McNeese, four players collect FCS weekly national awards

NCAA Football

(Stats Perform) – Elon’s Davis Cheek, Gardner-Webb’s Ty French, Florida A&M’s Jah’Marae Sheread and Central Arkansas’ Darius Hale were selected Monday as the Stats Perform FCS National Players of the Week for Week 8 games ending on Saturday.

In addition, McNeese earned FCS National Team of the Week.

The five honorees plus honorable mention selections:

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NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Davis Cheek, Elon, QB, Sr., 6-3, 217, Matthews, North Carolina

Cheek completed 27 of 31 passes (87.1 percent) for 328 yards and accounted for three touchdowns as Elon beat New Hampshire 24-10 for its third straight CAA Football win. He had a stretch of 17 straight completions and touchdown passes of 58 and 18 yards plus a three-yard TD run. Returning from an injury suffered before the spring season, Cheek has four games of at least 300 passing yards and two TD passes this season.

Honorable Mention: Juwan Carter, QB, Norfolk State; Carlos Davis, QB, Western Carolina; Jake Dunniway, QB, Sacramento State; Xavier Gipson, WR, Stephen F. Austin; Malik Grant, RB, Sacred Heart; Nolan Grooms, QB, Yale; Zaythan Hill, RB, Lehigh; Drew Kannely-Robles, RB, Dixie State; Takaire Kenebrew, WR, North Alabama; Fred Payton, QB, Mercer; Lindsey Scott Jr., QB, Nicholls; Ahmaad Tanner, RB, Austin Peay; Malachi Wideman, WR, Jackson State

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NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Ty French, Gardner-Webb, DE, So., 6-3, 230, Moultrie, Georgia

French was a dominating force as Gardner-Webb beat Robert Morris 28-17 to end a nine-game Big South losing streak. He posted nine tackles, including four tackles for 27 yards in losses (three were sacks), with four quarterback pressures and two fumble recoveries, which both led to touchdowns. He had a strip sack and fumble recovery in RMU’s end zone to put the Runnin’ Bulldogs ahead 14-0 and a fumble recovery on the next possession, which set up another touchdown.

Honorable Mention: Troy Anderson, LB, Montana State; Isaiah Chambers, DE, McNeese; Austin Chilton, DB, Valparaiso; Carthell Flowers, DB, Stony Brook; Eddie Heckard, DB, Weber State; JJ Henderson, S, Indiana State; Akeal Lalaind, DB, Stony Brook; Nate Lynn, DL, William & Mary; Jack McGowan, LB, Harvard; Shaundre Mims, DL, Charleston Southern; Tre’Shaud Smith, LB, Prairie View A&M; Jeremiah Tyler, LB, Princeton

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NATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Jah’Marae Sheread, Florida A&M, WR/PR, R-Jr., 5-7, 175, Houston

Sheread returned five punts for an FCS season-high 154 yards and scored one of his four touchdowns on a 59-yard return in Florida A&M’s 31-28 SWAC win at Mississippi Valley State. The other three TDs occurred on receptions, including a 19-yarder that reversed the Rattlers’ 28-24 deficit with 6:32 to play. The Texas State transfer caught eight passes for 88 yards.

Honorable Mention: Chris Campos, PK, Stephen F. Austin; Matthew Cook, PK, Northern Iowa; William Gruber, KR, Holy Cross; Paul Inzerillo, PK, LIU; Benjamin Lennon, P, Bethune-Cookman; Charles Peeler, PR, Delaware State; Ethan Ratke, PK, James Madison; Daniel Whelan, P, UC Davis

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NATIONAL FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Darius Hale, Central Arkansas, RB, Fr., 5-11, 215, Pearland, Texas

The true freshman posted the second-best single-game rushing performance in school history, finishing with 253 yards on 22 carries (11.5 average) and four touchdowns, as Central Arkansas defeated Lamar 49-38 in an AQ7 matchup. He scored on runs of 6, 2, 69 and 67 yards to push his season total to 13 rushing TDs, which is tied for the FCS high.

Honorable Mention: James Conway, LB, Fordham; Cole Mueller, RB, Illinois State; Shedeur Sanders, QB, Jackson State; Josiah Silver, DE, New Hampshire; CJ Tillman, LB, Campbell; Jameson Wang, QB, Cornell; Jayln Witcher, WR, Presbyterian

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NATIONAL TEAM OF THE WEEK

McNeese (28-20 win over then-No. 16 UIW)

The Cowboys reversed a 31-0 loss to UIW four weeks earlier while earning their 200th all-time Southland win, which is the conference record. Isaiah Chambers had four of the defense’s 10 sacks, and the unit forced 2020-21 Jerry Rice Award recipient Cameron Ward into four turnovers. Deonta McMahon rushed for two touchdowns, and quarterback Cody Oregon had both a TD pass and run in the win.

Honorable Mention: Columbia (19-0 win over then-No. 25 Dartmouth); Hampton (30-9 win over North Carolina A&T); Northern Iowa (26-17 win over then-No. 6 South Dakota State); Sacred Heart (31-13 win over Duquesne); Weber State (35-34 over then-No. 2 Eastern Washington)

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