Milltown, NJ September 21, 2015
DREAM BOWL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
SEPTEMBER 21, 2015 WEEK 3
Carson Wentz, QB – North Dakota State
Any time a quarterback finishes a game with a 197.1 passer rating, he deserves recognition. Carson Wentz, the senior quarterback out of Bismarck, North Dakota, was phenomenal against the University of North Dakota. Wentz compiled 262 passing yards on 18 of 27 attempts and finished the day with an outstanding 66.7% completion percentage. Wentz also tossed 4 touchdown passes in the contest. Though the Bison started slow, Wentz was able to ignite his squad with a beautifully thrown 18-yard touchdown pass to freshman Darrius Shephard in the second quarter. From there on out, the Bison would never look back as Wentz would lead them to a 34-9 victory over UND. Already with eyes on the next level, Wentz is busy polishing his resume with a strong start to his 2015 campaign.
Linebackers – Gardner-Webb
Led by senior Tanner Burch, the Gardner-Webb linebackers were the core of a strong defensive outing in a hard fought, defensive battle against Virginia Union this past Saturday. Burch, Gardner-Webb’s leading tackler the past two seasons, racked up 9 total tackles with two of those coming for a loss. The top three leading tacklers on the day for Gardner-Webb, Burch, senior Azziz Higgins, and junior Aaron Cook, compiled a total of 33 tackles. The Runnin’ Bulldogs held Virginia Union’s starting quarterback Shawheem Dowdy to a mere 85 yards passing and 3 interceptions on the day. Fittingly, it was another linebacker, D.J. Allen, who made the game winning tackle four yards short of the end zone to seal the 4-point victory over Virginia Union. With tackling machine, Tanner Burch at the helm, Gardner-Webb’s linebacker unit looks to build on their strong performance against Virginia Union moving forward.
Connor Kascor, RB – Dayton
Where does one even begin? Connor Kascor, a senior running back from Leo, Indiana, put up video game numbers in a 24-13 Dayton win over Duquesne. Kascor finished the day with an incredible 244 yards on a heaping 44 carries. As if the yardage total alone wasn’t enough to earn Kascor Player of the Week honors, the senior RB found the end zone 3 times on Saturday as well. Impressively, Kascor has rushed for over 200 yards four times in his career. Additionally, this was the 12th time in the last 20 contests that Kascor has racked up over 100 yards rushing in a game. Kascor, a true work horse back, is already the career rushing leader for Dayton despite being only 3 games into his senior season. It goes without saying that Kascor has garnered himself lots of attention from scouts at the next level.
Mikal Abdul-Saboor, RB – William and Mary
Any time that an FCS school faces off against an FBS program, the result is expected to be a blowout. In back to back weeks though, the FBS schools have had quite the scare. Last week, Auburn was forced into overtime by Jacksonville State and this week Virginia faced a similar matchup against William and Mary. Senior running back Mikal Abdul-Saboor led the Tribe into Charlottesville in hopes of leading an upset. Though it did not pan out in the end, he was extraordinary against a tough Cavaliers defense. Abdul-Saboor almost outrushed the Cavaliers by himself as he gained 100 yards on 22 caries. This was his seventh straight 100-yard game, which set a school record. He also tacked on four catches for 34 yards, which shows how versatile he can be coming out of the backfield. Abdul-Saboor has solid pro potential because he has great size for a running back at 5’10’’ and 210 pounds. He also makes great lateral movements and uses his exceptional vision to find holes to run through. He should be an intriguing late round pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.
Victor Ochi, DE – Stony Brook
Plain and simple, senior Victor Ochi looked absolutely unblockable against New Hampshire on Saturday. He accounted for 3.5 sacks and led the team with nine total tackles. As a defensive end, leading your team in tackles is very impressive. The 3.5 sacks just speaks for itself. Most teams would love to have that many sacks in a game, much less from one player alone. The double teams and extra attention that Ochi drew also allowed for several other players to get into the action behind the line of scrimmage. Jack Carlock and Jeremy Leggerio also added sacks for Stony Brook. Ochi could be a very good late round pick in the spring. He has the athleticism and pass rushing skills needed to make it at the next level.
Jon Schnaars, WR – East Stroudsburg
As part of a prolific air attack, crafty wide receiver Jon Schnaars led the way for East Stroudsburg in a dominating 56-12 win over Edinboro this past weekend. Schnaars, a red-shirt senior, was extremely effective as he racked up 200 receiving yards and 2 scores on 9 catches. Schnaars was on the receiving end of a lethal connection he shared with red-shirt senior quarterback Matt Soltes, who passed for over 400 yards and 5 touchdowns. With his first career 200 yard receiving game, Schnaars moved into 8th all time at ESU with 2,285 career receiving yards. He currently ranks 9th at ESU in career receptions with 147, and 5th in touchdowns scored with 26. Moving forward, Schnaars looks to further his place in the ESU record books.
Liam Nadler, QB – Gannon University
With red-shirt senior quarterback Liam Nadler at the helm, Gannon paved its way to a record-breaking performance in a 66-31 win over Kutztown. Nadler was accurate and efficient with 5 touchdown passes and 412 yards on 28 of 36 attempts. His 77% completion percentage makes Nadler’s performance all the more impressive. Nadler has now gone a whopping 265 passes without throwing an interception, a mark that dates back to last season. Behind Nadler, Gannon broke school records for total yards (712) and points scored in a road game (66). This was also the 4th time in his career that Nadler has passed for over 400 yards. The red-shirt senior quarterback already holds the school record for touchdowns thrown in a game and tied this mark yet again against Kutztown. With elite, turnover-free play from its quarterback, Gannon looks to Nadler as they continue to build on a 3-0 start. Nadler has shown he possesses the skills to play at the next level.
Marc Evans, QB – Southwestern Oklahoma State University
Junior QB Marc Evans of Southwestern Oklahoma State University simply came to play against the ninth ranked Ouachita Baptist University. Marc Evans’ Bulldogs came into the game as underdogs but Evans was in elite form. Against a tough defense, he completed 31 of 46 passes for 365 yards and four touchdowns. To complement his 67% completion percentage, Evans threw zero interceptions. This type of decision-making is an irreplaceable trait among quarterbacks. Evans has a shot to be successful at the next level. He stands 6’ 3’’ and weighs 220 pounds. This is his first season at SWOSU so seeing this type of production already is promising for a future career as well. If he can continue to develop this year and truly dominate in his senior year in 2016, Evans has a true shot to make an NFL roster.
Cameron McDondle, RB – Colorado State University Pueblo
Colorado State University-Pueblo was looking to avenge an early season loss in their week three matchup against Western State Colorado University. They did just that and were led by senior running back Cameron McDondle. Though small in stature, McDondle runs big and is a beast of a ball carrier. He has been a stud ever since his freshman year on campus. In his freshman campaign, he ran for 854 yards and eight touchdowns. He followed that up with 848 yards and eight touchdowns his sophomore year and an incredible 2014 yards and 16 touchdowns in his junior season. Needless to say, expectations were high for McDondle starting this season. So far he has performed quite admirably. He ran for 189 yards and a touchdown this week and added on 75 yards receiving. This ability to make plays out of the backfield will surely help McDondle if he chooses to pursue a career in football.
Team Defense– Livingstone
As far as team defense goes, there are few things sweeter than a shutout. Livingstone’s entire defensive unit deserves recognition for blanking Central International University on Saturday. Led by seniors Eric Horne and Anthony Grady, Livingstone posted a 40-0 win. Livingstone held CIU to a paltry 143 yards of total offense. The Livingstone defense only surrendered 8 first downs to the CIU offense. Grady, the senior strong safety out of Manassas, Virginia, put the icing on the cake when he recovered a CIU fumble in the end zone for a defensive score. No matter the opponent, a shutout is no easy feat. Hats off to the Livingstone defense.
Austin Swenson, QB – Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Austin Swenson showed that his second week performance with 472 passing yards and five touchdowns was no fluke as he followed that up with a stellar performance in week three. While he could not quite match these incredible numbers, he threw for 372 yards and four touchdowns in a win against Hanover College. While he was a solid starter last season and passed for 3402 yards and 31 touchdowns, one aspect of his game is greatly improved. In three games so far, Swenson has yet to throw an interception and his completion percentage is 70.9%, up five percent from last season. This is great to see in terms of how he can have an effect at the next level. This is only his junior season and if Swenson can continue to grow exponentially like he has, there is a good chance that he gets a tryout from an NFL squad in 2017.
Brandon Bourbon, RB – Washburn University
Brandon Bourbon is a player who has had an injury-plagued career. A four-star recruit coming out of high school in 2010, he signed with Kansas University, where he played until this season. He missed the entire 2010 season due to a broken leg and all of 2014 with a torn ACL. He was fortunate to receive a sixth year of eligibility and chose to transfer to Washburn University to finish his collegiate football career. Bourbon was fantastic as his unranked Washburn squad upset fourth-ranked Pittsburgh State University. Bourbon ran for 144 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries and tacked on three catches for 16 yards. It is great to see Bourbon have success after a career riddled with injuries and frustration.
Ryan Weber, DB – University of Wisconsin-LA Crosse
Ryan Weber has been involved in seemingly every play for the University of Wisconsin-LA Cross defense this year. Through the first three games, he has totaled 43 tackles. Last week against the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, Weber totaled 13 tackles, including one tackle for loss, and a pass breakup. This tackling ability is exceptional for a defensive back as it is rare to find one that excels in defending the run as Weber does. His physicality combined with his natural instincts have resulted in his coaches trying him out at outside linebacker as well. His coaches have praised his athleticism and technique and this makes him an interesting prospect. He was primarily a hockey player, which is what he attributes his physicality to. He is relatively new to football and still has two years of eligibility.
Adam Smith, WR – Guilford
With his performance this past Saturday against Averett University, senior wide receiver Adam Smith cemented his place in the Guilford Football record books. Smith pulled in 11 receptions for a total of 195 yards and 3 scores. Those 3 scores moved Smith into first all time as Guilford’s career touchdown receptions leader with 35. Additionally, Smith’s 3-touchdown performance marked a new single game career high for the senior wide out. After compiling over 1,000 yards receiving last season, Smith has established himself as a force to be reckoned with. In 2014, Smith averaged an exceptional 100+ yards receiving a game. Smith’s ability as a pass catcher is undeniable and he hopes to continue his success at the next level.
Team Defense – Ithaca
When a defensive squad forces a top ranked team into six turnovers, the entire unit deserves recognition. Led by seniors Logan Murphy, Schnayder Termidor, and Ryan Michaels, the Ithaca defense fueled the Bombers to a big win over 16th ranked Hobart. Ithaca forced Hobart into three interceptions and three fumbles as well. The Bombers nearly pitched a shutout as they held Hobart scoreless for the first 44 minutes. Murphy compiled 7 tackles and recovered a Hobart fumble in the end zone for a defensive touchdown. Termidor racked up 8 tackles while Michaels claimed one of the three interceptions thrown by Hobart quarterbacks Parker Thelander and Thomas Sydeski. The Hobart offense was held to 159 total yards and was forced to punt 8 times. Ithaca moves to 2-0 behind a strong defensive unit that looks to continue its success throughout the 2015 season.