CIAA Football Weekly Honors #4
By: CIAA Sports
FOOD LION OFFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK
#77 Mark Murphy, Bowie State
(R-Sr, OL – Seat Pleasant, MD)
Mark Murphy was the key cog in an Bowie State offensive line that helped the Bulldogs gain a season-high 503 yards of total offense in the 36-20 conference win over visiting Saint Augustine’s. The Bulldogs’ 252 yards rushing and 5.5 yards per carry were also a season-high. Bowie State also scored two touchdowns on the ground. In the air, the redshirt senior kept the quarterbacks upright en route to 251 yards passing on 17 completions for an average of 8.4 yards per attempt.
FOOD LION QUARTERBACK OF THE WEEK
#15 Isaiah Freeman, Lincoln (PA)
(Fr, QB – Chester, PA)
In an impressive 29-28 conference road win over Johnson C. Smith, Isaiah Freeman passed for a career-high 298 yards and three touchdowns. He also completed 16-of-27 attempts and added another score on the ground. On the game-winning eight-play, 1:05 drive, the Chester, PA native completed passes of 23 and 25 yards and drew a 15-yard pass interference to set up the game-winning field goal as time expired. Previously, the freshman had never topped 150 yards passing. The win also gave the Lions their first CIAA road win since 2009.
FOOD LION RECEIVER OF THE WEEK
#14 Barry Elliott, Fayetteville State
(Gr., WR – Fayetteville, NC)
Barry Elliott caught six passes for 102 yards and a score — all game-highs and season-highs — in the Broncos’ 31-28 loss to Virginia Union in conference action. He had a 42-yard touchdown reception to give FSU an early 14-0 lead. The Fayetteville, NC native had three more catches go for first-downs.
FOOD LION OFFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK
#3 Jada Byers, Virginia Union
(So, RB – Hammonton, NJ)
For the fourth consecutive week, Jada Byers has earned CIAA Offensive Back of the Week honors. In the 31-28 win over conference foe Fayetteville State, Byers rushed for 161 yards and three touchdowns on 31 carries. The sophomore had a pair of rushing touchdowns in the first quarter, which tied the game at 14. His one-yard fourth quarter touchdown gave the Panthers a commanding 31-21 lead late in the game. The Hammonton, NJ amassed 120 yards after halftime as the Panthers outscored the Broncos 17-7 in the fourth quarter. Through four weeks this season, Byers’ 777 rushing yards and nine touchdowns leads Division II Football.
FOOD LION DEFENSIVE BACK OF THE WEEK#0 Kai Gray, Lincoln (PA)
(Sr, DB – Newark, NJ)Kai Gray recorded a season-high and game-high nine solo tackles en route to 11 total stops and the 29-28 conference win over Johnson C. Smith. The Newark, NJ also recovered a blocked field goal, preventing the Golden Bulls from taking the lead. The senior also assisted on a tackle for a loss.
FOOD LION LINEBACKER OF THE WEEK
#33 Burnico Perofeta, Chowan
(Jr., LB – Fayetteville, NC)
Burnico Perofeta had a game-high and season-high 13 total tackles in the 21-7 win over conference foe Winston-Salem State. The Fayetteville, NC native had a sack, which resulted in a three-and-out for the Rams. The junior also had five tackles that resulted in one or two-yard gains for Winston-Salem State. Perofeta was an important part of a Chowan defensive unit that held the Rams to just 164 yards of total offense on 66 plays (2.5 yards per play).
FOOD LION DEFENSIVE LINEMAN OF THE WEEK
#56 Cameron Merrill, Fayetteville State
(r-Jr., DL – Atlanta, GA)
Cameron Merrill had a game-high 11 total tackles in the 31-28 conference loss to Virginia Union. The Atlanta, GA native assisted on three tackles for a loss and had a sack. The redshirt junior’s sack, which came in the third quarter, forced a Panthers’ punt with the Broncos leading 21-14. Merrill also had nine tackles that resulted in a gain of two yards or less.
FOOD LION SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
#88 Brady Myers, Virginia Union
(Fr, K/P – Orlando, FL)
In the 31-28 win over Fayetteville State, Brady Myers connected on a 44-yard field goal — his only attempt on the day — and made all four of his point-after tries. The 44-yard field goal was the longest of the Orlando, FL native’s career and it came in the fourth quarter as the freshman cut a 21-14 deficit into 21-17. Virginia Union outscored the Broncos 17-7 in the fourth quarter to claim the victory.
FOOD LION ROOKIE OF THE WEEK
#15 Isaiah Freeman, Lincoln (PA)
(Fr, QB – Chester, PA)
In an impressive 29-28 conference road win over Johnson C. Smith, Isaiah Freeman passed for a career-high 298 yards and three touchdowns. He also completed 16-of-27 attempts and added another score on the ground. On the game-winning eight-play, 1:05 drive, the Chester, PA native completed passes of 23 and 25 yards and drew a 15-yard pass interference to set up the game-winning field goal as time expired. Previously, the freshman had never topped 150 yards passing. The win also gave the Lions their first CIAA road win since 2009.Virginia Union University at Fayetteville State University
September 24, 2022
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Fayetteville State struck first with touchdowns on its first two drives of the game, K’Hari Lane found Nique Martin and Barry Elliott for a pair of 40-plus yard scores. By the end of the first quarter, Virginia Union’s Jada Byers had the game tied at 14 with a pair of touchdowns. Trailing 21-14 entering the final frame, Virginia Union added a field goal and then returned an interception 31 yards for its first lead of the game before Byers’ one-yard touchdown made it a two-score game. Byers had 50 rushing yards and averaged 3.4 yards per carry at halftime but finished the contest with 161 yards and a 5.2 average. The Panthers’ win comes despite FSU holding them to season-low totals in offense (scoring, rushing offense, and passing offense). The Broncos actually outgained VUU, 283-237, and their 28 points were a season-high.