This week’s Gateway Players of the Week are QB Yance
Vaughan of Illinois State; LB Charles Thompson of Western Kentucky; LB LaDrelle
Bryant of Indiana State; and OL Buster Ashley of Western Kentucky.
QB Yance Vaughan, Illinois State
Sr., 6-3, 210, Ada (Okla.) High
Vaughan rallied the Redbirds from a 10-point deficit late in the fourth
quarter over Eastern Illinois and finished with three TD passes and the
game-winning 3-yard touchdown run. Vaughan’s quarterback keeper with 2:39 left
in the game gave ISU its first lead since the 6:55 mark of the third quarter.
His three touchdown passes also marked the most by a Redbird quarterback since
Dusty Burk threw for four against UNI in 2001. Vaughan was 19-for-30 with 219
LB Charles Thompson, Western Kentucky
Sr., 6-1, 240, Louisville (Ky.) Central High
Thompson recorded a career-high 18 tackles — more than doubling his
two-game total entering the contest — in the Hilltoppers’ victory at Eastern
Kentucky, with 2½ stops behind the line of scrimmage including his first sack of
the season. The senior added a pair of passes defensed as Western allowed just
260 total yards (146 until the Colonels’ final two drives with the game out of
reach) while forcing seven turnovers. Thompson moved into eighth place all-time
on the Hill with 347 stops in his career.
LB LaDrelle Bryant, Indiana State
Jr., 6-2, 225, Muncie (Ind.) Garden City CC
Bryant blocked a direct punt in the waning moments of the third quarter, which proved
to be the Sycamores’ winning score in the 28-21 victory over Murray State.
Bryant burst through Murray’s punt protection team to block the James Gaither
punt at the four-yard line after which the ball shot straight up in the air and
into the waiting arms of a streaking Markus Naves. In addition, Bryant had a
solid outing at linebacker, in which he compiled four solo tackles and five
assists along with a tackle and a half for loss.
Buster Ashley, Western Kentucky
6-4, 300, Sr., Owensboro, Ky.
Ashley graded out at 95 percent overall following the Toppers’ victory over
instate rival Eastern Kentucky, as his efforts helped Western post 328 total
yards while averaging 5.3 yards per play. The senior was credited with 13
pancake blocks and a 95 percent factor grade after holding Chad Dewberry — a
preseason all-Ohio Valley Conference selection — to just three tackles (two
assists) while not allowing a sack.
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