Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - The future continues to arrive today for college football programs across the country. So many freshmen are playing like seasoned veterans.
Furman quarterback P.J. Blazejowski and Abilene Christian running back De'Andre Brown have taken off with their opportunities. After both had their best games as collegians on Saturday, the two were named on Monday as The Sports Network FCS National Freshman Co-Players of the Week for their efforts in leading victories.
In a subpar season at Furman, Blazejowski came off the bench for his collegiate debut on Sept. 27 against Western Carolina and has since made six consecutive starts. He completed all 15 of his pass attempts for 305 yards and two touchdowns, with one more score on the ground, in an upset of Wofford.
Brown started to make his presence felt sooner at Abilene Christian, rushing for over 100 yards in his second career game this season. But he saved his best for last when he ran for 256 yards and three touchdowns in a season-ending win over Stephen F. Austin, which allowed the Wildcats to finish .500 in their first campaign in the Southland Conference since 1972.
Blazejowski, Brown, Eastern Kentucky's Dy'Shawn Mobley, Alabama State's Kourtney Berry, Indiana State's Mark Sewall and Sacred Heart's James Rentz have all been named FCS national players of the week following Week 12 action of the college football season.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Dy'Shawn Mobley, Eastern Kentucky, RB, Jr., 5-11, 215, Powell, Tennessee
By scoring all six EKU touchdowns in a 43-36 win over Murray State, Mobley tied the Ohio Valley Conference single-game record with six touchdowns (five rushing, one receiving). Five of the scores came in the second half as the Colonels (9-2) overcame a 20-point halftime deficit to basically clinch an FCS playoff bid with the win. The Kentucky transfer carried the ball 40 times for 224 yards and finished the game with 324 all-purpose yards, the fourth-most by an FCS player this season.
DEFENSIVE CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Kourtney Berry, Alabama State, LB, R-So., 6-0, 215, Merrillville, Indiana
Alabama State (6-5) went on the road to hand Grambling State its first loss in the Southwestern Athletic Conference, and Berry put his stamp on the Hornets' 37-23 triumph. He finished with a career-high 18 tackles, including 12 solo, 3.5 tackles for loss and a half sack. He also forced a fumble and recovered a pair of fumbles, including one for a second-quarter touchdown.
Mark Sewall, Indiana State, S, R-Jr., 6-0, 210, Western Springs, Illinois
Sewall had a clutch performance while Indiana State (7-4) kept its hopes alive for an FCS playoff bid with a 27-24 overtime win at Youngstown State in the Missouri Valley Football Conference. He collected 12 tackles, two fumble recoveries, two pass breakups, one interception and one quarterback hurry. On the first play of OT, Sewall came off the edge to tip Youngstown State's pass attempt and then leap into the air for an interception. The Sycamores took over the ball and kicked a winning field goal on their first OT possession.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
James Rentz, Sacred Heart, OLB, So., 6-1, 230, St. Augustine, Florida
Nationally ranked Bryant never led in Saturday's pivotal Northeast Conference matchup at Sacred Heart (9-2) because of Rentz's special teams work in the first half, when he blocked a pair of field goal attempts, as they went on to a 14-7 victory and clinched a share of the conference title and its automatic playoff bid for a second straight season. The first block ended the game's opening drive, when Rentz knocked down a 21-yard field goal try which wound up in the hands of a teammate, who returned it 64 yards. Rentz then swatted away a 25-yard attempt to keep the score tied at 7-7 heading into halftime. He also had a sack during the win.
FRESHMAN CO-PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
P.J. Blazejowski, Furman, QB, Fr., 6-0, 182, St. Augustine, Florida
Blazejowski might be going by the nickname "Mr. Perfect" on campus. The true freshman set a Southern Conference record for most passes completed without an incompletion, as he was 15-for-15 through the air, in Furman's 31-14 victory over Wofford. He passed for 305 yards and two touchdowns - 61 and 59 yards - and added a rushing touchdown for the Paladins (3-8), who ended an eight-game losing streak. His passing efficiency rating for the game was 314.78 - the second highest in an FCS game this season.
De'Andre Brown, Abilene Christian, RB, R-Fr., 5-9, 190, Lewisville, Texas
Brown fueled Abilene Christian's 37-35 upset win over Stephen F. Austin in the Southland Conference by carrying the ball 22 times for 256 yards and three touchdowns. He scored on runs of 66, 53 and 1 yard to help the Wildcats finish their first season in the Southland since 1972 at 6-6 overall and 4-4 in conference. He became the third running back in school history to top 250 yards in a game.