College Sports Journal
PHILADELPHIA, PA. — Defensive back D'Vonte Graham of North Carolina A&T, linebacker Joey Harmon of Villanova, punter Scott Lopano of Penn, quarterback Jerick McKinnon of Georgia Southern, defensive end Caleb Schreibeis of Montana State, linebacker Nick Sigmon of Liberty, quarterback Darian Stone of Tennessee Tech and running back Dominique Williams of Wagner have been selected as the College Sports Journal/GameWornUniforms.com national players of the week for the 11th week of NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision play.
Running back Dallas Kessman of San Diego, cornerback Jarrod Watson-Lewis of Cornell and Ben LeCompte of North Dakota State have been named as the College Sports Journal freshmen of the week for the 11th week of the Football Championship Subdivision season.
Here are the conference and team write-ups for each of the players of the week and freshmen of the week:
Jerick McKinnon, Georgia Southern, Junior, Quarterback, 5-9, 208, Marietta, Georgia
The multi-talented McKinnon totaled five touchdowns during Georgia Southern’s 69-26 win over Howard Saturday, helping the Eagles likely wrap up an at-large bid in the NCAA Division I Football Championships.
McKinnon, who has played quarterback, fullback, wingback, receiver and even defensive back in the past two seasons, rushed for a career-high 198 yards and three touchdowns and completed two passes for 32 yards and two touchdowns against the Bison.
The Marietta, Ga., native became the first Eagle since AntonioHenton in 2008 to be responsible for five touchdowns in a game and the first since Jayson Foster in 2007 to do so in a regulation contest
McKinnon averaged 12.4 yards per run on his 16 carries Saturday and posted a career-long 87-yard touchdown run, which is also the Eagles' longest play from scrimmage this season.
The junior finished the day over 100-yards rushing for the seventh time in his career.
Darian Stone, Tennessee Tech, Sophomore, Quarterback, 6-0, 185, Clinton, Tennessee
Stone, in just the third start of his career, accounted for 467 yards of total offense (second most in school history) as Tennessee Tech snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 45-44 overtime victory over No. 23 Tennessee-Martin.
Stone completed 16-of-29 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns and carried the ball 25 times for 190 yards (7.6 yards per carry), which established the program record for rushing yards by a quarterback.
Stone started the game with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Cody Matthews to put TTU up 7-0 and later found Matthews for another 20-yard score to begin the fourth quarter and pull Tech to within seven points at 31-24.
With the game tied at 31 later in the fourth quarter, Stone hooked up with Ryan Tilghman for a 79-yard touchdown strike to put his team ahead 38-31.
Dominique Williams, Wagner, Junior, Running Back, 5-9, 200, Bridgeton, N.J.
The work of Williams on offense helped enable Wagner to post its seventh consecutive victory and stay in control of the race for the Northeast Conference automatic playoff bid.
This hard-charging runner gained 224 yards from scrimmage and scored two touchdowns in the Seahawks’ 31-30 comeback victory over Patriot League member Holy Cross.
Williams was both the Seahawks’ leading rusher and receiver in Week 11. He ran 23 times for 177 yards and caught five passes for 47 yards.
Williams rushed for a five-yard score that gave Wagner a 14-3 lead with 3:48 remaining in the first half.
After the visitors scored 24 unanswered points to take a 27-14 lead over the Seahawks, Williams helped Wagner work its way back.
His 10-yard touchdown reception pulled Wagner within 30-24.
The performance made Williams the first NEC rusher to reach the 1,000-yard plateau this season as his 1,064 yards are tops on the circuit.
Joey Harmon, Villanova, Sophomore, Linebacker, 6-0, 235, Pembroke Pines, Florida
Harmon turned in six tackles and 2.5 sacks for a loss of seven yards to send the Wildcats past James Madison for their second win over a ranked opponent this season.
Two of the sophomore's sacks were secured in the end zone for a pair of safeties to help keep Villanova very much a part of the playoff picture heading into next week's regular-season finale.
Harmon and safety Matt McCann knifed through the JMU line on a blitz and caught JMU quarterback Thorpe in the back of the end zone for a safety to give Villanova a 26-7 lead in the third period and put the Wildcats in position for another TD drive after the ensuing free kick.
With the lead at 33-20 and JMU pinned deep in VU territory, Thorpe was drilled again by Harmon in the end zone for another safety in the fourth quarter and the Wildcats were able to run out the final five-and-half minutes after another free kick.
Five of Harmon's tackles were solo stops as Villanova limited JMU to 231 yards and 13 first downs. The three sacks Harmon was involved in were the first of his career.
Caleb Schreibeis, Montana State, Senior, Defensive End, 6-3, 252, Billings, Montana
Schreibeis registered a season-high seven tackles against Portland State, including three solo stops and two sacks as the Bobcats defeated the Vikings 65-30 Saturday at home.
Schreibeis forced two Portland State fumbles to raise his total in that category this season to a school-record seven.
That total also leads the nation, and his 11 sacks on the season is also among the top five marks in the FCS.
Schreibeis made the first big defensive play of Saturday’s game came on Portland State’s second drive.
On third-and-14, Schreibeis sacked Vikings quarterback Kieran McDonagh, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Brad Daly.
MSU scored on the ensuing possession to give the Bobcats a 10-0 lead.
Schreibeis also forced a fumble on a second-quarter sack of McDonagh.
Schreibeis’ two forced fumbles in a game ties the MSU school record, his seven in a season is a new school record, and his career total of seven ties the Bobcat career mark. Schreibeis’ season totals have been accumulated in just nine games.
Nick Sigmon, Liberty, Sophomore, Linebacker, 6-1, 245, Roanoke, Virginia
Sigmon totaled nine tackles, eight solo stops, two tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one interception and one pass breakup to help the Flames upset Big South leader and No. 4-ranked Stony Brook, 28-14.
Sigmon spearheaded a stout defensive effort which limited Seawolves running back Miguel Maysonet, who came into the game as the leading rusher in FCS, to a season-low 70 rushing yards on 25 attempts.
Stony Brook came into the game ranked No. 9 in the country in total offense and Maysonet was averaging 165.1 rushing yards per game, which individually ranked No. 2 nationally in rushing offense.
The Flames intercepted quarterback Kyle Essington four times — one of which Sigmon returned 21 yards for a touchdown, giving Liberty a 21-7 lead in the third quarter — and held the Seawolves to a season-low 14 points.
In the fourth quarter, Sigmon forced a fumble which was returned 44 yards for a touchdown to seal the momentous victory.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS
D'Vonte Graham, North Carolina A&T, Junior, Defensive Back, 5-9, 180, Tallahassee, Florida
Graham totaled two blocked field goals and scored off a fumble as North Carolina A&T beat South Carolina State, 17-7, in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference.
The critical blocked field goals occurred in the first half and kept the Aggies within seven points.
He scored off a 10-yard fumble recovery in the fourth quarter and had one pass breakup as the Aggies defeated South Carolina State for the first time in 12 years.
NCAT improved to 6-4 and are guaranteed of a winning season for the first time since 2003, when the Aggies won the MEAC title and advanced to the NCAA playoffs for the last time.
Graham also had four punt returns for 14 yards and one kickoff return for zero yards during the game to foil an onside kick.
Scott Lopano, Penn, Senior, Punter, 6-2, 200, Southlake, Texas
On Senior Day at Franklin Field, Lopano affected field position throughout the game in Penn's 30-21 upset win over Harvard to clinch a share of the Ivy League championship.
Lopano punted eight times, six of them falling inside the 20-yard line. All three of his fourth-quarter punts pinned the Crimson inside its 15-yard line.
On the final punt of his college career, Lopano hemmed in the Crimson at their own 11-yard line to set up a game-clinching safety by Quaker defensive end Brandon Copeland on the third of three consecutive sacks.
Despite having to pin-in Harvard, Lopano still averaged an impressive 43.0 yards per punt.
Lopano also forced six fair catches and held the Crimson to a total of seven return yards on his eight punts.
Lopano's punts helped hold the fourth-best offense in the FCS and the third-highest scoring offense in the nation to its lowest point total in two years.
During his Quaker career, Lopano played on teams that won shares of the Ivy League title three times in four years.
FRESHMEN OF THE WEEK
Dallas Kessman, San Diego, Running Back, 5-9, 195, Mission Viejo, California
Kessman carried the ball 31 times for a San Diego season-best 190 yards and two touchdowns.
His first touchdown supplied the eventual game-winning points in San Diego’s 41-28 Pioneer Football League victory against Morehead State.
The win kept San Diego alive for a share of the PFL championship with two games remaining.
Kessman’s second touchdown supplied an insurance score. He also had three catches for 13 yards and finished with 203 all-purpose yards.
Jarrod Watson-Lewis, Cornell, Cornerback, 6-0, 179, Oceanside, California
Watson-Lewis turned in the best game of his young career with a pair of interceptions to help Cornell to an early lead in an eventual 34-17 Ivy League loss at Columbia in the 100th Empire State Bowl.
Watson-Lewis had two of Cornell's three interceptions on the day against strong-armed Columbia senior quarterback Sean Brackett, returning them for 46 yards.
The first came with less than five minutes left in the second period after the Lions had stopped a Big Red drive with a turnover.
Watson-Lewis picked off a pass on third and seven at midfield and returned it 18 yards to the Lion 32 to give Cornell a scoring threat with the Big Red ahead 10-7.
His second interception at the Lion 35 with just over a minute left in the half on a first and 10 from the Columbia 25 was returned 28 yard to the six to set up a Cornell field goal for a 17-7 lead.
Watson-Lewis finished the game with five tackles, four solo stops and one pass breakup.
Ben LeCompte, North Dakota State, Punter 5-11, 197, Barrington, Illinois
LeCompte helped the top-ranked Bison move a step closer to a share of the Missouri Valley Football Conference title and the league's automatic bid with his clutch punting as North Dakota State beat No. 15 South Dakota State, 20-17.
LeCompte punted five times for an average of 49.8 yards including a long of 63 yards to turn the field over in the close game.
LeCompte averaged 60 yards on five kickoffs.