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Quartet collects STATS FCS player of week honors

By CRAIG HALEY

STATS FCS Senior Editor

(STATS) - Four players who had exceptional performances were named Monday as the STATS FCS National Players of the Week for Week 2 games ending Sept. 7.

The four honorees - Eastern Washington's Dre' Sonte Dorton, Elon's Marcus Willoughby, Central Connecticut State's Francis Cole and Furman's Darren Grainger - plus honorable mention selections:

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NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Dre' Sonte Dorton, Eastern Washington, WR, R-Sr., 5-10, 185, Pasco, Washington

Dorton had 17 career receptions entering EWU's 59-31 win over Lindenwood, then hauled in 15 catches and three touchdowns on 289 receiving yards, the school's single-game record. Wearing the same No. 10 of Kupp, Dorton surpassed the NFL standout's 275 yards versus Northern Colorado in 2015. Dorton caught a 78-yard TD pass on the game's first offensive play and later scored on 18- and 59-yard catches.

Honorable Mention: Eric Barriere, QB, Eastern Washington; Julius Chestnut, RB, Sacred Heart; Jack Cook, QB, Dayton; Jeff Cotton, WR, Idaho; Tren'Davian Dickson, WR, Texas Southern; Pete Guerriero, RB, Monmouth; Alex James, RB, Albany; Michael Jefferson, WR, Alabama State; Aaron Parker, WR, Rhode Island; Chris Rowland, WR, Tennessee State; Keshawn Williams, RB, Arkansas-Pine Bluff

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NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Marcus Willoughby, Elon, DE, Sr., 6-3, 253, Durham, North Carolina

Willoughby racked up a career-high 14 tackles, including two for loss and a sack, as Elon stymied The Citadel's triple option offense in a 35-28 triumph. His sack in Elon territory with just over one minute to play helped stop a Bulldogs' drive. The CAA Football team limited The Citadel to 156 rushing yards, which was its lowest total since facing Clemson in 2017, and 225 offensive yards overall.

Honorable Mention: Liam Doran, LB, Holy Cross; Devon King, CB, UC Davis; Da'Jon Lee, LB, Saint Francis; Roderick Perry, NT, South Carolina State; Tim Simon, S, Dayton; Bryce Sterk, DE, Montana State; Tracy Thompkins, DB, Mississippi Valley State

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NATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Francis Cole, Central Connecticut State, PK, Sr., 5-11, 205, New York

Cole likes to save his best kicks for last. For the second straight game, he kicked a game-winning field goal, this time a 44-yarder with three seconds left to beat Merrimack 40-37. He opened the scoring with a 42-yard field goal, had 10 points and pinned Merrimack within its 20 on his lone 43-yard punt. Cole kicked a game-ending 31-yard field goal in the Northeast Conference squad's 26-23 win at Fordham.

Honorable Mention: Michael Armstead, WR/KR, San Diego; Sean-Thomas Faulkner, DB/ST, The Citadel; Jaxon Janke, WR/PR, South Dakota State; Jerry Louie-McGee, WR/PR, Montana; Shane McDonough, P, Towson; Storm Ruiz, PK, Stephen F. Austin

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NATIONAL FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Darren Grainger, Furman, QB, R-Fr., 6-4, 195, Conway, South Carolina

Grainger led the way as Furman tied its program record for points against an FBS opponent in a 48-42 loss to Georgia State (which beat Tennessee in Week 1). He accounted for 376 yards of total offense (the fourth-most in a Paladins' game) and five touchdowns. Grainger completed 16 of 25 passes for 323 yards and four touchdowns with no interceptions and rushed for 53 yards and a TD on nine carries.

Honorable Mention: Ailym Ford, RB, Chattanooga; Tyler Hudson, WR, Central Arkansas; Trey Lance, QB, North Dakota State; Keegan Shoemaker, QB, Lafayette; Hajj-Malik Williams, QB, Campbell; Javon Williams Jr., RB, Southern Illinois

Updated September 9, 2019

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