Sept. 2, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - Four first-time winners took home the Patriot League Football weekly awards on Monday following week one of the 2013 season.
Fordham junior quarterback Michael Nebrich earned the Offensive Player of the Week honor by throwing for 267 yards and four touchdowns and rushing for 31 yards and another score to lead his team to a 51-26 win over Rhode Island on Thursday. Georgetown senior linebacker Dustin Wharton lived up to his preseason billing and received the Defensive Player of the Week award with 12 tackles, a sack and a interception as the Hoyas fell 28-21 at Wagner on Saturday. Two Holy Cross players were also recognized, as Kyle Toulouse had a punt return touchdown and 132 all-purpose yards to be named Special Teams Player of the Week and Gabe Guild notched seven receptions for 98 yards to take home the Rookie of the Week award.
Honorable mention status on offense went to Holy Cross junior quarterback Steven Elder, while sophomore defensive backs JQ Bowers (Fordham) and Matt Bhaya (Holy Cross) received the distinction on defense.
Patriot League Football Weekly Awards (Aug. 29-31)
Offensive Player of the Week
MICHAEL NEBRICH, FORDHAM Jr., QB, 6-1, 198; Burke, Va./Lake Braddock Secondary
Nebrich had an outstanding start to his junior season by completing 17-of-25 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns and also rushing for 31 yards and a score in a 51-26 win over Rhode Island on Thursday. Nebrich hit big plays throughout the evening, tossing touchdown strikes of 29, 4, 49 and 64 yards while running for a 32-yard touchdown. He led a Fordham offense that posted its highest point total in a home opener against an FCS team. Nebrich returned to action after missing all but three games of the 2012 season with an injury. He is named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for the first time.
Defensive Player of the Week
Special Teams Player of the Week
KYLE TOULOUSE, HOLY CROSS Sr., WR, 6-0, 189; Arlington, Va./Yorktown
DUSTIN WHARTON, GEORGETOWN Sr., LB, 6-0, 215; LaVale, Md./Allegany
Wharton filled the stat sheet in Georgetown's 28-21 loss to Wagner on Saturday with 12 tackles, a sack and an interception for the Hoyas. The Patriot League Preseason Defensive Player of the Year recorded the first interception of his career and his 11th double-digit tackles game. The 12 tackles were one off Wharton's career high. He is named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the first time.
Toulouse had a 77-yard punt return for a touchdown to put the Crusaders up 6-0 in the first quarter against Bryant on Saturday, though Holy Cross would go on to fall 17-16. Toulouse had two punt returns for 88 yards and also brought back two kickoff returns for 44 yards to record a team-high 132 all-purpose yards in the game. He led the FCS in punt return average on the opening weekend, and paced the Patriot League in all-purpose yardage. Toulouse was named National FCS Punt Returner of the Week by College Football Performance Awards (CFPA). He is named Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week for the first time.
Rookie of the Week
GABE GUILD, HOLY CROSS Fr., RB, 5-11, 190; Overland Park, Kan./Shawnee Mission South
Guild led the Crusaders with seven receptions for 98 yards in the loss at Bryant, and also chipped in 12 rushing yards to finish second on the team with 110 all-purpose yards in the game. Guild tied two other players for the most receptions in the Patriot League over the weekend, which also ranked 20th nationally. He wins his first Patriot League Rookie of the Week award.
STEVEN ELDER, HOLY CROSS Jr., QB, 6-4, 200; San Antonio, Texas/Alamo Heights
Elder completed 23-of-41 passes for 309 yards and a touchdown in the Crusaders' 17-16 loss at Bryant.
JQ BOWERS, FORDHAM So., DB, 5-9, 186; Sylvania, Ohio/Southview
Bowers had a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown which gave Fordham a 31-12 third-quarter lead on its way to a 51-26 win over Rhode Island on Thursday.
MATT BHAYA, HOLY CROSS So., DB, 6-0, 187; Haddonfield, N.J./Haddonfield Memorial
Bhaya totaled seven tackles, three pass breakups and his first career interception in Holy Cross' 17-16 loss at Bryant.