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FCS Conference Players of the Week
Honors from all 14 conferences.
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Northern Arizona quarterback Michael Herrick, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound junior from Valencia, Calif., tied a Big Sky single-game record with 47 completions in 65 attempts for 574 yards with four touchdowns in Northern Arizona’s 49-45 loss to Eastern Washington. Herrick’s 574 yards set the Lumberjack single-game record and was the fourth-most in league single-game history. It’s the highest total by an FCS quarterback this season, and the 11-best total in single-game history. Herrick helped Northern Arizona recover from a 42-27 fourth-quarter deficit to take a 45-42 lead. This is Herrick’s second Player of the Week honor this season.
Eastern Washington quarterback Matt Nichols, a 6-foot 3, 220-pound senior from Cottonwood, Calif., closed out his regular season with another stellar effort, completing 22-of-33 passes for 408 yards with five touchdowns and no interceptions in the Eagles’ 49-45 win over Northern Arizona. Nichols, a leading candidate for the Walter Payton Award, threw a 60-yard touchdown to Ed Berry for the game-winning score with 3:30 to play. The win moved Eastern Washington to 8-3 and helped the Eagles’ secure an at-large bid in the Division I Playoffs. In his last five games, Nichols has completed 68 percent of his passes for 1,840 yards with 20 touchdowns, no interceptions and an efficiency rating of 183.0. This is Nichols’ third Player of the Week Honor this season and the seventh of his career.
Weber State linebacker Nick Webb, a 6-foot-4, 220-pound sophomore from Salt Lake City, Utah, recorded nine tackles, forced a fumble and recovered a fumble in Weber State’s 47-14 must-win over Cal Poly. The victory moved Weber State to 7-4 and helped the Wildcats secure an at-large bid in the playoffs. Webb finished with seven solo tackles and two assisted tackles. He had one tackle for loss. Weber State held Cal Poly, which scored 48 points and rolled up 533 yards of total offense, to just 14 points and 314 yards of total offense. This is Webb’s first Player of the Week Honor.
Montana punt returner Marc Mariani, a 6-foot, 185-pound senior from Havre, Mont., returned three punts for 120 yards and also caught two touchdowns, to help No. 3 Montana to a 33-19 win over No. 23 Montana State. The victory helped the Grizzlies secure the No. 1 seed in the playoffs, and finish off an 11-0 regular season. Mariani’s long punt return was a 53-yarder. He helped set up one touchdown with a long return. He caught six passes for 63 yards, including TD catches of 9 and 6 yards. This is Mariani’s second honor this season and the fifth of his career.
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Stony Brook’s Edwin Gowins rushed for a season-high 165 yards and matched his career-high with three touchdowns to help Stony Brook to a share of the Big South title with its 36-33 victory over No. 16 Liberty. On his second carry of the game, Gowins burst through the LU defense for a 52-yard touchdown run to put Stony Brook ahead, 7-0. After Liberty tied the game at 7-7, Gowins ran for a total of 43 yards on SBU’s next drive and scored from 11 yards out to give the Seawolves a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter. After the Flames took their first lead of the game in the fourth quarter (26-21), Gowins answered again, this time bowling past the Flames from 42 yards away to regain the advantage for SBU. Gowins averaged 9.2 yards per carry and seven of his rushes resulted in first downs.
Charleston Southern’s back Matt Bach had four tackles (three solo) and his first career interception in Charleston Southern’s 30-23 win over Coastal Carolina. His pick came at an opportune time for the Buccaneers, as CSU was ahead seven points with 4:38 remaining, and just turned the ball over to the Chanticleers. On Coastal Carolina’s first play from scrimmage, Bach intercepted Zach MacDowall’s pass and returned it 25 yards for a touchdown that put CSU up 30-16.
Charleston Southern’s John Paglia connected on three of his four field goal attempts and finished the day with 12 points in leading Charleston Southern past Coastal Carolina. He made kicks from 25, 44 and 18 yards, as well as all three PAT attempts, to keep the Buccaneers ahead of the Chanticleers. Paglia finished the season with a school-record 16 field goals.
Presbyterian College’s Patrick Morgano averaged 39.3 yards on his six punts against Gardner-Webb, pinning a career-high four inside the Runnin’ Bulldogs’ 20-yard line. He boomed one kick 50 yards and another 44 yards, and GWU managed just one yard on two punt returns on the afternoon.
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Offensive Player of the Week - Cory Christopher, QB, Hofstra
Christopher earns CAA Football Offensive Player of the Week honors after leading Hofstra to a 52-38 win over Massachusetts to close out the 2009 season. The senior quarterback completed 38-of-50 passes for a career-high 484 yards and three touchdowns. The Miami, Fla., native also rushed nine times for 33 yards and a touchdown. Christopher, who completed passes to nine different receivers on the day, set a career mark with his 38 total completions. The senior finished his Hofstra career with 3,251 yards passing which is eighth-best in Pride history.
Defensive Player of the Week - Martin Parker, DL, Richmond
Parker, the CAA Football Defensive Player of the Week, led Richmond to a 13-10 win over William and Mary at home Saturday. The junior defensive lineman finished the game with six tackles and a sack for nine yards. The New Haven, Conn., native was part of a defense which limited the Tribe to 65 yards on the ground and surrendered a field goal to William and Mary on its only trip inside the red-zone. Parker and Spider defense also held William and Mary to a season-low 10 points – the Tribe’s fewest since garnering three points in a loss at Virginia Tech in 2007.
Special Teams Player of the Week - Mat Johnson, PK, Northeastern
Johnson, the CAA Football Special Teams Player of the Week, was responsible for a career-high 15 points in Northeastern’s 33-27 win on the road over Rhode Island Saturday. The senior booted two career-long 42-yard field goals and added makes from 29 and 22 on the day. The Ankeny, Iowa, native, who was also 3-for-3 in PAT’s against the Rams, ended his senior season for the Huskies 6-for-6 in field goal attempts and a perfect 22-for-22 on PAT’s.
Rookie of the Week - Justin Thorpe, QB, James Madison
Thorpe earned his third Rookie of the Week honor this season by leading James Madison to a 43-12 win over Towson Saturday, marking the Dukes’ fourth-straight win to end the season. The Richmond, Va., native was 14-of-21 for 259 yards and three touchdowns against the Tigers. The redshirt freshman also ran 10 times for 32 yards. Thorpe’s 14 completions mark a season-best, while his 259 passing yards were three shy of his total of 262 yards in JMU’s win at Delaware. The rookie completed passes to six different receivers, including three different receivers who recorded touchdown catches.
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QB Cade Cooper - Southern Utah (6-3, 210, Sr., Lehi, Utah)
Playing in his last game as a Thunderbird, Cade Cooper completed 22-of-31 passes for 273 yards and three touchdowns, and he also carried eight times for 48 yards in Southern Utah’s victory at San Diego. He became school’s single-season passing leader with 2,988 yards and finished No. 2 on the SUU single-season total offense list with 3,143 yards (only the second player in SUU history to crack the 3,000 yard mark). Cooper also extended his own single-season touchdown passes record to 31, as well as his single-season completions record to 276. He also set the single-season pass attempts record at SUU with 423. Cooper completed five of his first seven passes as SUU jumped out to a 10-0 lead, then threw just three incomplete passes in the second half (9-of-12 in the second half).
DB Colin Pretlow - Southern Utah (5-10, 176, Jr., Las Vegas, Nev.)
Defensive back Colin Pretlow led Southern Utah with nine tackles, including a team-high seven solo tackles, but it was his interception in the final minute that sealed the 37-32 win over San Diego. Pretlow also forced a fumble early in the second half that led to a touchdown that gave SUU a 27-13 advantage. He leads team with four interceptions, the most by a Thunderbird since the 1999 season and he also leads team with three fumbles forced.
K Ryan Griffith - Southern Utah (6-0, 185, Sr., Hemet, Calif.)
Wide receiver turned kicker Ryan Griffith hit three of four field goal attempts and all four of his extra points in SUU’s 37-32 victory over San Diego. He hit field goals of 41, 34 and 27 yards, and his only missed field goal came from 50-yards out, which would have been a career-long. The three field goals in a game tied the mark for second-most in a contest at SUU, behind only his own record of five, set earlier this year against Dixie State. Along the way he set the SUU single-season record for field goals and tied the extra points record. He finished with 15 field goals, bettering the old SUU record by two, and 43 PATs, tying Dave Pretzer’s mark set in 2000 (Pretzer (2001) and Herkey Marxen (1989) co-held the old field goal record).
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OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Harvard junior quarterback COLLIER WINTERS (Claremore, Okla.) threw two touchdown passes in the waning moments of the fourth quarter to lead the Crimson to a 14-10 victory at Yale in the 126th playing of The Game. Winters hit senior wide receiver Matt Luft on a 41-yard scoring strike with 6:46 remaining to bring Harvard within three points. Then he connected with junior wide receiver Chris Lorditch for 32 yards and the game-winning touchdown with 1:32 left in the game. For the day, Winters completed 10 of 26 passes for 211 yards and the two touchdowns while also running 11 times for 51 yards.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Princeton junior linebacker STEVEN CODY (Midlothian, Va..) recorded his sixth double-digit tackling effort on the season with 10 tackles, seven of which were solo, in the Tigers’ 23-11 victory at Dartmouth. Cody was once again all over the field for Princeton with 2.5 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks and two pass breakups, leading a Tiger defene that held the Big Green to just 32 rushing yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Princeton senior placekicker BEN BOLOGNA (Metairie, La.) ended his Tiger career with his finest effort, making three of four field goals including a career-long 42-yarder and two point-after-touchdowns, in a 23-11 win at Dartmouth. Bologna connected on a short 19-yard field goal in the first quarter before scoring the only points of the second quarter hitting from 42 yards out. He capped off the Princeton scoring with a 35-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
Columbia freshman quarterback SEAN BRACKETT (Brooklyn, Conn.) rushed for a school season-high 171 yards on 20 carries in the Lions’ 28-14 win over Brown. Brackett also threw for 151 yards going 10-of-19 with one touchdown. His rushing total was the most of any Lion in 27 games, dating back to the 2007 season. Brackett’s efforts led to Columbia’s dominating the time of possession (36:06 to 23:54) and accounted for the majority of its season-high 447 yards of total offense.
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South Carolina State’s Will Ford (RB, 5-11, 200, Sr., Travelers Rest, SC) became the MEAC’s all-time rushing leader after recording 156 yards on 23 carries with one touchdown in the Bulldogs regular season finale against North Carolina A&T. Ford, who currently has 4,650 career rushing yards, surpasses the mark of Hampton’s Alonzo Coleman (4,648) set in 2006.
Terrell Whitehead of Norfolk State (DB, 6-2, 200, Sr., Virginia Beach, Va.) intercepted a pass in the first quarter and returned it 58-yards for a touchdown. He also forced and recovered a fumble in the second quarter and tallied four tackles, one solo, in the Spartans 21-16 win over Winston-Salem State.
Martin Ukpai of Florida A&M (QB, 6-3, 170, r-Fr., Plantation, Fla.) rushed 66 yards on 10 carries with one touchdown in the Rattlers 42-6 victory over Bethune-Cookman. He also completed 8-of-11 passes for 151 yards and a passing TD in his first collegiate start.
Mike Maloney of Delaware State (RT, 6-6, 325, Sr., Chicago, Ill.) graded out at 95-percent of his assignment as the Hornets offense accounted for 410 yards of total offense, including 315 yards passing, in a 30-20 victory over Howard. Maloney added a season-high 11 pancake blocks in the win.
Willie Carter of South Carolina State (WR, 6-3, 190, Denmark, SC) returned a kickoff 92 yards for a touchdown, the first of his career, in Howard’s 30-20 loss to Delaware State. He concluded the game with 120 kick return yards on three attempts.
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QB Brandon Summers, Youngstown State, 6-2, 200, Sr., Southfield, Mich. (Southfield/Toledo)
The reigning MVFC Offensive Player of the Week, Summers rallied the Penguins from 11 points down in the fourth quarter to pull out a 39-35 win at North Dakota State. Summers threw two fourth-quarter touchdown passes, including the game-winning score to Dominique Barnes with 22 seconds remaining. Summers, who was injured last week in the win over Illinois State, did not play the first quarter before coming on in the second period. He was 23-of-34 for 259 yards and three scores. He set the school mark for single-season completions (219) and passing percentage (64.2). In the fourth quarter, Summers completed two passes on fourth downs to keep the comeback bid going. He was 13-of-19 on the final two drives of the game. It was YSU’s first fourth-quarter rally for a win since 2007 vs. Southern Utah and largest fourth-quarter rally since beating James Madison in 2006 playoffs.
DB E.J. Jones, Illinois State, Jr.-1L, 5-11, 190, Edwardsville, Ill. (Grandview Heights HS/Minnesota)
Jones recorded two interceptions, including one late in the fourth quarter, to help secure a 22-20 come-from-behind win for Illinois State over No. 9 Northern Iowa on Senior Day. The Edwardsville, Ill., native picked off UNI quarterback Zach Davis twice, one late in the second quarter and the second with just 2:21 left in the game as UNI was driving in Illinois State territory. Jones also recorded eight tackles on the day, seven of which were solo stops, and recorded a tackle-for-loss. Jones’ two interceptions in the game gave him six for the season, the most by a Redbird player since 1989.
PK Zach Kutch, Illinois State, Sr.-1L, 5-9, 175, Milton, Fla. (Milton HS/Auburn)
Kutch put a cap on a stellar senior season with three field goals in Illinois State’s 22-20 come-from-behind victory over No. 9 Northern Iowa on Senior Day at Hancock Stadium. The Milton, Fla., native connected on a career-long 52-yard boot in the first quarter to give the Redbirds a 3-0 lead and followed that up with a 30-yard make in the second quarter to extend the ISU lead to 13-0. He capped off the day with a 51-yard bomb into the wind late in the quarter, making him the first Redbird kicker in school history to hit two field goals from 50 yards or more in the same game and just the fifth player in league history to accomplish that feat. Overall, Kutch finished the day 3-for-4 in field goal attempts after a 51-yard attempt was blocked in the fourth quarter. With his three field goals, Kutch set a new single-season record at ISU with 22 made on the season topping the previous mark of 19 set in 1995 by Todd Kurz.
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Offensive Player of the Week
Vinny Esposito, UAlbany
Sr., QB, 6-1, 210, Demarest, NJ/Northern Valley Regional
Esposito engineered the Great Danes’ offense to a 41-point showing in a successful season finale at Wagner. The senior quarterback completed his career by going 14-of-21 passing for 248 yards and two touchdowns. He was responsible for four of Albany’s six touchdowns, throwing for two and rushing for another pair. His two rushing touchdowns (8, 1) came within 1:39 of each other and turned a seven-point lead into a 34-14 advantage during the waning minutes of the first half. Averaging 11.8 yards per pass attempt, Esposito surpassed the 200-yard mark for the eighth time in his career. Having posted a 24-11 record in three seasons as a starter, the New Jersey native stands second all-time in UA history for both passing yards and touchdowns (38).
Defensive Player of the Week
Alondre Rush, Central Connecticut State
Jr., DB, 6-0, 190, Middletown, CT/Xavier
Rush’s defensive effort was at the center of the Blue Devils’ 14-13 title-clinching road victory that landed the NEC champions a postseason berth in the Gridiron Classic (Dec. 5). The junior defensive back accounted for a game-high 13 tackles, a second-half sack, and a key interception. Six of Rush’s tackles limited the offense to three yards or fewer. The preseason all-NEC selection picked a perfect time for his second interception of the year. One play after he dropped the Red Flash ball carrier for a two-yard loss at CCSU’s 20, Rush stifled Saint Francis’ 14-play drive and preserved a 7-7 tie by picking off quarterback John Kelly in the end zone during the waning minutes of the third quarter. Rush sacked Kelly for an eight-yard loss on the opening possession of the second half. His award comes one week after teammate Lawton Arnold was honored as the NEC Defensive Player of the Week.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Frantiz Placide, Wagner
Jr., DB 6-2, 205, Miami, FL/Archbishop Curley
Placide closed his season just as he opened it, turning in a remarkable special teams effort that included a kickoff return for a touchdown. The junior defensive back’s 89-yard kickoff return in the second quarter of Saturday’s season finale against Albany matches the one he had on opening day. Placide, who also stuffed a punt and recovered an onsides kick in the season opener, blocked two punts against Albany. After a Vinny Esposito touchdown pass increased the Great Danes lead to 21-7 with 4:53 remaining in the second quarter, Placide immediately answered by taking the ensuing kickoff back for six points. His efforts on punt blocks twice gave Wagner a short field in the second half. Winning his NEC-high fourth Special Teams Player of the Week award, Placide unseated RMU kicker Garrett Clawson who earned the honor for three consecutive weeks.
Rookie of the Week
Jeff Sinclair, Robert Morris
Fr., QB, 6-3, 190, Natrona Heights, PA/Highlands
Sinclair called the signals for Robert Morris’ fifth consecutive victory, a 23-9 road triumph over Monmouth in the season finale. Sinclair’s latest effort in the Colonials’ season-ending surge, which followed a 0-6 start, saw the rookie go 13-of-17 passing for 128 yards and two touchdowns. The 6-foot-3 quarterback added 47 yards on 10 rushes. Sinclair sealed the victory by tossing a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes that put RMU ahead 23-2. His four-yard TD pass to Sherrod Evers capped an 11-play, 84-yard drive with 12:39 remaining in the final period. Only 1:13 later, Sinclair hit Anthony Coleman on a 31-yard scoring strike.
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Ryan Perrilloux, QB • Sr., 6-3, 223 • LaPlace, La. • Jacksonville State
Perrilloux accounted for 307 yards of total offense and two touchdowns as Jacksonville State finished the season with the OVC’s best record with a 34-26 victory over Eastern Kentucky. It marks the second week in a row and seventh time this season that Perrilloux has been named OVC Offensive Player of the Week, which is an OVC-record. It also marks the ninth time in his career he has won the award, which is tied for the most all-time with EIU’s Tony Romo (2000-02) and EKU’s Markus Thomas (1989-92). Against EKU Perrilloux ran for a career-high 115 yards (on only nine carries - a 12.8 yard/carry average) and completed 13-of-24 passes for 191 yards. He tossed a 15-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter, which proved to be the game-winner and also set the Jax State single-season touchdown mark (23). His 20-yard touchdown run in the first quarter accounted for the first points of the contest for the Gamecocks. Perrilloux ranks first nationally in passing efficiency (172.58) and fourth nationally in points responsible for (18.6 points/game).
Alexander Henderson, LB • Sr., 6-1, 212 • Mobile, Ala. • Jacksonville State
Henderson was named OVC Defensive Player of the Week for the third week in a row after registering 14 tackles (10 solo) and recovering a school-record three fumbles in Jacksonville State’s 34-26 victory over Eastern Kentucky. It marked the seventh consecutive game with double-digit tackles for Henderson who ranks first in the OVC and 15th nationally in tackles (10.45/game). Henderson also added a sack and two tackles-for-loss in the game. He now ranks first nationally in fumble recoveries (0.45/game).
Terrence Holt, KR/RB • Jr., 5-8, 180 • Nashville, Tenn. • Austin Peay
Holt won the award for the third straight week after racking up 312 all-purpose yards, including 243 yards on kickoffs returns, in Austin Peay’s game at UT Martin on Saturday. Despite UT Martin using a variety of kickers and kickoffs to keep the ball out of his hands, the junior still returned seven kickoffs for 243 yards (34.7 yards/return), including ones of 59 and 57 yards. The 243 kickoff return yards in a game was the second most in OVC history, trailing only a 250-yard outing Holt had at North Dakota State in 2008. Holt finished the season with 1,194 kickoff return yards and now has the top three single-season kickoff return yard totals in OVC history (1,285, 1,194 and 1,104). Holt finished the regular season as the FCS national leader in all-purpose yards, averaging 215.73 yards/game.
T.J. Pryor, QB • R-Fr., 6-2, 181 • Louisville, Ky. • Eastern Kentucky
Pryor completed 18-of-30 passes for 252 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions as Eastern Kentucky lost 34-26 at No. 15 Jacksonville State on Saturday. Pryor threw a 13-yard touchdown pass to Garnett Phelps and a 13-yarder to Shannon Davis in the second quarter to put EKU up 17-14. It marks the third time this season Pryor has been named OVC Newcomer of the Week.
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Offensive Player of the Week
C.J. Hopson, Bucknell So.,?QB, 6′0, 182, Lusby, Md./Patuxent
Hopson led the Bison to an upset of No. 13-ranked and Patriot League champion Holy Cross, as he carried 29 times for a career-high 189 yards and a touchdown in a 23-17 triumph. With the score tied at 17-17 late in the fourth quarter, he notched a 40-yard run to set up Bucknell’s winning touchdown. It was the 23rd-best single-game rushing performance in Bucknell history. Hopson recorded his second-straight 100-yard rushing game, and his fourth this season. He had the bulk of Bucknell’s 321 rushing yards. He finishes the season with a team-high 633 rushing yards out of the quarterback position, and rushed for a touchdown for the second straight game. Hopson becomes the fifth quarterback to earn the Offensive Player of the Week award this year, and the only player from Bucknell to claim the honor.
Defensive Player of the Week
Al Pierce, Lehigh Sr., LB, 6′1, 220, Moorestown, N.J./Moorestown
Pierce sealed Lehigh’s thrilling overtime win over rival No. 21/22 Lafayette, as his interception on the first play of the Leopards’ overtime possession ended the game with a 27-21 Mountain Hawk victory. Pierce also led the Lehigh defense with 12 tackles in the game, notching one tackle for a loss. He finishes the season with 35 total tackles, 5.5 TFL, 2.5 sacks and one interception.
Special Teams Player of the Week
Jason Davis, Bucknell Sr., CB/RS, 5′8, 185, Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods
Davis aided Bucknell’s 23-17 upset win over Holy Cross by returning three kickoffs for 83 yards (27.3 avg.) and also bringing back two punts for 11 yards. He had a career-best 37-yard return in the second half. He returned the total of five kicks after not serving in that role all season. Davis also chipped in with six tackles and three pass breakups on defense.
Rookie of the Week
Tyler Smith, Bucknell Fr., RB, 5′9, 185, Hatfield, Pa./North?Penn
Smith scored two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 1:40 remaining, in Bucknell’s 23-17 victory over No. 13 Holy?Cross on?Saturday. He posted career highs with 12 rushes, 58 yards and the two touchdowns. The winning touchdown was a nine-yard rush with the score tied at 17, while he also scored the first touchdown of the day to give the Bison a 7-0 lead.
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OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Bo Stompro, San Diego
Freshman, Quarterback, San Ramon, Calif.
True freshman Stompro became the second PFL player this season to throw five touchdowns in San Diego’s 37-32 non-conference loss to Southern Utah, Saturday. Making his fourth career appearance, he completed 24-of-38 passes for 247 yards with touchdown throws to five different receivers.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
J.D. Cecil, Morehead State
Junior, Defensive Back, Pickerington, Ohio
Cecil scored Morehead State’s first touchdown in a 29-6 PFL victory at Valparaiso, Saturday. With the Eagles up 9-6, he picked off a pass early in the fourth quarter and returned it 23 yards for the game’s first touchdown. Later in the quarter, Cecil intercepted a second pass and returned it 46 yards to the Valparaiso six-yard line, setting up Morehead State’s second touchdown. He finished the day with two tackles, a quarterback hurry and two interceptions with 69 return yards.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
David Lang, Butler
Sophomore, Placekicker, Lowell, Ind.
Lang’s 27-yard field goal with one second remaining gave Butler a share of its second PFL regular-season title in a 20-17 victory against Drake, Saturday. It was Lang’s second game-winning field goal this season, both coming in PFL play. Lang also converted a 29-yard field goal in the first half and scored a pair of PATs to finish with eight points.
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OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Jordan Sorrells, Furman, Sr., QB
Playing in his final collegiate game, Sorrells completed 25-of-36 passes for 272 yards and career-high five touchdowns in leading Furman to a 58-21 victory over Wofford, thereby securing a third place SoCon league finish for the Paladins. The senior’s touchdown passes, which covered 3, 13, 6, 6, and 29 yards, were the most by a Paladin QB since 1991 and gave him 42 for his career, tying him with Ingle Martin for the most TD passes in Furman history.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Nathan Wade, Furman, R-Fr., FS
Wade keyed a strong Furman defensive effort, racking up a career-high 16 tackles, including 10 solo stops, and an interception in Furman’s 58-21 win over Wofford, thereby securing a third place SoCon league finish for the Paladins. His interception and 8-yard return set up a touchdown that gave the Paladins a 44-0 lead at the end of the third quarter.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Michael Johnson, Western Carolina, Fr., RB
Johnson recorded his second-career 100-yard rushing game, finishing with 105 yards and a touchdown in the Catamounts’ 19-14 loss to No. 6 Appalachian State. Each of Johnson’s 100-yard games this season have come against the No. 6-ranked team in the country, on Nov. 7 against Elon and again Saturday versus ASU. Johnson also added a reception on the afternoon.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bob Hooper, Samford, So., P
Hooper punted seven times for an average of 45.3 yards per kick in Saturday’s 27-7 loss to 10th-ranked Elon. Hooper had a long punt on the day of 51 yards. The sophomore, who ranks 12th nationally with a 41.5-yard average on the season, also placed two punts inside the Elon 20-yard line.
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Offensive Player of the Week: Brent Grimes, Central Arkansas
Central Arkansas running back Brent Grimes had career highs in carries (39) and yards (181) in a losing effort against No. 10 McNeese State, 21-17. The senior from Baton Rouge, La. (Redemptorist), extended his Central Arkansas career scoring record with touchdown runs of 3 and 1 yards. Grimes surpassed the 1,000 yard mark for the first time in his career and now has a conference-leading 1,085 yards this season. He also caught three passes for 24 yards. This is Grimes’ first player of the week award this season.
Defensive Player of the Week: Bobby Felder, Nicholls
Nicholls defensive back Bobby Felder recorded two interceptions against Southeastern Louisiana and returned one of them 63 yards for a go-ahead touchdown in the first quarter. The Colonels led the rest of the way and took the victory 45-30. The sophomore from McComb, Miss. (McComb), totaled 107 yards on interception returns. Felder had five solo tackles in the Thursday night game on the Southland Conference Television Network. Felder has three career interceptions, all of which have come against Southeastern Louisiana. This is Felder’s first player of the week award this season.
Special Teams Player of the Week: Drew Nelson, Stephen F. Austin
Stephen F. Austin Punter Drew Nelson averaged 47 yards on four punts in the Lumberjacks 19-10 win over Northwestern State. The sophomore from Livingston, Texas (Livingston), pinned the Demons inside the 20-yard line one time and totaled 188 yards on his four punts.
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OFFENSIVE - QB K.J. Black, Prairie View A&M; 6-4, 225; JR; Louisville, KY
Black completed 23 of 27 passes for 312 yards with five touchdowns and one interception in the Panthers’ 49-17 win over Univ. Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Black, who also rushed four times for 27 yards, threw scoring passes of 41, 21, 5, 33, and 31 yards as Prairie View A&M finished SWAC play undefeated.
DEFENSIVE - DT Devin Boyd, Prairie View A&M, 6-2, 265; SR; LaPorte, TX
Boyd made six tackles (three for loss) with two sacks and one forced fumble in PV’s win over the Golden Lions. Boyd made one sack in the first and third quarters, respectively, the second forcing a fumble that ended a UAPB drive.
NEWCOMER - P Chance Wilson, Alabama A&M; 5-9, 185; FR; Huntsville, AL
Wilson averaged 46.6 yards on five punts vs. Mississippi Valley State, including a career-long 66-yarder. All five of Wilson’s punts were downed inside the 20, and he leads the SWAC with 25 punts downed inside the 20 this season.
SPECIALIST - P Pedro Ventura, Prairie View A&M; 5-9, 180; JR; Houston, TX
Ventura averaged 38.2 yards on four punts, with one inside the 20, in the Panthers’ win over UAPB. Ventura, who is third in the conference in punts downed inside the 20 with 15, leads the SWAC with a 44.4 yard punting average.
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