Big South: Big South Announces Football Players of the Week
09-02-2013 10:19 AM
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) – Gardner-Webb running back Juanne Blount (Wingate, N.C.) has been named the Choice Hotels Big South Football Offensive Player of the Week, while Charleston Southern linebacker Calvin Bryant (Jacksonville, Fla.) has been selected as Defensive Player of the Week for games played the opening weekend of the regular-season. Coastal Carolina defensive back LaDarius Hawthorne (Ware Shoals, S.C.) is the Special Teams Player of the Week and Chanticleers’ cornerback Samson Baldwin (Greenville, S.C.) is The Crons Brand Freshman of the Week.
Blount rushed 28 times for a career-high 162 yards and a pair of touchdowns -- giving GWU its first-ever win over Furman and first victory over a SoCon team since 2009. Blount had 20 carries for 120 yards and both scores in the second half, with each of his touchdowns in the third quarter that rallied Gardner-Webb back from a 21-7 deficit. Seven of Blount’s carries went for first downs, and five went for 10 yards or more. His 29-yard scamper with just over 10 minutes remaining was the key play in Gardner-Webb’s game-winning drive -- getting GWU down inside the Furman 30. The Runnin’ Bulldogs scored four plays later and never trailed again. After Gardner-Webb got the ball back with 1:48 left, Blount raced off right tackle and out-ran the Paladin defense, gaining 41 yards down to the Furman one to ice the game.
Bryant led the Bucs to a 32-29 win over The Citadel with a team-high 12 tackles (seven solo and five assisted), as well as 1.5 TFL, one forced fumble and one pass break-up. He made three stops on third down plays to force fourth down situations, while another two of his tackles went for no gain. With CSU clinging to a three-point lead, Bryant recorded three tackles during The Citadel’s final two drives in helping the Bucs turn away the Bulldogs both times in CSU territory. For his effort, Bryant has been named National Co-Defensive Player of the Week by The Sports Network.
With South Carolina State looking to increase its lead to 11 points midway through the third quarter, Hawthorne came off the right edge and blocked a 39-yard field goal attempt that was scooped up by Quinn Backus and returned 56 yards for a touchdown. Coastal would convert a two-point PAT to tie the game at 20-20, and Hawthorne’s play swung the momentum to the Chanticleers.
Baldwin, a redshirt-freshman making his first career start, had seven tackles (five solo), one tackle-for-loss for three yards and two pass break-ups for the Chanticleers. His first PBU came on South Carolina State’s second drive of the second half. Baldwin’s second pass break-up came on a 4th-and-3 with 5:23 left to force a turnover on downs.
Also nominated for Offensive Player of the Week: Christian Reyes (Charleston Southern), Lorenzo Taliaferro (Coastal Carolina), Darrin Peterson (Liberty), Demarcus Rouse (Presbyterian College).
Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: Quinn Backus (Coastal Carolina), Chad Geter (Gardner-Webb), Aaron Dial (Liberty).
Also nominated for Special Teams Player of the Week: Grant Bowden (Liberty), Stephen Doar (Presbyterian College).
Also nominated for Freshman of the Week: Nick Newman (Liberty).