The Southern Conference named its football players of the week today for all
games played Saturday, Sept. 7. Chattanooga’s Keon Williams and Samford’s Justin Shade have been named Offensive and Defensive Player of the Week, respectively. Elon’s B.J. Bennett was selected as the Freshman of the Week, while Appalachian State’s Bentlee Critcher was tabbed as the Special Teams Player of the Week. The players of the week are selected by the league office.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Bentlee Critcher, Appalachian State, Fr., P, South Daytona, Fla.Freshman punter Bentlee Critcher turned in in a strong performance in Appalachian State’s loss to North Carolina A&T on Saturday night. Critcher punted seven times and averaged 47.9 yards per punt, including a long of 61 yards. He booted two punts over 50 yards and placed two kicks inside the NC A&T 20-yard line. His seven punts were returned just three times for a total of 16 yards.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Keon Williams, Chattanooga, Jr., RB, Chattanooga, Tenn.UTC junior running back Keon Williams carried 20 times for a career-high 147 yards and one touchdown as the Mocs topped FBS Georgia State, 42-14 on Saturday. Williams averaged 7.4 yards per carry and had 119 yards in the first half alone. In what was his second career 100-yard game, Williams set the tone for the Mocs with five carries for 42 yards on UTC’s opening possession. He capped the drive with a 2-yard TD run that gave the Mocs a lead they would not relinquish.Other Nominees: Tony Washington (Appalachian State), Aaron Miller (The Citadel), Mike Quinn (Elon), Hank McCloud (Furman), Jerick McKinnon (Georgia Southern), Fabian Truss (Samford), Gary Lewis (Western Carolina) and Donovan Johnson (Wofford). DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Justin Shade, Samford, Sr., LB, Birmingham, Ala.Senior linebacker Justin Shade tied for the team high with 10 tackles as Samford fell at Arkansas on Saturday night. Shade was credited with four solo stops and two tackles for loss, which resulted in minus-11 yards. Shade added the team’s only sack against the Razorbacks and was responsible for two Arkansas turnovers as he forced two fumbles in the game.Other Nominees: John Law (Appalachian State), Brandon McCladdie (The Citadel), Julius Moore (Elon), Kyle Oehlbeck (Georgia Southern), Derrick Lott (Chattanooga), Courtland Carson (Western Carolina) and Kevin Thomas (Wofford).
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: B.J. Bennett, Elon, Fr., RB, West Columbia, S.C.Freshman B.J. Bennett found the end zone three times as Elon knocked off West Virginia Wesleyan, 49-7. Bennett carried nine times for 44 yards and added two touchdowns on the ground. The West Columbia, S.C., native also caught four passes for 24 yards and a score. Bennett scored on the opening possession of the game to give the Phoenix a 7-0 lead and later scored on a 3-yard pass from Mike Quinn to push Elon ahead 14-7 early in the second quarter. His final score of the day came on a 7-yard run late in the third quarter, which gave the Phoenix a 35-7 advantage.Other Nominees: John Law (Appalachian State), Jorian Jordan (The Citadel), Kevin Ellison (Georgia Southern), Derrick Craine (Chattanooga), Trey Morgan (Western Carolina) and Lorenzo Long (Wofford).