Published January 13, 2015
Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Northern Arizona running back Zach Bauman has a shot to do something only eight others have accomplished in FCS history.
The senior back can become the ninth player to record four consecutive 1,000- yard rushing seasons, and is just 116 yards away from achieving the feat after Saturday's dominating 266-yard performance. Bauman led his Lumberjacks past Idaho State by scoring three touchdowns, and he will get his next shot at the 1,000-yard mark on Saturday against Cal Poly.
For this past weekend's action, Bauman, Fordham's Sam Ajala, Missouri State's Caleb Schaffitzel, Sacred Heart's Troy Moore, Rhode Island's Dylan Smith and South Dakota's Riley Donovan have been named The Sports Network FCS National Players of the Week for all Week 8 games ending Oct. 19.
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Zach Bauman, Northern Arizona, RB, Sr., 5-10, 200, Chandler, Ariz.
Bauman had a career day Saturday to keep his Lumberjacks afloat in their 39-30 win over Idaho State. Bauman carried the ball 28 times for a whopping 266 yards and two touchdowns in his team's win. He added 58 receiving yards and a touchdown on seven catches to round out his 324-yard all-purpose day. The senior is now 116 yards shy of becoming the ninth player in FCS history to rush for at least 1,000 yards in four consecutive seasons. He ranks fifth all- time in Big Sky Conference history with 4,560 career rushing yards.
Sam Ajala, Fordham, WR, Jr., 6-0, 194, DeSoto, Texas
Ajala set a school record Saturday against Georgetown as the junior receiver notched 282 yards on 10 receptions to go along with four touchdown catches. The 282 receiving yards rank second in Patriot League history, while his four-touchdown performance ties a league record. Ajala caught all four of quarterback Michael Nebrich's touchdown tosses as his Rams defeated Yale, 52-31. Ajala is now ranked second in the nation with 951 receiving yards, 60 yards behind fellow Patriot League receiver Lee Kurfis of Lehigh. The junior caught two 68-yard scores Saturday, with his others went for 33 and 29 yards.
CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Caleb Schaffitzel, Missouri State, S, Jr., 6-0, 214, Fair Grove, Mo.
The Buck Buchanan Award candidate recorded a game-high 14 tackles in his team's 35-21 upset win over South Dakota State Saturday. Schaffitzel also broke up four passes and intercepted a pass on the Jackrabbits' final offensive possession. It was the third interception on the season for Schaffitzel, who has 73 total tackles this year.
Troy Moore, Sacred Heart, DL, Jr., 6-3, 285, Worcester, Mass.
The Pioneers received a huge effort on defense from Moore in their 56-28 road win over Northeast Conference rival Bryant. From his position on the defensive line, Moore recorded eight total tackles, including six tackles for loss and three sacks of Bryant quarterback Mike Westerhaus. Moore led the charge to halt the Bryant running attack, helping limit the Bulldogs to four rushing yards on the day. He also forced a fumble, which Sacred Heart recovered at Bryant's 42-yard line.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dylan Smith, Rhode Island, PK, Jr., 5-11, 209, River Edge, N.J.
Much like Gardner-Webb's 12-10 victory over the Spiders back in Week 3, Rhode Island had a kicker Saturday who squashed Richmond with nothing but field goals. Smith connected on all four of his attempts with a long of 47 yards, which he hit in the second quarter. Smith's four field goals tied a 25-year-old Rhode Island single-game record.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Riley Donovan, South Dakota, WR, Fr., 6-1, 185, Kasson, Minn.
Donovan, a walk-on freshman who had his redshirt label removed four weeks ago, showed his worth Saturday in South Dakota's upset win over Northern Iowa, 38-31 in double overtime. Donovan caught nine passes for 178 yards and two touchdowns against the Panthers. It was the most receiving yards for a Coyotes wideout since the 2008 season. The freshman hauled in scoring grabs of 48 and 43 yards, and also pulled in a 15-yard catch on 3rd-and-15 that kept a USD drive alive and helped complete a Coyotes fourth-quarter comeback.