October 22, 2013

ECAC Corvias Football Players of the Week (for week ending October 20, 2013)

Division I Football Bowl Subdivision

Offensive Player of the Week

Justin Hardy - East Carolina University
Junior,  Wide Receiver, Vanceboro, N.C. 

Hardy caught 10 passes for 126 yards, his third double-digit and third 100-yard receiving game this season, to lead East Carolina to a 55-14 win over Southern Miss. It also marked the seventh double-digit and eighth 100-yard receiving contests of his career. Six of Hardy's catches were for 10-plus yards and seven of the 10 grabs resulted in ECU first downs. He caught his 21st career TD pass in the first quarter to match Larry Shannon (1994-97) for second on ECU's all-time career scoring reception list and is now just one away from matching the school standard (22 by Lance Lewis - 2010-11). He has caught at least three passes in all 30 career games (had three for 28 yards in the first quarter vs. the Golden Eagles). Hardy also amassed a game-high 231 all-purpose yards, netting 105 yards on 4 punt returns with a long of 66 yards.

Defensive Player of the Week

Nate D. Smith - Temple University
Sophomore, Linebacker, Highland Park, N.J.

The sophomore middle linebacker had nine tackles (six solo), including one tackle for loss in the Owls’ 33-14 win against Army. With under four minutes left in the first half, Smith scooped up a fumble and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown, to give Temple a 26-0 cushion.

Special Teams

Paul Layton - Temple University
Senior, Punter, Burnt Hills, N.Y.

Layton helped Temple win the field position battle that played a key part in the Owls’ 33-14 win against Army. He averaged 45.3 yards on seven punts, resulting in an average starting field position of the 18- yard line for Army on the ensuing drives. Layton ranks second in the American Athletic Conference in punting average at 45.1 yards per punt.

Division I Football Championship Subdivision

Offensive Player of the Week

Sam Ajala - Fordham University
Junior, Wide Receiver, DeSoto, Texas

Ajala had one of the top performances for a wide receiver in Patriot League history as he caught 10 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-31 win for No. 8/8 Fordham over Yale on Saturday. The receiving yardage total set a school record and ranks second in Patriot League history, and was the top mark for the League since Lehigh’s Jason Cristino had 319 yards in 1992. Ajala tied a League record with four touchdown receptions, becoming the first to pull it off since Fordham’s Jason Caldwell in 2009. Ajala’s scoring catches were 68, 29, 68 and 33 yards, and he now stands second in the nation with 951 receiving yards this season.

Defensive Player of the Week

Mike Armiento - Colgate University
Junior, Defensive Back, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

Armiento had a game-high 10 tackles and created two key turnovers to help lead Colgate to a 28-24 comeback win at Holy Cross on Saturday. He made Colgate’s game-winning drive possible by intercepting a pass in the endzone with 3:50 to play and the Raiders trailing 24-21. Armiento also recovered a fumble at the Colgate 1 yard line in the first half to keep Holy Cross from scoring. He also added a tackle for loss. The interception was his fifth of the season and 11th in his career.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Jose Depadua - Bryant University
Sophomore, Wide Receiver, Hagerstown, MD

Bryant was in need of a spark after Sacred Heart doubled its lead late in the third quarter and Depadua delivered. After the Pioneers extended their lead to 28-14, Depadua made Bryant history.  He returned the ensuing kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown, marking the longest kick return the program has ever seen and pull Bryant back within a touchdown. Depadua, who totaled 185 yards on four runbacks, logged a 45-yard kickoff return after SHU took a 7-0 lead in the first quarter.

Division II

Offensive Player of the Week

Brandon Brown-Dukes - Mercyhurst University
Redshirt Sophomore, Running Back, Orlando, Fla.

Brown-Dukes rushed for a career-high 221 yards on just 20 carries, averaging 11.1 yards per attempts in Thursday night’s 51-21 win over crosstown-rival, the Gannon Golden Knights. He also got into the endzone twice - once from three-yards out in the first quarter and his other from seven yards out in the second quarter. The redshirt sophomore also had a career-long 26-yard reception in the second quarter, allowing him to finish with a career-best 247 all-purpose yards. In the process, Brown-Dukes, in just his 18th career game, became the first player in Mercyhurst history to have at least 200 yards on the ground more than once in his career (rushed for 213 at Millersville last season), and became the fourth player in school history to eclipse 2,000 career rushing yards. 

Defensive Player of the Week 

Joe Dever - Mercyhurst University
Sophomore, Linebacker, Cleveland, Ohio

Dever had the best all-around game of his collegiate career in Thursday night’s 51-21 win over crosstown-rival Gannon. To go along with his five solo tackles, Dever had his first two collegiate sacks (loss of 16 yards) and had two tackles for a loss (16 yards). He also forced and recovered a pair of fumbles in the contest, both of which came inside the Mercyhurst 20-yard line. Dever is now tied for the national lead with four fumble recoveries in seven games this season. 

Special Teams Player of the Week

Steven Wakefield - Mercyhurst University
Senior, Kicker, Rochester, N.Y.

Wakefield booted a career-high tying three field goals (three attempts) and was also a perfect 6-for-6 in extra points helping Mercyhurst defeat crosstown-rival Gannon 51-21 on Thursday night. He made field goals of 25 yards, 30 yards, and 40 yards during a heavy rain. With his 40-yard field goal with 6:20 left in the fourth quarter, Wakefield became the school’s all-time scoring leader, at any position. He now has 243 career points, one more than the previous record of 242 set by Richard Stokes from 2005-2008. He is 7-of-8 in field goals this season and 33-of-34 on point after attempts. He has made 18 of his last 20 field goal attempts dating back to the final game of the 2011 season

Division III


Co-Offensive Players of the Week

Mike McCarthy - Bridgewater State University
Senior, Quarterback, Edgartown, Mass.

McCarthy finished with 386 yards of total offense and accounted for seven touchdowns in the Bears’ 56-28 win against Plymouth State. The senior signal caller completed 18 of 29 passes for a career-high 276 yards and tied the school record for touchdown passes with five. He added 110 yards and two touchdowns on 19 carries. 

Octavias McKoy - Western Connecticut State University 
Senior, Running Back, Stratford, Conn.

McKoy rushed for 226 yards on 22 carries (10.8 per carry) and five touchdowns in a 70-14 win over Fitchburg State. It was the second consecutive week he has rushed for five touchdowns. McKoy scored on runs of 36 yards, 14 yards (twice), 16 yards and 29 yards. The senior feature back set a new school record with 18 touchdowns in a single season.

Defensive Player of the Week

Davon Fuller - University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth 
Freshman, Defensive Back, Washington, D.C. 

Fuller recorded four interceptions, one shy of the NCAA Division III record, to help the Corsairs beat Worcester State, 34-33. He recorded a 94-yard interception for a touchdown and accounted for 106 return yards off his four picks. The first year defensive back also collected four tackles, including three solo stops.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Chris Smith - Plymouth State College
Junior, Defensive Back/Kick Returner, Merrimack, N.H.

Smith averaged 46.5 yards on four kickoff returns for a total of 186 yards, including an 80-yard return for a touchdown in the Panthers’ loss to Bridgewater State University. He returned three punts for 102 yards, averaging 34 yards per return. 


Offensive Player of the Week

Kevin Francis - St. John Fisher College
Senior, Wide Receiver – Batavia, N.Y.

Kevin Francis of the nationally-ranked St. John Fisher College football team compiled seven catches for 143 yards and four touchdowns.  The senior wide receiver also hauled in a 51-yard touchdown reception, marking the third time this season he has tallied a catch of 50 or more yards.

Defensive Player of the Week

Tony Ortega - University of Rochester
Senior, Linebacker, Rochester, N.Y.

University of Rochester senior linebacker Tony Ortega totaled 14 tackles (eight solo, six assists), two tackles for loss (seven yards), a six-yard sack, and one pass breakup in Rochester's 37-31 Liberty League victory over RPI.

Special Teams Player of the Week

David Pope - Union College 
Sophomore, Kicker, Beverly, Mass.

Pope made three field goals, a career best, in Union's game at Western New England. His field goals were 28, 26 and 28 yards for the Dutchmen. 


Offensive Player of the Week

Wayne Bonsell  - The College at Brockport 
Sophomore, Quarterback, Binghamton, N.Y.

Bonsell earns ECAC Southwest Offensive Player of the Week honors after leading the Golden Eagles to a 49-32 win over Cortland. In just the second start of his collegiate career, he completed 22 of 34 passes for 315 yards and five touchdowns. He threw for scoring strikes of 13, 35, 23, 7 and 24 yards apiece while helping to hand the Red Dragons their first conference defeat of the year. 

Defensive Player of the Week

Nick Bricker - The College of New Jersey 
Senior, Linebacker, Middletown, N.J.

Bricker helped the Lions garner sole possession of first place in the New Jersey Athletic Conference with a 21-20 win over Morrisville State. In the Lions’ fourth consecutive victory, he accumulated a season-high 19 tackles in a defensive performance which held the Mustangs to their lowest offensive point total of the season. 

Co-Special Teams Players of the Week

Kell’e Gallimore - William Paterson University 
Freshman, Defensive Back, Plainfield, N.J.

Gallimore is the ECAC Southeast Special Teams Player of the Week after helping William Paterson secure a 21-20 road win at Kean University. With 4:42 remaining in the fourth quarter and WPU clinging to a one-point lead, he blocked a 24-yard Kean field goal attempt to help the Pioneers secure their first New Jersey Athletic Conference win of the season. Gallimore also registered five tackles defensively from his defensive back position in the victory.

TJ Luddy - Albright College
Senior, Punter, Bethlehem, Pa.

Luddy placed all four of his punts inside the 20, without a touchback, including a 61 yard punt in the first quarter in a 30-12 win over Wilkes University. He averaged 49.3 yards on his first three kicks before ending with a 30 yard pooch punt, out of bounds to the 4 yard line and had a 49-yard punt wiped out by a running into the kicker penalty for a Lion first down.


Offensive Player of the Week

Ward Udinski - Juniata College
Junior, Quarterback, Doylestown, Pa. 

Udinski accounted for 421 yards of total offense and four touchdowns as the Eagles handed Ursinus its first loss of the season, 28-7. He completed 25-of-36 passes for 324 yards and three scores, while rushing for 97 yards and another TD. Udinski's touchdown tosses covered 50, 6 and 7 yards, while his scoring scamper was 49 yards.

Defensive Player of the Week

Kevin Bracken - Moravian College
Junior, Linebacker, Wanaque, N.J.

Bracken recorded 11 tackles, including one tackle for loss for the Greyhounds against Susquehanna on Saturday. The junior linebacker also picked off his second pass of the season and broke up a pass. He now has 61 tackles on the season and is averaging over 10 tackles per contest.


Special Teams Player of the Week

Dion Williams - Bethany College
Sophomore, Defensive Back, Clinton, Md.

Williams made perhaps the biggest play for the Bison in their 27-20 victory over Waynesburg last Saturday in Waynesburg, Pa. With the Yellow Jackets on the Bethany eight-yard line and set up for the go-ahead field goal, Williams knifed in and blocked the Alex Henry attempt, which allowed the Bison to take over at their own two-yard line and eventually score the game-winning touchdown with just 20 seconds remaining. It was Williams’ first blocked kick of the season.