Players of the Week
Brandon Noohi, Central Oklahoma, Jr., Quarterback, Oklahoma City, Okla./Mount Saint Mary
Noohi helped lead UCO to a wild 43-40 road win over Southwest Baptist with the sixth-best passing game in school history as he hit 21-of-33 passes for 359 yards and three touchdowns. The junior transfer from Southeastern Oklahoma scored on a two-yard run in staking the Bronchos to an early 7-0 lead and he tossed TD passes of 21, 29 and 67 yards in the second half as UCO rallied from a 17-13 halftime deficit. Noohi hit 13-of-22 passes for 223 yards and the three TDs in the final two periods.
Cameron Sparks, Southeastern Oklahoma, Sr., CB, Grand Prairie, Texas/South Grand Prairie
Sparks led the Southeastern defense en route to a 29-21 win in its Lone Star Conference North Division opener against Southwestern Oklahoma State. Sparks tallied nine stops, eight of which were solo. He also snagged a pair of interceptions, becoming the second SOSU player this season to post multiple picks in a game. Southeastern converted his second pick into a touchdown on the ensuing possession. Sparks is currently second in the LSC in passes defended on the year and fourth in interceptions.
North Special Teams
Taylor Fore, Texas A&M-Commerce, Fr., Wide Receiver, Fort Worth, Texas/Keller Central
Blocked two punts in the Lions' 38-37 win over Northeastern State. The first punt he blocked was picked up by teammate Arsenial Richardson, who returned it for a touchdown. The next punt was picked up by teammate Keith Davis, who returned it to the 3 that led to an A&M-Commerce touchdown, three plays later.
Billy Martin, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Sr., Running Back, Pittsburg, Texas/Pittsburg
Last week Billy Martin struck gold looking like an All-American against the top ranked Tarleton State defense that was giving up less than 70 yards rushing per game and led the nation in negative plays.Martin sliced and diced the Texans to the tune of 23 carries for 178 yards and a game clinching 55-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter. On the second drive of the game he had a 49-yard run and then made a twisting grab in the end zone for an 18-yard touchdown reception. For the season he is averaging 5.5 yards per carry and leads the team with 65.5 yards rushing per game. Over the last five games, he is averaging nearly 105 yards of combined rushing and receiving yardage.
Tyrrell Herndon, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Sr., DE, Copperas Cove, Texas/Copperas Cove
After giving up over 600 yards of offense to West Texas A&M, the Javelina defense came up big against Tarleton. The defense held the top ranked rushing offense in the Lone Star Conference to just 136 yards and 3.9 yards per carry. The 176 yards passing the team gave up was a season low as well. With the challenge of playing the 13th ranked team in the nation, the Hogs never backed down. They recorded 11 tackles for loss as a team with seven different players getting in on the action. Senior defensive end Tyrrell Herndon led the way with a career high 3.5 tackles for loss for a total of 11 yards and eight total tackles. On a third-and-goal situation late in the game, Herndon dropped TSU running back Travis Evans for an 8-yard loss to help secure the victory.
South Special Teams
Cody Smith, Texas A&M-Kingsville, Jr., Punter, Kingwood, Texas/Kingwood
Smith has been one of the top punters in the nation all year long. He did nothing to dispute that against Tarleton as he had three punts for an average of 46.0 yards and dropped two punts inside the 20-yard line. He pulled off two fake punts against TSU. The first gained 18 yards to keep a drive going. The second may have been the play of the game. Facing a 4th-and-10 at their own 14-yard line and leading just 20-16 early in the fourth quarter, Smith caught a bounced snap and ran to open field down the right side line picking up 13 yards and a first down. Three plays later Billy Martin scored the clinching touchdown.