(STATS) - Two of the biggest performances in the FCS this past weekend came from the Mount Rushmore State programs.
South Dakota State quarterback Taryn Christion and South Dakota place-kicker Miles Bergner set the tone with clutch play while leading their teams to thrilling road wins in the Missouri Valley Football Conference.
Christion, Bergner, South Carolina State's Darius Leonard and Dartmouth's Isiah Swann have been named the STATS FCS National Players of the Week for games played Oct. 13-15:
NATIONAL OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Taryn Christion, South Dakota State, QB, So., 6-2, 215, Sioux Falls, South Dakota
The Jackrabbits took down top-ranked North Dakota State 19-17 behind Christion's relentless play. He accounted for 444 yards of total offense and his second touchdown pass with one second remaining provided the upset in the Missouri Valley Conference. He completed 24 of 42 passes for 303 yards and had 20 carries for 141 yards - becoming the first SDSU quarterback to throw and rush for more than 100 yards in the same game in 28 years. He threw a 12-yard touchdown to Dallas Goedert in the third quarter and then connected with his other favorite receiver, Jake Wieneke, for the 2-yard game-winner.
Honorable Mention: De'Angelo Ballard, QB, Alabama A&M; Juston Christian, WR, Marist; Tarik Cohen, RB, North Carolina A&T; Carson Earp, QB, Lamar; Dale Harris, RB, Yale; Devlin Hodges, QB, Samford; Bryan Schor, QB, James Madison; Keaton Studsrud, QB, North Dakota
NATIONAL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Darius Leonard, South Carolina State, LB, R-Jr., 6-3, 220, Lake View, South Carolina
South Carolina State's offense struggled to find the Howard end zone, so Leonard helped keep the Bulldogs in the game until they pulled out a 14-9 win at Howard in the fourth quarter. Leonard scored the game's first points on a 64-yard interception return midway through the second quarter and intercepted another pass at the SCSU 23 shortly after the Bulldogs went ahead 14-9 in the fourth quarter. The All-MEAC standout also collected a game-high 14 tackles, including 11 solos, with 1½ tackles for loss and one quarterback hurry.
Honorable Mention: Darien Anderson, LB, Alcorn State; Tyrice Beverette, DB, Stony Brook; Dia'Vante Brown, DE, Liberty; John Buss, LB, Montana; Dalton Keene, DT, Illinois State; Nakevion Leslie, LB, Chattanooga; Ezra Robinson, CB, Tennessee State; Christian Searles, CB, Dayton; Jalen Wells, DB, Saint Francis; Kyle Young, LB, Holy Cross
NATIONAL SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Miles Bergner, South Dakota, PK/P, Sr., 6-0, 225, Longmont, Colorado
Bergner has been both steady and spectacular as a senior. He made four field goals in South Dakota's 33-30, double-overtime win at Indiana State in the Missouri Valley Conference, including all of the Coyotes' OT points on two 41-yard field goals. He became the Coyotes' all-time leading scorer with a 49-yard field goal in the first quarter and connected from 38 yards in the third quarter. Bergner also kicked three extra points, had five touchbacks on six kickoffs and averaged 42.8 yards on nine punts, with two going from more than 50 yards and two pinning Indiana State inside its 20. He has 247 career points.
Honorable Mention: Charlie Miller, DB/ST, Dartmouth; Ronald Ollie, DL/ST, Nicholls; Alex Probert, PK, Liberty; Griffin Trau, PK, Richmond; De'Lance Turner, RB/ST, Alcorn State
NATIONAL FRESHMAN PLAYER OF THE WEEK=
Isiah Swann, Dartmouth, CB, Fr., 6-0, 180, Queen Creek, Arizona
Swann was all over the field as Dartmouth held off Towson 20-17 for the Ivy League team's second win over a CAA Football opponent this season. He had only three tackles in his first three games, but the rookie broke out against Towson with a game-high 13 tackles, including 10, solos, an interception and three pass breakups. Swann's pick occurred early in the second quarter in Dartmouth and set up a Big Green touchdown that gave them the lead for good.
Honorable Mention: Drew Bevelhimer, PK, Butler; Domenic Cozier, RB, Holy Cross; Earnest Edwards, WR/KR, Maine; Jacorey Fuller, DB, Southeastern Louisiana; A.J. Hines, RB, Duquesne; Mareio McGraw, RB, Murray State; Stockton McGuire, QB, Davidson; Allen Pitman, LB, Nicholls; Christian Rozeboom, LB, South Dakota State; Ryan Stanley, QB, Florida A&M