(STATS) - Very few FCS teams will end their seasons with their players saying they're going to Disney World (although the FCS would no doubt embrace such corporate sponsorship).
So one week before the playoffs began, some of them put it all on the line to win a conference title.
While talk of the FCS postseason dominated the conversation surrounding the regular season's final Saturday, opportunities to win a league championship brought out the best in many players, including Duquesne's Rafiq Douglas, North Carolina Central's Theo Livingston and San Diego's Yogi Hale.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Rafiq Douglas, Duquesne, RB, So., 6-0, 203, Lusby, Maryland
Of all the big games last Saturday, none had more at stake than Saint Francis at Duquesne, as the winner would gain an outright Northeast Conference title and automatic bid to the FCS playoffs for the first time. After Saint Francis built a 14-0 lead through the first quarter, Douglas took over. He finished with 28 carries for 165 yards and three touchdowns - one in each of the last three quarters - and carried the Dukes to a 30-20 victory. Included in that total was a 50-yard run early in the fourth to set up his third TD, matching a single-game career high. Douglas also had a 6-yard reception, giving him an NEC weekend-high 171 yards from scrimmage. As a result of his effort, the Dukes (8-3) will visit William & Mary in their FCS postseason debut Saturday.
Honorable Mention: Aaron Bailey, QB, Northern Iowa; Marshaun Coprich, RB, Illinois State; Jacobi Green, RB, Richmond; Eli Jenkins, QB, Jacksonville State; Ammon Olsen, QB, Southern Utah; Tyler Renew, RB, The Citadel; and Nick Shafnisky, QB, Lehigh.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Theo Livingston, North Carolina Central, SS, R-Sr., 5-10, 210, Fayetteville, North Carolina
On the final Saturday of the regular season for the second straight year, North Carolina Central kept rival North Carolina A&T from winning an outright Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title while earning a share of the crown - this time with a 21-16 victory at A&T. Livingston was right in the middle of the upset, ending his career with a defining performance. His 13 tackles (12 solos) were a career high and he had three tackles for loss and forced a fumble. The Eagles (8-3) ended their season on a seven-game winning streak.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Yogi Hale, San Diego, CB, R-Sr., 5-8, 174, Berkeley, California
All "Hale" Yogi after he helped San Diego (9-2) secure a share of the Pioneer Football League championship. After Butler closed within 28-27 on a touchdown with 16 seconds remaining, the visiting Bulldogs tried for a 2-point conversion and the win. Instead, Hale intercepted Matt Shiltz's pass in the end zone to preserve the Toreros' lead. It was his second special teams play that kept Butler from scoring, as he also blocked a field goal attempt at the end of the second quarter to maintain San Diego's 14-7 advantage. Hale added six solo tackles and a pass breakup from his normal cornerback position.
FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Devlin Hodges, Samford, QB, R-Fr., 6-1, 213, Kimberly, Alabama
Samford (6-5) salvaged a winning record by winning its final three games and Hodges threw for over 300 yards each time. In a 47-21 triumph at Mercer in the Southern Conference, he completed 30 of 44 pass attempts for 392 yards. The Bulldogs were backed up in their territory and nursing a 19-14 lead early in the fourth quarter when Hodges connected with Emmanuel Obajimi for a 94-yard touchdown pass, extending the advantage to 26-14. The dual-threat signal caller also had 88 yards on 14 carries.