October 3, 2012

ECAC Football Players of the Week (for week ending September 29, 2012)

Football Players of the Week (for week ending September 29, 2012)

Division I Bowl Subdivision 

Offensive Player of the Week

Geno Smith - West Virginia University
Senior, Miami, Fla.

Smith threw 8 touchdowns in West Virginia's first conference game. Smith passed for 656 yards and completed 45-of-51 passes with 0 interceptions. Six of Smith's WVU receivers had 100 or more receiving yards in the game. In 4 games this season, Smith has passed for an astonishing 1728 yards and 20 touchdowns. He is averaging 432 yards passing a game. 

Defensive Player of the Week

Jory Johnson – University of Connecticut

Senior, Linebacker, Mobile, Ala.

Johnson had a career-high 14 tackles with two tackles for loss in a 24-17 win against Buffalo.

Special Teams Player of the Week

No Qualified Candidates Submitted.

Division I Championship Subdivision

Offensive Player of the Week

Andy Vailas – University of New Hampshire

Sophomore, Quarterback, Bedford, NH

Following a scoreless Wildcat first half, Vailas broke it open after intermission to tally three touchdowns during a 34-0 second-half run that led to No. 20 New Hampshire's 34-14 victory over No. 8 Delaware. New Hampshire’s victory snapped the Blue Hens' seven-game win streak. The sophomore equaled a career high with 23 completions on 36 attempts for 315 passing yards and two scores in the air, while also tacking on a 1-yard touchdown run in the third-quarter as part of his 14-carry, 36-yard rushing effort.

Defensive Player of the Week

Marcelis Branch – Robert Morris University
Freshman, Cornerback,  Homestead, Fla.

Branch produced a number of impactful plays last weekend. Making his third collegiate start, he forced a first-quarter fumble and picked off a pass in the second. Branch made 15 total tackles over the course of the 31-28 victory. Two of his tackles came on kickoff coverage, while eight of his 13 Defensive Player of the Week hits stopped the opponent short of the first-down marker. However, Branch delivered his biggest blow with Lafayette operating from its own 10-yard line midway through the first quarter. On a 1st-and-10 pass completion, the first-year Colonial jarred the ball loose from Lafayette receiver Mark Ross and RMU's Mike Neilsen ran it in for a touchdown. Branch made his presence felt again after the Colonials increased their lead to 21-7 on a second-quarter score. He made the tackle on the Colonials' ensuing kickoff and proceeded to stunt Lafayette's drive by intercepting a pass on 3rd-and-5. The play gave RMU the ball at its own 40 and the Colonials scored their fourth touchdown three snaps later. With the contest tied at 28-28 late in the fourth quarter and Lafayette facing a 3rd-and-20, Branch stopped Lafayette 10 yards shy of a first down and forced the Leopards to punt it away. Robert Morris marched downfield on its ensuing possession to set up a winning field goal.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Jake Peery – Lehigh University
Senior, Kicker, Baltimore, Md.

Peery nailed a game-winning 22-yard field goal as time expired to send No. 11/15 Lehigh to a 34-31 win over Fordham on Saturday. It was the Mountain Hawks’ FCS-best 14th straight regular-season win, and the 15th in a row against a Patriot League opponent. Peery made both of his field goal attempts and all four of his extra points to finish with 10 points in the game. It was Lehigh’s first game-winning field goal in 10 years. Peery has made three straight field goals and is 18-for-18 on extra points for the year.

Division II

Offensive Player of the Week

Rondell White – West Chester University

Junior, Runningback, West Chester, Pa.

Rondell White rushed for 200 yards and scored two TDs in West Chester's 37-34 upset of No. 6 Cal ... White's 1-yd TD run in the fourth quarter gave WCU a 10-point advantage and proved to be the game-winning score ... he caught a 22-yd TD pass in the 2nd quarter that put WCU up 21-7 ... White finished the day with 280 all-purpose yards and a pair of scores ... it marked the second time this year that he has rushed for 200 yards in a game (209 at Delaware) and the third time in his career that he has reached 200 yards rushing in a career ... both marks tied a school record ... his 36 carries is tied for 11th on WCU's single-game all-time list.

Defensive Player of the Week

T.J. Latimer – Mercyhurst University

Freshman, Linebacker Warren, Pa.

Latimer, seeing his most significant action of the season, led the Lakers with five solo stops in Saturday's win over Cheyney. He also blocked a Cheyney punt midway through the third quarter which resulted in a safety - the first by Mercyhurst since August 27, 2005 against Gannon. The safety put Mercyhurst ahead 22-10 midway through the third quarter.

Special Teams Player of the Week

No Qualified Candidates Submitted.

Division III Northeast

Offensive Player of the Week

Robert Baker – Becker College
Junior, Quarterback, Monroe, Conn.

Baker threw for a school record 491 yards in an impressive 34-7 win over Husson College on Saturday evening. In addition to the 491 yards in the air, Baker threw four touchdowns and ran for another while also leading the Hawks with 43 rushing yards.

Defensive Player of the Week

Josh Morgan – Plymouth State University

Senior, Linebacker, Foster, RI

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Morgan racked up a game-high 12 tackles (11 solo), with four tackles for losses totaling 7 yards, one forced fumble, one pass break-up, and an interception in Plymouth's 20-14 overtime win over Nichols. Morgan's pick came at the Plymouth 20-yard line on Nichols' first possession of overtime, setting up the Panthers' game-winning score.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Tyrone Notice, Framingham State University

Senior, Defensive Back, Gardner, Mass.

Notice earned 176 all-purpose yards in the Rams' win over Mass. Maritime. He returned four kickoffs for 118 yards including a 68-yard return to set up the Rams' first touchdown. He returned four punts for 19 yards and carried an interception for 39 yards. Notice also blocked a kick and his interception secured Framingham's overtime win.

Division III Northwest

Offensive Player of the Week

Dean Kennedy – University of Rochester

Junior, Quarterback, Scituate, Mass.

Kennedy ran for two TDs and threw for another to lead Rochester past St. Lawrence, 30-20. He ran for a 23-yard score in the first quarter, a one-yard TD in the second quarter, and threw a 57-yard TD to Thomas Hayes at the end of the first half. He finished 14 of 28 for a career high 345 yards with one TD and one INT. He was not sacked. He rushed 10 times for 35 yards.

Defensive Player of the Week

Casey Muse, Union College

Junior, Defensive Player of the Week End, Oklahoma City, OK

Muse had six tackles, a forced fumble, two fumble recoveries and a tackle (for a loss) in Union's 49-21 home win over Springfield. He forced and recovered a fumble in the first quarter that led to a TD and recovered a fumble in the third quarter.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Joey Buckley – Salisbury University

Junior, Defensive Player of the Week Lineman, Chester, Md.

Buckley posted the game-winning touchdown in the No. 11 Sea Gulls’ 20-7 win at Buffalo State to open Empire 8 play. Buckley blocked Buffalo State punter Joe Going’s second-quarter kick on the Bengals 3-yard line and ran it into the end zone for a 13-0 lead.

Division III Southeast

Offensive Player of the Week

Aaron Wilmer -- Delaware Valley College

Sophomore, Quarterback, Philadelphia, Pa.

Wilmer threw for 282 yards and a school-record six touchdowns as Delaware Valley raced out to a 42-0 lead and defeated Albright, 42-21. He completed 13 of 20 passes on the afternoon and added another 67 yards on four rushes. Delaware Valley scored on its first four possessions of the game and notched 513 yards of total offense.

Defensive Player of the Week

Patrick Ruley – Rowan University

Senior, Linebacker, Margate, NJ

Ruley helped his Profs improve to 3-0 in conference play with a 17-3 NJAC win over Brockport. He recorded a game-high 15 tackles, including seven solo stops, one pass break-up, and a half-tackle for a loss. He keyed a Defensive Player of the Week performance that held the Golden Eagle offense, which entered the contest averaging 27 points per game, to just a single field goal. Ruley currently ranks tied for fifth in the NJAC in tackles (9.6 per game).

Special Teams Player of the Week

Mike DeBole – SUNY Cortland

Junior, Kicker/Punter, Webster, NY

DeBole helped Cortland improve to 3-0 in conference play with a 20-0 NJAC win over Montclair State. He averaged 39.4 yards per punt on five attempts, including a 50-yard effort and three punts which were downed inside the MSU 20-yard line. He also was perfect in the kicking game with a pair of 26-yard field goals and two successful extra points. DeBole currently leads the NJAC in field goal percentage (1.000).

Division III Southwest

Offensive Player of the Week

Patrick Blanks – Carnegie Mellon University

Senior, Running Back, Cincinnati, Ohio

Senior Patrick Blanks of the Carnegie Mellon University football team recorded his fifth career 100-yard rushing outing in the Tartans 54-28 setback at #17 Wabash.  Blanks had 26 touches for 157 yards and a score as he averaged 6.0 yards per carry.  The senior also recorded a career-high five receptions for 57 yards and a touchdown.

Defensive Player of the Week

Jon Lowery – Washington & Jefferson College

Sophomore, Defensive Player of the Week End, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Lowery helped the Presidents (4-1, 3-0 PAC) defeat Bethany College 28-26 on Saturday evening at Cameron Stadium by amassing a career-high four sacks for a loss of 42 yards. All four sacks came during the second half in which W&J fought back from a 20-7 halftime deficit. His four sacks were the most by a President since 2009. Three of Lowery's sacks came on Bison third-down conversion attempts. Lowery finished the game with eight a career-best solo tackles and also forced a fumble. On the season, Lowery leads the Presidents with 6.5 sacks and is sixth on the team with 21 total tackles.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Kurt Devlin – Grove City College

Senior, Kicker, Wexford, Pa.

Devlin kicked a 35-yard field goal and two extra points in Grove City’s 23-21 win at Westminster Saturday afternoon. His 35-yard field goal on the final play of the first half gave the Wolverines a 17-7 halftime lead.