Philadelphia, PA (SportsNetwork.com) – Albert Einstein defined insanity as
doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If
that’s the case, Jacksonville quarterback Kade Bell is absolutely bonkers.
The starting quarterback for the Dolphins has consistently put up ridiculous
offensive numbers this season, and has helped his team to an 8-2 record with a
6-1 mark in Pioneer Football League play. Currently in the driver’s seat of the
conference title race, the Dolphins are seeking a win this weekend against
Campbell to earn the league’s second-ever automatic bid to the FCS playoffs.
Jacksonville would have already wrapped up the league’s automatic bid had it
not been for a slip-up earlier this month against Marist. Maybe the one-point
loss to the Red Foxes is what set Bell off this past Saturday against PFL rival
Davidson in the team’s 56-0 demolition of the Wildcats.
Bell completed 20-of-24 pass attempts for 417 yards and six touchdowns – a PFL
single-game best this season. His six touchdown passes rank third-most in the
FCS this season (one shy of tying the best mark), and the 313.38 passer
efficiency rating he accumulated in the game is the third-highest total this
With an arsenal of weapons surrounding him, Bell has thrown for 2,895 yards and
28 touchdowns against 11 interceptions, and has one rushing touchdown to his
name in 10 games. He’s the main reason the Dolphins won seven consecutive games
before the loss to Marist.
Jacksonville’s offense, which averages 34.4 points per game, centers around
Bell and his 289.5 passing yards per game (which ranks sixth in the FCS). If
the Dolphins can move past Campbell this weekend, Bell’s offensive prowess will
be put to the test on the national playoff stage.
Bell, along with Sacramento State’s DeAndre Carter, Harvard’s Connor Sheehan,
Northern Arizona’s Ryan Hawkins, Maine’s Benjamin Davis and Southern Illinois’
Cameron Walter have been named The Sports Network’s National Players of the
Week following Week 11 action at the FCS level.
CO-OFFENSIVE PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Kade Bell, Jacksonville, QB, Jr., 6-1, 185, Fleming Island, Florida
Bell has been dominant all season long, leading the Dolphins to an 8-2 record
and a 6-1 mark in Pioneer Football League play. He dominated Davidson Saturday
for 417 passing yards and six touchdowns, connecting on all but four of his 24
pass attempts. The son of Jacksonville head coach Kerwin Bell threw touchdown
passes to five different receivers in the win over Davidson, with four of them
going for 50 yards or more. With one more win, the Dolphins will be the second
PFL team to make the FCS playoffs with the league’s automatic bid, which was
instated last season.
DeAndre Carter, Sacramento State, WR, Sr., 5-10, 185, San Jose, California
Carter is used to being a big-play machine and, despite his average size, is
one of the more dangerous red-zone targets in the FCS. He was just that on
Saturday, hauling in 16 receptions for 273 yards and four touchdowns in his
team’s 42-21 win over Big Sky Conference foe Southern Utah. His 16 catches and
273 yards set school single-game records, and the four touchdown receptions
were one shy of the Sacramento State school record. Three of his four TD
catches came from within the opponent’s 20-yard line, while his fourth and
final scoring grab went for 40 yards. He leads the nation in touchdown catches
with 15 this season.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Connor Sheehan, Harvard, LB, Sr., 5-10, 205, Austin, Texas
The Crimson remained one of two unbeaten teams in the FCS on Saturday with a
45-0 thumping of Ivy League foe Columbia. Sheehan provided just as much offense
for Harvard in the contest as he did defense, racking up four tackles, a tackle
for loss and two interceptions, which he returned for touchdowns. Sheehan
opened the game not even five minutes in with a 48-yard pick-six, then followed
that effort up with a 49-yard interception return for a touchdown early in the
third quarter. The two interceptions for touchdowns in a single game tied a
school record, set during the 2000 season.
CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK:
Ryan Hawkins, Northern Arizona, PK, Jr., 5-11, 185, Peoria, Arizona
Talk about a well-rounded stat sheet. Hawkins handled it all on Saturday in
Northern Arizona’s 23-21 Big Sky Conference win over UC Davis. The junior was
responsible for 11 points, connecting on all three of his field goal attempts
(with a long of 41 yards) and he was 2-for-2 on PAT tries. Hawkins handled the
punting duties for the Lumberjacks as well, sending five kicks flying for an
average of 51.8 yards per punt with a long of 60 yards. Finally, he was the
point man on kickoff duty, sending six kickoffs for an average of 60.2 yards
with five touchbacks. Whew.
Benjamin Davis, Maine, LB, R-Fr., 6-2, 195, Harrington Park, New Jersey
Special teams coverage men are always working hard to make sure an opponent
doesn’t set up with strong field position, and are almost always
under appreciated. Not this week. Maine’s Davis proved to be of vital
importance in the Black Bears’ 33-20 upset win over previously Top 10-ranked
and CAA rival Richmond in Orono. Davis blocked a Spiders punt late in the
second quarter and recovered the ball himself in the end zone for a Maine
touchdown, giving his team a 10-point lead. Later on, Davis recovered another
fumble on kickoff coverage, handing the ball back to his offense. Who says
special teams aren’t important?
FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK:
Cameron Walter, Southern Illinois, RB, R-Fr., 5-9, 210, Greenville, Illinois
Don’t you love a feel-good story? Redshirt freshman running back Cameron Walter
was buried on the Southern Illinois depth chart behind starter Malcolm Agnew
and reserve back Mika’il McCall, who both missed Saturday’s Missouri Valley
Conference contest against Missouri State. It didn’t matter. Walter exploded
for 210 rushing yards on 37 carries in SIU’s 32-22 victory after coming into
the game with just 66 total yards on the season. Not only did Walter become the
first Salukis running back to gain 200 rushing yards since Deji Karim in 2009,
but his 37 carries tied for the 10th-most in a single game in school history.
Oh, and Walter was a program walk-on. That’s a way to get your name out there.