The Ohio Valley Conference picks for top players in Week 11
Darian Stone, QB • So., 6-0, 185 • Clinton, Tenn. • Tennessee Tech
Stone, in just the third start of his career, accounted for 467 yards of total offense (second most in school history) as Tennessee Tech snapped a seven-game losing streak with a 45-44 overtime victory over No. 23 UT Martin. Stone completed 16-of-29 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns and carried the ball 25 times for 190 yards (7.6 ypc), which established the program record for rushing yards by a quarterback. Stone started the game with a 20-yard touchdown pass to Cody Matthews to put TTU up 7-0 and later found Matthews for another 20-yard score to begin the fourth quarter and pull Tech to within seven points (31-24). With the game tied at 31 later in the fourth quarter, Stone hooked up with Ryan Tilghman for a 79-yard touchdown strike to put his team ahead 38-31.
Others Nominated: Jake Ryan, Austin Peay; Erik Lora, Eastern Illinois; Matt Denham, Eastern Kentucky; DaMarcus James, Jacksonville State; Walter Powell, Murray State; Derek Carr, UT Martin.
Rashad Smith, LB • Jr., 6-1, 210 • Ft. Walton Beach, Fla. • Jacksonville State
Smith had 14 tackles, including a career-best 13 solo stops, in Jacksonville State’s 38-23 victory over Austin Peay in the team’s home finale. The junior also had a first quarter interception that he returned 19 yards deep into APSU territory. The interception was his first of the season and second of his career. It marks the second time this season Smith has been named OVC Defensive Player of the Week.
Others Nominated: Greg Mahan, Eastern Illinois; Kevin Hamlin, Eastern Kentucky; Blake Peiffer, Southeast Missouri; Demario Donnell, Tennessee Tech; Ben Johnson, UT Martin.
Zach Sharp, K • So., 6-2, 190 • Maryville, Tenn. • Tennessee Tech
Sharp was a perfect 6-of-6 on point after attempts and made a 39-yard field goal in Tennessee Tech’s 45-44 overtime victory over UT Martin. Sharp made his field goal attempt with 8:40 to play in the first quarter to put Tech up 10-7. His extra point in overtime proved to be the game-winning margin for the Golden Eagles who snapped a seven-game losing streak with the victory.
Others Nominated: Cameron Berra, Eastern Illinois; Griffin Thomas, Jacksonville State; Steven Mix, Murray State.
Jeremy Butler, WR • Jr., 6-3, 205 • Bradenton, Fla. • UT Martin
Butler, the transfer from College of Sequoias Community College, had 13 catches for 142 yards and two touchdowns in UT Martin’s 45-44 overtime loss at Tennessee Tech on Saturday. Butler caught a six-yard touchdown early in the third quarter and a 19-yard touchdown on 4th and 16 in overtime to pull the Skyhawks to within a point (the team would miss the ensuing PAT). Over his last four games Butler has 35 catches for 438 yards and seven touchdowns. It marks the second time this season he has been named OVC Newcomer of the Week.
Others Nominated: Reco Williams, Austin Peay; Jourdan Wickliffe, Eastern Illinois; Hamish MacInnes, Jacksonville State; Jaamal Berry, Murray State; Scott Lathrop, Southeast Missouri; Demario Donnell, Tennessee Tech.