NEC Players of the Week

No Duquesne player, for the first time in the early season, is cited in Monday's Northeast Conference's announcement of the league's players of the week. DU is mentioned, though it's in connection with Monmouth's two awards for play in Saturday's 17-10 loss.

But it was Albany that got the biggest win, one over a top 25 FCS (I-AA) team in the Colonial Athetic Association, nee Atlantic 10 football conference. That 20-16 victory knocked Maine out of the top 25, in the trio of polls:

Albany received 20 votes in the TSN ranking, good for 42nd, of the 69 teams listed.

Duquesne's football team, following their first two 2009 games, received four awards:

  • Junior wide receiver Dave Williams (Co-Offensive) following the Bucknell win
  • Junior linebacker Willie Milhouse (Defensive) following the Nichols State game; and,
  • Freshman running back Larry McCoy (Co-Offensive and Co-Rookie) after gaining 195 yards against NSU.

If Duquesne had been on the winning end of the score, senior Cleodis Williams, in his first extended action, would probably also have been honored.

Williams gained 109 yards, the same total as the NEC offense honoree, in 23 carries, four fewer than Albany's David McCarty. The biggest difference: McCarty scored the game winning touchdown in Albany's 20-16 upset win over visiting No. 20 Maine.

Here's the information in the Northeast Conference press release:

Albany's victory over No. 20 Maine and Monmouth's triumphant Northeast Conference opener against Duquesne have landed the two programs a pair of NEC weekly awards.

  • On his way to the NEC Offensive Player of the Week award, Albany's David McCarty carried 27 times for 109 yards and the game-winning touchdown.
  • The Great Danes' Chris Simpson and Monmouth's Kendall Haley share NEC Defensive Player of the Week honors after their efforts led to decisive touchdowns. Simpson's forced fumble set up McCarty's 24-yard TD scamper two plays later while Haley broke a 10-10 tie by returning an interception 65 yards for a score.
  • NEC Special Teams Player of the Week Bobby Giles provided Monmouth with a second-half spark when he forced, and recovered a fumble on punt coverage.
  • NEC Rookie honors go to Wagner freshman Dominique Williams who rushed for 131 yards and a touchdown at North Dakota State.

Northeast Conference Players of the Week - Week

Offensive Player of the Week

David McCarty, Albany
Sr., TB, 6-0, 215
Gansevoort, NY / La Salle Institute
McCarty's 20th career 100-yard rushing performance lifted Albany to a 20-16 victory over No. 20 Maine. McCarty carried 27 times for 109 yards and the game-winning touchdown, which tied the Preseason All-American for eighth all-time on the NEC scoring charts (210 pts). McCarty was at his best during the Great Danes' fourth-quarter comeback. The senior tailback rushed eight times for 49 yards, two first downs, and one TD in the final period of play, which began with Albany trailing 16-3. Two plays after UA recovered a fumble at Maine's 26-yard line, McCarty capped the comeback by scoring on a 24-yard run with 2:02 left.

Defensive Players of the Week

Kendall Haley, Monmouth
Jr., DB, 5-11, 205
Olney, MD / Good Counsel
Haley saved one touchdown before scoring one of his own during Monmouth's triumphant Northeast Conference opener against Duquesne. The junior defensive back forced a fumble and later returned an interception 65 yards for the decisive touchdown in the Hawks' 17-10 victory. Haley made his first key play with Duquesne bidding to break a 10-10 tie in the third quarter. With Duquesne receiver Dave Williams seemingly destined for the end zone after making a 31-yard catch at Monmouth's 16-yard line, Haley was able to strip the ball loose on a desperation dive. Later in the quarter, Haley intercepted an errant pass at the Hawks' 35 and broke a number of tackles on a 65-yard run for paydirt. Haley totaled six tackles in the win.

Chris Simpson, Albany
Sr., ILB, 6-0, 230
Victor, NY / Victor Central
Simpson provided the game-changing play in Albany's come-from-behind victory over nationally-ranked Maine. Totaling 11 tackles, 2.0 TFL, one sack, one pass break-up, and one forced fumble against the Black Bears, Simpson's all-around performance will be remembered for his fourth-quarter heroics. With the Danes trailing by 13 points, the veteran linebacker forced Maine to punt on its first possession of the final quarter by holding the Black Bears' ball carrier to one yard and no gain on consecutive stops. Then, after Albany narrowed the deficit to three, Simpson struck again on a 3rd-and-short situation. The 230-pound senior denied Maine a first down by forcing a fumble at the Bears' 24-yard line with 2:45 left in the game.

    NOTE: Simpson was also named the ECAC Division I FCS Defensive Player of the Week today. The offensive players are Liberty's Mike Brown and Colgate's Jordan McCord.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Bobby Giles, Monmouth
Sr., RB, 5-10, 180
Burlington, NJ / Burlington
Giles' special teams play led to the game-tying field goal in the third quarter of Monmouth's 17-10 conference victory over Duquesne. After the Hawks' opening possession of the second half yielded only three yards, Giles provided a spark on the ensuing punt. The senior running back forced the Duquesne punt returner to fumble at the 20-yard line and was able to pounce on the loose ball at the Dukes' 17. In addition to the forced fumble and subsequent recovery, Giles returned two punts for 18 yards and one kickoff for 23 yards.

Rookie of the Week

Dominique Williams, Wagner
Fr., RB, 5-9, 200
Bridgeton, NJ / Bridgeton / Milford Academy
Williams rushed for more than 100 yards for the second consecutive week when Wagner visited North Dakota State. The 200-pound rookie running back carried 21 times for 131 yards and one touchdown during the Seahawks' setback in the Fargodome. The New Jersey product, who averaged 6.2 yards per carry, broke off runs of 12, 38, and 12 yards en route to producing the highest rushing total by a rookie in the NEC thus far this season. His 38-yard second-quarter scamper down to the NDSU 21-yard line set up Wagner's first touchdown which came one play later. Williams' 12-yard touchdown run tied the game at 14-14 with 5:59 remaining in the second quarter before the host Bison rattled off 31 straight points.

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