quarters (44:34). The senior’s one-yard TD run gave CCSU a 14-7 advantage 4:37 into the second quarter. His 17-yard first-down jaunt with 5:15 remaining allowed the Blue Devils to take more time off the clock in preserving their seven-point edge.
Alex DiMichele, Robert Morris
Jr., LB, 6-2, 240, Pittsburgh, PA/Sto-Rox
DiMichele took the ball away from VMI on three different occasions during the Colonials’ heartbreaking one-point setback on opening day. The junior linebacker made 15 tackles (6 solo) and recovered a program-record three fumbles, one of which he forced. DiMichele’s prime performance was a major factor in limiting Big South Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Tim Maprey and the nation’s top rushing attack (357.5 ypg) from last year to only 14 points at home. The veteran Colonial twice denied VMI inside Robert Morris’ 25-yard line. He recovered a second-quarter fumble at the RMU 23 before thwarting a first-and-goal situation from the four by forcing Howard Abegash to cough up the ball and then pouncing on it.
Frantz Placide, Wagner
Jr., DB, 6-2, 205, Miami, FL/Archbishop Curley
Placide provided three huge plays on special teams, two of which went for touchdowns, in an attempt to lift Wagner past Stonehill. The junior defensive back returned the game’s opening kickoff 89 yards for a score. He found the end zone again midway through the second quarter when he scooped up a blocked punt and returned it 17 yards to extend Wagner’s lead to 28-14. Placide’s final big play of the day came with 00:48 remaining on the clock as he recovered Wagner’s successful onsides kick. He returned four kickoffs in all for 162 yards (40.5 ypr).
Andrew Smith, Albany
R-Fr., QB/RS, 6-2, 220, Schenectady, NY/Guilderland
Smith did everything from return kickoffs to taking snaps from under center during his collegiate debut. The athletic freshman totaled 239 all-purpose yards, scored one touchdown, and set up another in Albany’s last-minute loss at Georgia Southern. Smith returned six kickoffs for 140 yards, the third-highest single-game mark in the program’s 10-year FCS history, and carried the ball eight times for 99 yards. His 30-yard scamper on a fake punt turned a fourth-and-four situation into a first down at the GSU 29-yard line. Six plays later, UA found the end zone to break a 10-10 tie in the final minute of the first half. Spelling quarterback Vinny Esposito, Smith engineered a five-play touchdown drive, capped by his 39-yard rush, to put the Danes ahead 23-19 with 3:36 to go in the third.
* * *
Jake Christensen, QB • Grad., 6-1, 215 • Lockport, Ill. • Eastern Illinois
In his debut with Eastern Illinois, quarterback Jake Christensen completed 14-of-22 passes for 167 yards and three touchdowns as the Panthers topped in-state rival Illinois State 31-6 on Thursday night. The Iowa transfer spread the ball to nine different receivers and had a long pass of 25 yards. His first EIU touchdown came with 14 seconds left in the first half when he connected on a 10-yard strike to Jimmy Potempa. He also connected on a 12-yard pass to Chris Wright in the third quarter and a 25-yard score to Lorence Ricks in the fourth.
Jeremy Caldwell, DB • So., 5-10, 172 • Chattanooga, Tenn. • Eastern Kentucky
Caldwell tallied two interceptions, including one in his team’s own end zone in the third quarter, as No. 24 Eastern Kentucky lost 19-13 at Indiana on Thursday night. His third quarter pick kept the score 19-10 and led to an EKU field goal on the ensuing possession. Caldwell also had six tackles and returned a punt 40 yards late in the second quarter to set up a field goal and trim the IU lead to 19-10.
Marcus Harris, WR • Jr., 6-1, 185 • St. Louis, Mo. • Murray State
Harris returned both a kickoff and punt return for a touchdown in Murray State’s 66-10 victory over Kentucky Wesleyan on Thursday night. He became the first-ever Racer to accomplish that task in the same game. With less than three minutes remaining in the third quarter he took the KWC kickoff 86-yards for a touchdown to put Murray State up 52-10. After catching a 13-yard touchdown pass on the Racers next possession he took a Kentucky Wesleyan punt 75 yards for a touchdown to put his team up 66-10 with 11 minutes to play. Harris finished the game with 225 all-purpose years
Jason McNair, RB • R-Fr., 5-8, 190 • Mt. Olive, Miss. • UT Martin
McNair led UT Martin with 148 all-purpose yards in the Skyhawks season-opening 56-0 victory over Iowa Wesleyan on Thursday night. McNair also added two touchdowns, on carries of 5 and 17 yards in the fourth quarter. In total he carried the ball 14 times for 83 yards. McNair also returned two punts for 33 yards, had a kickoff return for 26 yards and one reception for six yards.
* * *
Offensive Player of the Week
Dominic Randolph, Holy Cross Sr., QB, 6′3, 223, Amelia, Ohio/St. Xavier
Randolph set or tied five Patriot League career records on a huge day that included two fourth-quarter touchdown passes to lead Holy Cross to a 20-7 victory over Georgetown in the Patriot League opener. Ranolph completed 36-of-56 passes for 414 yards and led Holy Cross back from a 7-6 fourth-quarter deficit. He also rushed for 17 yards to finish with 431 yards of total offense. Randolph set Patriot League career records for passing yardage, total offense, and 400-yard total offense games, while tying career marks for touchdowns responsible for and 400-yard passing games. Randolph became the first Patriot League quarterback to go over 10,000 passing yards (10,093), and now holds or is tied for eight different Patriot League career records. It is the 13th Offensive Player of the Week honor of his career.
Defensive Player of the Week
B.J. Benning, Lehigh Sr., DL, 6′0, 285, Ellicott City, Md./River Mill
Benning had a strong effort in a season-opening loss for the Mountain Hawks, recording a career-high 12 tackles with 1.5 tackles for loss and a sack in the 28-21 defeat to Central Connecticut State. He had four solo and eight assisted tackles to record his first career double-figure tackle game. He had five tackles in the second quarter, and another four in the fourth. Benning earns his first Defensive Player of the Week award.
Special Teams Player of the Week
John Kennedy, Lehigh Jr., DB/KR, 5′10, 185, Philadelphia, Pa./Central
Kennedy earns his first Special Teams Player of the Week award after returning a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown in Lehigh’s 28-21 loss to Central Connecticut State. The return put Lehigh on the board and evened the score at 7-7 in the first quarter. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown in his career, and first for any Mountain Hawk player since Gerran Walker in 2004.
Rookie of the Week
Eddie Houghton, Holy Cross Fr., RB, 5′11, 220, Toronto, Ontario/St. Michael’s
Houghton carried seven times for 52 yards and also caught a pass for nine yards in his first collegiate contest to help Holy?Cross past Georgetown, 20-7. He led the Crusader rushing attack, and had a long run of 17 yards. Houghton’s brother, Charlie, was at running back for Georgetown. Charlie Houghton won the 2006 Patriot League Rookie of the Year award.
* * *
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Andrew Huck, Butler
Sophomore, Quarterback, Bloomington, Ind.
Making his first collegiate start, Huck had a hand in all six touchdowns of Butler’s 42-0 victory against Albion, Saturday. He completed 18-of-25 passes for 327 yards and threw for a school-record tying five touchdowns, including four second-quarter TD strikes. His 327 yards passing were the sixth most by an FCS quarterback in Week 1 and he posted the subdivision’s third-best passer rating (239.87) among qualfying passers. Huck also posted a team-best 68 yards rushing on eight carries, including a three-yard touchdown run that capped the scoring in the third quarter.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jaquan Bryant, Marist
Sophomore, Cornerback, St. Albans, N.Y.
Bryant returned two interceptions for touchdowns as Marist opened its campaign with a 31-12 victory at Sacred Heart, Saturday. His first interception, an 11-yard return, opened the game’s scoring in the first quarter. Bryant’s second interception, a 15-yard return, closed the scoring with 1:31 remaining in the contest. He became the first FCS player this season to return two interceptions for touchdowns. Bryant also had five tackles (one solo) on the day and added a pass breakup.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Brandon Wubs, Drake
Senior, Punter/Kicker, Hawthorn Woods, Ill.
Wubs was responsible for 10 points in Drake’s 22-10 victory against Grand View, Saturday. He converted all three of his field goal attempts and made one of his two extra point tries. Wubs opened the game’s scoring with a 37-yard field goal. He added a 32-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 25-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. In addition, Wubs punted four times for 178 yards (44.5 yards per punt), including a 51-yard boomer. He also handled kickoff duties where his six kickoffs averaged 57.7 yards.
* * *
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jordan Sorrells, Furman, Sr., QB
Sorrells compiled a career high 336 yards and three touchdowns through the air to go with one on the ground in leading Furman to a 45-21 victory over Presbyterian. The fifth-year senior completed 24-of-30 passes for 285 yards and three scores, and he rushed four times for a career high 51 yards and a touchdown. Sorrells tossed touchdown passes covering 15, 12, and 5 yards, and had a scoring run of 9 yards. The Greenville, S.C., native recorded a career long rush of 46 yards and keyed a Paladin offense that rolled up 495 total yards.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Joseph Boateng, The Citadel, R-Fr., DB
Boateng made an immediate impact in his first collegiate game by picking off a pair of passes against North Carolina. His first interception was returned 18 yards to the UNC 3-yard line. Boateng, who hails from Germantown, Md., also tied for the team lead with seven tackles, including five solo stops.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Jamere Valentine, Georgia Southern, Fr., WR
In his first collegiate game, Valentine caught both of the Eagles’ touchdown passes in a 29-26 win over Albany. The Myrtle Beach, S.C., native also hauled in six receptions for a team-high 79 yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Lance Camp, Elon, Jr. PR
Camp returned six punts for a total of 79 yards, including a 54-yard return for a touchdown in Elon’s 56-0 win over Davidson. The junior from Cherryville, N.C., also notched 55 receiving yards on five catches to total 134 all-purpose yards.
* * *
Offensive Player of the Week: Brian Babin, Southeastern Louisiana
Fifth-year senior Brian Babin set career highs in completions (37) and passing yards (379) with three touchdowns in Southeastern’s 41-7 win over Texas A&M-Commerce on Saturday. Babin’s 379 yards, the ninth-best single-game mark in school history, marked the third-time in his career that he eclipsed the 300-yard plateau. He increased his career total in passing yards to 5,182 to become the second player in school history to throw for more than 5,000 yards (joining Martin Hankins). The quarterback from St. Amant, La. (St. Amant H.S.), tossed a pair of second-quarter touchdown passes to Simmie Yarborough before adding a 9-yard scoring pass to Chris Wilson in the fourth quarter to cap an 11-play drive. Directed an offense that accumulated 470 yards total offense and controlled the football for nearly 20 minutes in the second half, including 10:26 in the third quarter.
Defensive Player of the Week: Pieri Feazell, Central Arkansas
Central Arkansas safety Pieri Feazell intercepted a Hawaii pass in the end zone on the Warriors’ third possession of the game. The senior from Mt. Olive, Miss. (Mt. Olive H.S.), also forced a fumble two possessions later and was the team’s leading tackler with five. The Bears’ upset bid of the Western Athletic Conference foe at Aloha Stadium fell short, 25-20, late Friday night.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Evan Engwall, Stephen F. Austin
In first collegiate game Saturday at SMU, kicker Evan Engwall led Stephen F. Austin with 11 points. The freshman from Derby, Kan. (Derby H.S.), was 2-for-2 on extra points, and nailed his first three field goal attempts of 46, 38, and 48 yards. The 48-yarder was the longest by any Lumberjack since the 2004 season. The Lumberjacks entered the fourth quarter leading the Mustangs, 23-14, but lost to the Conference USA opponent in Dallas, 31-23.
* * *
OFFENSIVE - QB Kevin Atkins, Alabama A&M; 6-1, 215; JR; Durham, NC
Atkins completed 19 of 28 passes for 232 yards and three touchdowns with one interception in the Bulldogs’ 24-7 win at Tennessee State. Atkins threw a pair of touchdown passes (11, 9) on the first two drives on the season, and added a 13-yard scoring pass in the second quarter. Atkins also rushed for 28 yards.
DEFENSIVE – LB Dejuan Fulgham, Texas Southern; 6-1, 220; JR; Killeen, TX Fulgham made 12 tackles (eight solo with 4.5 for loss) with 3.0 sacks in the Tigers’ Labor Day Classic game against Prairie View A&M.
Fulgham had one sack in the first quarter and a pair of sacks in the third quarter against the Panthers.
NEWCOMER – DB Timothy Berry, Southern; 5-10, 185; SO; St. Francisville, LA
In his collegiate debut against Louisiana-Lafayette, Berry made seven tackles, including five solo stops, for Southern.
SPECIALIST – RB Ulysses Banks, Alabama A&M; 5-11, 200; SR; Birmingham, AL
Banks averaged 44.0 yards on a pair of kickoff returns against Tennessee State. Banks’ 25-yard KOR to open the game set the tone for AAMU’s nine-play, 66-yard touchdown drive in the first quarter. Banks also had a 64-yard kickoff return in the second quarter. Combined with his rushing and receiving yards, Banks totaled 257 all-purpose yards in the victory.