Southwest Missouri State wide receiver Steven Rush, Cal Poly linebacker Jordan Beck, and Maine return man Arel Gordon have been honored as national I-AA players of the week by The Sports Network. Rush was also selected as one of this week’s “All-Stars” by I-AA.org.
Rush had a magnificent receiving day against Illinois State, Beck was all over the field in the Mustangs’ win over UC Davis, and Gordon returned his way toward a Black Bear blowout of Morgan State.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Steven Rush, Southwest Missouri State
Junior, Wide Receiver, 5-11, 195, Omaha, NE
Caught six passes for a school-record 249 yards and four touchdowns in Southwest Missouri State’s 48-43 loss to Illinois State, also returning a kickoff 88 yards for a score on the day…posted scoring catches of 9, 74, 75, and 80 yards against the Redbirds…all-purpose yardage total (410) broke the Gateway Football Conference single-game mark in that category, surpassing the previous record of 373 set by Western Illinois’ Aaron Stecker against Southern Illinois in 1997…four receiving TDs set a new school record and tied the league mark…had registered just two touchdowns on the season before exploding for five on Saturday.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jordan Beck, Cal Poly – Junior, Linebacker
6-2, 215, Mount Hermon, CA
Totaled 15 tackles, including three for loss, a pass breakup, a sack, and a 41-yard fumble recovery for the winning touchdown in an 18-14 win over UC Davis…touchdown came with 3:03 remaining in the third quarter and the Mustangs’ trailing, 14-10…led a defensive unit that held the Aggies to 15 first downs, 281 total yards, and forced five turnovers on the day…Buck Buchanan Award candidate now has 121 tackles on the season, surpassing the previous school mark of 115 set by Brett Baker in 2000.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Arel Gordon, Maine – Freshman, RS
5-9, 165, Rochester, NY
Tallied two touchdowns, one on a 75-yard punt return and another on a 100-yard kickoff return in Maine’s 77-24 victory over Morgan State…Punt return for a score came at the 12:48 mark of the first quarter, and put the Black Bears ahead, 7-0…kickoff return for a touchdown arrived with 2:33 to go in the first half, after Morgan had rallied from 35 points down to pull within 42-24…finished the game with 211 all-purpose yards, and contributed to a 77-point effort that ranks as Maine’s best ever at the I-AA level…ranks seventh in I-AA punt returns (14.86 avg.) and 15th on kickoff returns (27.5 avg.).
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