Story courtesy of the Ohio Valley Conference
Photo courtesy of UT-Martin Athletics
Trabis Ward, RB • Jr., 5-10, 200 • Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. • Tennessee State
Ward carried the ball 43 times for 267 yards (6.2 ypc) and four touchdowns as Tennessee State improved to 7-0 on the season (making the Tigers one of just four undefeated teams at the FCS level) with a 40-28 victory at Southeast Missouri. The 267 yards and four touchdowns were both the second-highest single-game totals in Tennessee State history. Among all FCS performances this season, the 43 carries were the most, the four rushing touchdowns were tied for the most and the 267 yards were the fourth most this season. Ward scored on a seven-yard run in the second quarter and then added three fourth quarter scores, running it in from four yards out, one yard out and capping the game with a 30-yard touchdown scamper with 1:26 to play. Ward currently ranks second nationally in scoring (11.14 points/game), sixth in rushing (129.71 yards/game) and 16th in all-purpose yards (142.29/game).
Derek Carr, QB • Sr., 6-1, 191 • McKenzie, Tenn. • UT Martin
Carr was nearly perfect in UT Martin’s 66-59 shootout victory over Murray State on Saturday. The senior completed 42-of-46 passes (91.3%) for 560 yards and seven touchdowns without an interception or being sacked as his team improved to 5-2 on the year and 3-1 in OVC play. Carr had touchdown passes of 22, 15, 22, 34, 17, 42 and 34 yards in the victory. The seven touchdown passes set the UT Martin school record (and momentarily tied the OVC record, until broken later in the game by Murray State’s Casey Brockman), as did his 560 passing yards. The seven touchdown passes pushed his career total to 54, setting a new Skyhawk career mark in that category as well. The 560 passing yards are the second-most in a single game in the FCS this season and the seven touchdowns are tied for second among all FCS players. During the game Carr moved into seventh place on the OVC career passing list (7,172), ninth place in career completions (559) and 10th in career total offense (7,205). Carr currently ranks sixth nationally in total passing yards (2,020), seventh in passing yards/game (288.57), 14th in total offense (284.29 yards/game), 16th in passing efficiency (146.22) and completions (22.57/game) and 20th in points responsible for (13.71/game).
Others Nominated: Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois; T.J. Pryor, Eastern Kentucky; Washaun Ealey, Jacksonville State; Casey Brockman, Murray State; Scott Lathrop, Southeast Missouri.
Steven Godbolt III, DB • So., 6-1, 180 • Cross City, Fla. • Tennessee State
Godbolt had four tackles (three solo) and returned an interception 62 yards to setup a key touchdown as Tennessee State won 40-28 at Southeast Missouri to improve to 7-0 on the season. With the Tigers holding onto a 20-14 lead and the Redhawks driving late in the third quarter, Godbolt picked off Scott Lathrop and returned the ball 62 yards to the Southeast Missouri 26-yard line; five plays later Trabis Ward scored from four yards out to give TSU a 26-14 advantage. Overall it marked the fourth interception of the season for the sophomore (who is ranked seventh nationally with 0.57 interceptions/game) and marked just the second time all season that Lathrop had been picked off.
Thad Williams, DB • Sr., 5-9, 190 • Adel, Ga. • UT Martin
Williams started the game by intercepting Murray State’s Casey Brockman and returning it 42 yards for a touchdown to put UT Martin up 7-0 just 1:29 into the game. That set the tone as the Skyhawks would not trail in the game on its way to a 66-59 shootout victory. Williams also had a key pass breakup down the stretch as the Racers were attempting to tie the game. Williams finished the game with six tackles (5 solo) and a tackle-for-loss.
Others Nominated: Pat Wertz, Eastern Illinois; Rashad Smith, Jacksonville State; Blake Peiffer, Southeast Missouri.
Cameron Berra, K • Jr., 5-11, 203 • St. Louis, Mo. • Eastern Illinois
Berra connected on 4-of-4 point after attempts and nailed a 43-yard field goal as time expired in the first half in Eastern Illinois’ 31-28 victory over Jacksonville State on Saturday. That field goal ultimately proved to be the difference in the game as EIU improved to 4-0 at home on the season. Berra is now a perfect 6-of-6 in field goal attempts this season.
Others Nominated: Telvin Brown, Jacksonville State; Jamin Godfrey, Tennessee State; Cody Sandlin, UT Martin.
Jeremy Butler, WR • Jr., 6-3, 205 • Bradenton, Fla. • UT Martin
Butler, the transfer from College of the Sequoias, set the UT Martin record for touchdown receptions in a game, catching eight passes for 177 yards and four touchdowns in the Skyhawks 66-59 shootout win over Murray State on Saturday. Butler caught a 22-yarder in the first quarter, a 34-yard score and a 17-yard score in the second quarter and capped his quartet of touchdowns with a 42-yard score to open the third quarter. The four touchdown receptions are tied for the most by a FCS player in a game this season.
Others Nominated: Cory Teague, Austin Peay; Jourdan Wickliffe, Eastern Illinois; Jermaine Hough, Jacksonville State; Dontel Watkins, Murray State; Scott Lathrop, Southeast Missouri; Gregory Barksdale, Tennessee State.