It wasn't the down-to-the-wire thriller many people may have expected out of Eastern Washington versus Sam Houston State, but one thing is for certain: there was no shortage of offense this past Saturday.
Sam Houston running back Timothy Flanders had a standout performance on the ground against the then-No. 2 team in the nation. That impressive showing on the immense national stage has landed him among the FCS national players of the week.
Flanders, Stephen F. Austin's Brady Attaway, Sacramento State's Darnell Sankey, North Dakota State's Ben LeCompte, Hampton's Christian Faber-Kinney and Holy Cross' Peter Pujals have been named The Sports Network FCS National Players of the Week for all Week 5 games ending Sept. 28.
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Timothy Flanders, Sam Houston State, RB, Sr., 5-9, 210, Midwest City, Okla.
Flanders took advantage of the biggest non-conference matchup of the season against the Big Sky's Eastern Washington and made the most of it. The Bearkats' running game dominated in a 49-34 win against Eastern Washington, and Flanders was the spark. He rushed for 280 yards and two touchdowns (including a 60- yarder) as the Bearkats proved last year's national semifinal victory over EWU was no fluke. Flanders became the first Southland Conference player and 22nd in FCS history to eclipse 5,000 rushing yards in a collegiate career. It was the third time Flanders topped 200 yards in a game.
Brady Attaway, Stephen F. Austin, QB, Sr. 6-1, 215, Whitehouse, Texas
It would be hard not to give at least a portion of the spotlight to Attaway after his absolutely ridiculous performance against Prairie View A&M Saturday night. Attaway set single-game highs for the 2013 season as if they were nothing in the contest. His 662 passing yards and 655 all-purpose yards are single-game bests this season. He completed 44-of-66 passes (44 completions is a single-game high) and added four touchdowns with just one interception. Three of his receivers went over 100 yards. Although the Lumberjacks defense couldn't stop the Panthers' offense for a win, losing, 56-48, Attaway's performance was too impressive to ignore.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Darnell Sankey, Sacramento State, DL, So., 6-3, 250, San Jose, Calif.
Sankey helped the Hornets hold Weber State without a touchdown on Saturday in Big Sky Conference action, but that wasn't the most impressive part of his game. Sankey recorded a career-high 10 total tackles against the Wildcats, which included 4.5 tackles for loss and three sacks. Sankey also forced and recovered a fumble, as his defense forced four fumbles. It was Sacramento State's most decisive victory of the season, 31-3.
CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Ben LeCompte, North Dakota State, P, So., 6-0, 200, Barrington, Ill.
Maybe someone should check to see if LeCompte's punting leg is made of titanium or some other metal because the sophomore proved he can certainly blast the ball Saturday against Missouri Valley Football Conference rival South Dakota State. LeCompte booted seven punts for 310 yards in the contest (44.3 average), had two touchbacks and three downed inside the 20-yard line. The Bison punter boomed a 75-yarder from his own 25-yard line in the first quarter, and later kicked a 74-yarder from the Bison 8-yard line. If that wasn't enough, he also handled kickoff duty in his team's 20-0 win.
Christian Faber-Kinney, Hampton, P, Fr., 6-1, 235, Williamsburg, Va.
LeCompte's numbers were tough to compete with, but Faber-Kinney did something for his Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference squad that LeCompte did not on Saturday. Faber-Kinney averaged 41.5 yards on six punts, which included a 70- yard boot. He had two kicks downed inside the 20-yard line in his team's loss to South Carolina State. Faber-Kinney also rushed once for 37 yards and completed one pass for 32 yards on two fake punts that converted a pair of fourth-down tries.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Peter Pujals, Holy Cross, QB, Fr., 6-2, 185, Glenview, Ill.
Pujals started at quarterback against Dartmouth Saturday and was the Crusaders' deadliest weapon. The freshman completed 25-of-37 pass attempts for 290 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions, while carrying the ball 17 times for 125 yards and two scores. He led Holy Cross back from a first- quarter deficit (14-0), in the third quarter (21-14) and in the fourth (28-21). Pujals was named the Patriot League rookie of the week for the second straight week in Week 5. He orchestrated a late-game, 67-yard drive that set up the game-winning field goal with 51 seconds left in the 31-28 triumph.