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1 month 18 hours ago #4765

Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) - Nobody in the FCS steps up to greater competition like David Johnson. The Northern Iowa running back could be the first FCS offensive player selected in the 2015 NFL Draft, and for good reason - he knows how to compete against the big boys. Johnson showed that this past weekend as his Panthers took down previously unbeaten Illinois State, 42-28, in a Missouri Valley Football Conference showdown. Johnson was named The Sports Network FCS Offensive Player of the Week after rushing 29 times for 129 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while also registering 121 kickoff return yards, which included a 98-yard touchdown. The Panthers are not only fighting for their playoff lives week in and week out, as they currently sit on a 5-4 record and a 3-2 mark in conference play, but they have three incredibly difficult matchups remaining on the regular- season slate. This upcoming weekend, Johnson and UNI will be tasked with the seemingly insurmountable job of taking down top-ranked North Dakota State, which just extended its FCS-record win streak to 33 games dating back to 2012. The Panthers get the Bison at the UNI Dome, and will be looking to unleash Johnson against the nations eighth-best run defense. Northern Iowa will close out the regular season with a game on the road against Southern Illinois and then at home against Missouri State. Like Johnson did earlier this season against FBS opponents Iowa and Hawaii (356 all-purpose yards, two touchdowns combined), hell look to replicate against tough conference opponents in crunch time. Johnson, along with Stetsons Donald Payne, North Dakota States Kyle Emanuel, Tennessee States Darion Hall and Butlers Sam Schrader have all been named The Sports Network National Players of the Week following Week 10 action at the FCS level. OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: David Johnson, Northern Iowa, RB, Sr., 6-1, Clinton, Iowa Not only did Johnson play a huge role in taking down then-No. 7 Illinois State, but he yet again became a Northern Iowa legend in the process. His 129 rushing yards in the game were enough to move him into first place in UNI history in terms of career rushing yards. The senior now has 4,051 yards on the ground in his four years in Cedar Falls, and has set three new school records this season alone. His 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown against the Redbirds was also a career long in the category, and Johnson finished the day with 255 all- purpose yards (129 rushing, five receiving, 121 kickoff return). CO-DEFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Donald Payne, Stetson, DB, So., 6-0, 215, Fayetteville, Georgia Payne is used to filling up the defensive stat sheet with his excellent all- around play for the Hatters, but Saturday the sophomore went a bit overboard against Campbell. Payne recorded a Pioneer Football League-record 27 tackles in Stetsons 28-24 edging of the Fighting Camels, which accounted for more than one-third of Campbells 79 offensive plays. Ten of those tackles were solo stops, and he chipped in with a pair of half-tackles for loss. It was the second time this season Payne has recorded more than 20 tackles in a contest (in Week 8 against Jacksonville, he had 21). He added a missed field goal return for 20 yards to his stat line Saturday. Kyle Emanuel, North Dakota State, DE, Sr., 6-3, 251, Schuyler, Nebraska This is the second Defensive Player of the Week award for the North Dakota State lineman, who set a career mark on Saturday in his teams 37-17 thrashing of South Dakota State. Emanuel registered a career-best 10 tackles, adding 4.5 tackles for loss and four sacks to the effort. The senior had three sacks by halftime, but his fourth and final sack was the most momentous. With four minutes left in the game, Emanuel recorded a strip sack on SDSU quarterback Austin Sumner. The ball was recovered by the Bison and it led to an NDSU touchdown five plays later in the Missouri Valley clash. SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Darion Hall, Tennessee State, RB/RS, Sr., 6-0, 190, Naples, Florida Halls Tigers faced a tough test on Saturday and ultimately fell to Eastern Kentucky, 56-42. But the senior running back managed to do something only nine other players in the history of the Ohio Valley Conference have ever done: return a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown. He finished the day with 174 yards on five returns, and had 262 all-purpose yards. It was the first time since the 2011 season that any OVC player has returned a kick 100 yards for a score. The feat gives TSU four of the 10 OVC players in history who have returned a kick the full length of the field. FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK: Sam Schrader, Butler, RB, R-Fr., 5-10, 185, Mishawaka, Indiana Schrader didnt just help his Butler squad hold off Morehead State this weekend, the redshirt freshman back bulldozed the opposing Eagles. The 5- foot-10 tailback registered three second-quarter scores en route to earning 162 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 13 carries in the win. He did most of his damage in the second quarter, carrying the ball just four times but gaining 82 yards with the three touchdowns of 21, 55 and 4 yards. Schraders performance was the third four-touchdown game in the Pioneer Football League this season - the other two belong to Dayton back Connor Kacsor. Custom New Orleans Pelicans Jerseys . Maricopa County spokeswoman Cari Gerchick says thats the finding from an autopsy conducted Thursday by the county Medical Examiners Office. DeMarcus Cousins Jersey . 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