September 10, 2013

ECAC Football Players of the Week (for week ending September 7, 2013)


Football Players of the Week (for week ending September 9, 2013)

Division I Bowl Subdivision 

Offensive Player of the Week

Paul James – Rutgers University

Sophomore, Running Back, Glassboro, N.J.

James had 18 carries for 119 yards and three touchdowns in a 38-0 win against Norfolk State.

Defensive Player of the Week

No Qualified Candidates Submitted.

Special Teams Player of the Week

No Qualified Candidates Submitted.

Division I Championship Subdivision 

Offensive Player of the Week

Lee Kurfis – Lehigh University

Senior, Wide Receiver, West Chester, Pa.

Kurfis notched seven receptions for 222 yards and two touchdowns to lead a dramatic Lehigh comeback for a 51-44 double overtime win against Central Connecticut on Saturday. He came up huge in the fourth quarter and overtime as the Mountain Hawks rallied from a 37-17 deficit with just over 10 minutes to play. Kurfis caught a 62-yard touchdown that cut Lehigh’s margin to 37-31, and then notched a career-long 77-yard reception that set up the game-tying touchdown later in the fourth quarter. He also hauled in a 25-yard touchdown reception on Lehigh’s opening play in the first overtime to tie the score at 44-44 and send the contest to a second OT. Kurfis had four receptions for 202 yards and the two scores in the second half and overtime. The 222 receiving yards set a Goodman Stadium record and were the fifth-best single-game total in school history. The yardage total was the highest for a Patriot League player since 2009 and the 12th-best in League annals. Kurfis was also named the Wide Receiver of the Week by College Football Performance Awards, and is selected as Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for the first time.

Defensive Player of the Week

Victor DiFusco – Fordham University

Junior, Line Backer, Mahopac, N.Y.

DiFusco played a key role in Fordham’s 27-24 upset of No. 8/11 Villanova on Saturday by recording seven tackles, three tackles for loss, two forced fumbles and one recovered fumble in the contest. The tackle total was a career high that included six solo stops. DiFusco played a role in two of the five turnovers, all fumbles, that Fordham forced in the game. The Rams beat a top 10 FCS team at home for the first time, and were the first Patriot League team to beat a non-League ranked opponent since 2011.

Stephan Thomas – Sacred Heart University

Junior, Corner Back, Egg Harbor Twp., NJ

Thomas thwarted four Lafayette drives in Sacred Heart territory during Saturday night’s final-second road win over the Patriot League member.  The cornerback came up with eight tackles, two interceptions and one forced fumble (which was recovered by SHU) to help the Pioneers achieve a 2-0 season start for the first time since 2008.  Both interceptions came with Thomas defending Preseason All-Patriot League receiver Mark Ross. Thomas’ first pick came on a 2nd-and-6 from the SHU 34-yard line with 5:07 left in the first quarter of a 7-7 game.  He again went up and took the ball away from Ross midway through the third period, making the interception at the goal line as the Leopards threatened to erase a 14-10 SHU lead.  Thomas cancelled out a long gain on Lafayette’s first drive of the second half when he forced a fumble inside the SHU 35-yard line after a 21-yard gain by Justin Adams.  Thomas also made a huge contribution on run defense, making a touchdown-saving tackle on 3rd-and-Goal from the SHU 2 on the final play of the first quarter.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Alec Finney – Sacred Heart University

Freshman, Kicker/Punter, Reading, Pa.

Finney’s first career field goal attempt at the collegiate level came as part of a storybook scenario.  With Sacred Heart trailing, 24-23, on the road at Lafayette, Finney stepped onto the field and drilled a 42-yarder with 0:00 remaining on the clock to propel the Pioneers to a dramatic victory over a Patriot League member.  Finney’s field goal gave Sacred Heart its first 2-0 season start since 2008.  The freshman has been regularly handling punting and kickoff duties for SHU, while Chris Rodgers is the primary kicker on field goals and PATs.

Division II

Offensive Player of the Week

No Qualified Candidates Submitted.

Defensive Player of the Week

No Qualified Candidates Submitted.

Special Teams Player of the Week

No Qualified Candidates Submitted.


Division III Northeast

Offensive Player of the Week

Dylan Rimsky – Nichols College

Senior, Wide Receiver, Denville, NJ

Rimsky established Nichols single-game records for receptions (14) and receiving yards (290) in the Bison's 28-27 overtime win against Westfield State on Friday. Rimsky hauled in a 63-yard touchdown reception in the third quarter, and then caught a 32-yard pass in overtime to put the Bison in front for good. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak to Westfield State and also gave the Bison their first win in a season opener since 2007.

Defensive Player of the Week

Jovan Wilkins – Mount Ida College

Junior, Defensive Back, Poughkeepsie, NY

Wilkins led the Mount Ida defense by forcing all three of their turnovers. He came up with two interceptions, one which led to the Mustangs' first touchdown, and another which preserved the lead in the fourth quarter. Wilkins also forced a fumble that was recovered by the Mustangs, blocked a kick, and had a team-high 7 tackles, 1.5 of them for a loss. 

Special Teams Player of the Week

Tucker Cheyne – MIT

Freshman, Kicker, Avon, Conn.

In his first game as a collegian, Cheyne scored 10 points on 3-3 field goals (29, 25, 27) and an extra point in MIT's 28-26 victory over Pomona-Pitzer. His third field goal turned out to be the game winning points.  Cheyne's three field goals in the game set the MIT single game record.

Division III Northwest

Offensive Player of the Week

Casey Kacz – Buffalo State

Senior, QB – Anherst, NY

Kacz accounted for 344 yards of total offense in Buffalo State’s 41-28 victory over defending NJAC Champion and 2012 NCAA tournament representative Cortland State. Kacz rushed for 118 yards on 17 attempts and three scores (1, 5, and 13 yds) and completed 19-of-29 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns (3 and 37 yds). It marked the second straight and 11th win overall in program history over Cortland in 30 games.

Matthew McDaniels – U.S. Merchant Marine Academy

Sopomore, Quarterback, Malverne, N.Y. 

McDaniels made his first collegiate start at quarterback a memorable one, accounting for four touchdowns and over 300 yards of offense as the USMMA football team defeated Susquehanna, 35-28. He was also a part of three different scoring plays of over 65 yards. The Mariners fell behind 21-0 before McDaniels hit Connor Kennedy (Bellerose, NY) with a pass up the seam that went for 77 yards and cut the deficit to 21-7. McDaniels second touchdown came in the second quarter on a ten-yard run that closed out the scoring in the first half. McDaniels sprung free around the left edge for an 88-yard touchdown rumble that tied the game at 28-28 with 26 seconds left in the third quarter. The sophomore quarterback completed the improbable comeback by slicing through the left side of the Crusaders defense for 66 yards and a score that put the home team on top, 35-28 with just over six minutes to play. McDaniels finished the game with 196 yards and three touchdowns on the ground to go along with 113 passing yards and one touchdown.

Defensive Player of the Week

RJ Roth -- Hartwick

Senior, Defensive End – Cornwall, NY

Roth was part of a staunch defensive effort in Hartwick's 33-7 opening day victory over Husson. Making his first start at defensive end after switching from linebacker and after missing the 2012 season with an injury, Roth made 12 tackles (9 solo), four tackles for losses, and one sack. His efforts limited the Husson offense to just 147 yards on the day.

Jason Leigh – St. Lawrence University

Freshman, Linebacker, Poughquag, NY

First-year linebacker Jayson Leigh made an immediate impact for the SLU defense against Coast Guard, making two interceptions in the 21-17 victory. The Poughquag, NY native, who added a tackle for a loss, returned one of the interceptions for a touchdown on Coast Guard's first offensive play of the game to set the tone early.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Kyle Hamby – Salisbury University

Junior, Punter, Laurel, Md.

Hamby was instrumental for Salisbury in a low-scoring, field-position game. The junior punter averaged 45.6 yards on six punting opportunities, sending three inside the 20-yard line, while also putting up a 70-yard boot in the first half against Christopher Newport.

Division III Southeast

Offensive Player of the Week

Ryan Gresik – William Paterson University

Senior, Quarterback, Newtown, NJ

Gresik led the Pioneers to a season-opening 21-19 road win at King’s in the MAC-NJAC Challenge. He opened his senior season by completing 22 of 30 pass attempts for 250 yards and three touchdowns. In the victory, he became the Pioneers’ all-time leader in both completions (388) and passing yards (4,319). Gresik currently leads the NJAC in pass efficiency (169.7).

Defensive Player of the Week

Nick Bricker – The College of New Jersey

Senior, Linebacker, Middletown, NJ

Bricker led his team in tackles during the Lions’ season-opening 28-20 non-conference road defeat at Ursinus. He opened his senior season by securing 11 solo stops and six assists for a team-high 17 tackles in the contest. Bricker currently leads the NJAC in tackles per game (17.0).

Special Teams Player of the Week

Julian Frazier – William Paterson University

Senior, Punter, Plainfield, NJ

Frazier helped WPU secure a 21-19 road win over rival King’s. He averaged 42.1 yards per attempt on seven punts, including a long of 64 and four punts which were downed inside the King’s 20-yard line. He also contributed from the receiver position with three receptions for 36 yards and a touchdown. Frazier currently leads the NJAC in punting average (42.1).

Division III Southwest

Offensive Player of the Week

Joe Callahan – Wesley College

Sophomore, Quarterback, Absecon, NJ

Callahan threw for Wesley single-game record 510 yards and a record 37 completions and 5 touchdowns in 33-21 come from behind win over #20 Widener in his first career start.  Ranks 1st in NCAA total offense after the first week.

Steve Koudossou – Wesley College

Junior, Wide Reciever, Waldorf, Md.

Koudossou set Wesley single-game records for receptions (17) and receiving yards (266) and tied the school record with four touchdowns in Wesley's 33-21, come-from-behind win over #20 Widener. Leads nation in receptions and second in yards after first week.

Defensive Player of the Week

No Qualified Candidates Submitted.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Alex Baroffio – Washington & Jefferson College

Senior, Wide Reciever, Bethel Park, Pa.

Baroffio totaled a career-high 257 all-purpose yards (96 yards receiving, 92 yards in kickoff returns, 69 yards in returns) in Saturday's 58-21 season-opening victory at Wooster. He set up W&J up with terrific field position all night, with three of his punt returns and two of his kick returns leading to scoring drives for the Presidents. Also, five of his nine receptions went for first downs.