Clutch play defines FCS national players of the week
By CRAIG HALEY
(STATS) - With conference games tightening in the second half of the season, clutch play is becoming even more important late in the games.
That was particularly the case with some of this week's STATS FCS National Players of the Week.
On Monday, Lehigh's Troy Pelletier, Columbia's Michael Murphy, Nicholls' Lorran Fonseca and North Dakota State's Jabril Cox were honored for their performances in Week 7 games ending Oct. 14.
NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Troy Pelletier, Lehigh, WR, Sr., 6-3, 210, Deerfield, New Hampshire
Pelletier enjoyed a record-setting game as defending Patriot League champ Lehigh continued to rally back from an 0-5 start to the season, beating Georgetown 54-35 for its second straight league win. He set the school and league single-game record with 16 receptions. His 197 receiving yards also pushed him to a new league record with 3,799 career yards. The silky receiver also caught four touchdowns, tying him for the league's career standard with 34. He scored on 7-, 24-, 7- and 48-yard receptions.
Honorable Mention: Davion Davis, WR, Sam Houston State; Isaiah Johnson, RB, Eastern Illinois; Kamron Lewis, WR, Saint Francis; Josh Mack, QB, Maine; Chris Streveler, QB, South Dakota; Charlie Volker, RB, Princeton; Josh Wainwright, WR, Columbia
NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Michael Murphy, Columbia, OLB, So., 5-11, 200, Tampa, Florida
Jeff Murphy, a former Penn football player, didn't mind seeing his son Michael earn bragging rights in the family. Michael was dominant as surprising Columbia improved to 5-0 with a 34-31 overtime victory over the Quakers, the two-time defending Ivy League champions. He collected a career-high 12 tackles, including 4 1/2 for loss (for 24 yards) with one sack, and recovered two fumbles. He dropped Penn wide receiver Justin Watson for a 7-yard loss on the first play of overtime, which contributed to the Quakers settling for a field goal before the Lions scored the game-winning touchdown on their possession.
Honorable Mention: Nasir Adderley, FS, Delaware; Anthony Ellis, DE, Charleston Southern; Kyre Hawkins, LB, James Madison; Tymir Hinton, S, Central Connecticut State; Darius Jackson, DE, Jacksonville State; George Odum, OLB, Central Arkansas; Jonathan Peterson, DE, San Diego; Josh Sandry, S, Montana; Brett Taylor, RB, Western Illinois; Sione Teuhema, LB, Southeastern Louisiana
NATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Lorran Fonseca, Nicholls, PK, Jr., 5-11, 185, Hercules, California
When Nicholls' offense slowed down, Fonseca revved up his kicking. The junior college transfer from Contra Costa set the Colonels' single-game field goal record by going a perfect 5-for-5 in their 29-20 Southland Conference win over Abilene Christian. After ACU scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter to pull within 26-20, Fonseca kicked his longest field goal, a 44-yarder, with 6:08 left to make it a two-possession game. He also averaged 64 yards on eight kickoffs, including four touchbacks.
Honorable Mention: C.J. Amill, KR, Lafayette; John Burdick, PK, Bucknell; Uriel Hernandez, PK, Bethune-Cookman; Rashid Shaheed, RB/KR, Weber State; Justice Shelton-Mosley, RS/WR, Harvard; Nathaniel Tilque, P, North Carolina Central
NATIONAL FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jabril Cox, North Dakota State, LB, R-Fr., 6-3, 227, Kansas City, Missouri
The second-ranked Bison had already started to rely on Cox, but the Missouri Valley Football Conference team needed the rookie the most after injured starter Chris Board left their 27-24 overtime win at then-No. 8 Youngstown State. Cox tied his career high with eight tackles and had two solo sacks. He also dropped Penguins running back Tevin McCaster for a 5-yard loss in overtime, which set up a 3rd-and-13 and led to a missed field goal. On a balanced Bison defense, Cox is one of three players with a team-high 28 tackles.
Honorable Mention: Chauncey Caldwell, QB, North Carolina Central; Kierre Crossley, RB, Central Arkansas; Chris Ferguson, QB, Maine; J.J. Henderson, DB/PR, Stetson; Gresch Jensen, QB, Montana; Caylin Newton, QB, Howard; Darryl Pearson Jr., QB, Alabama State; Jake Reynolds, P, Southeast Missouri; Donnavan Spencer, RB, Western Carolina
Updated October 16, 2017