Oct. 21, 2013
CENTER VALLEY, Pa. - A weekend that featured outstanding individual performances on both offense and defense resulted in some very impressive Patriot League football weekly award winners on Monday.
Fordham junior wide receiver Sam Ajala had one of the best performances at the position in Patriot League history, totaling 10 catches, 282 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-31 win at Yale to claim the Offensive Player of the Week award. Colgate junior defensive back Mike Armiento was named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the second time after recording 10 tackles and two key turnovers, including an interception in the endzone in the final minutes, to lead the Raiders to a 28-24 win at Holy Cross.
History was made for the Patriot League Rookie of the Week award as Holy Cross freshman quarterback Peter Pujals became the first player to receive the honor in five consecutive weeks after totaling 287 yards and two touchdowns in the loss to Colgate. Fordham junior placekicker Michael Marando was named Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week after scoring 10 points in the Rams' victory.
Honorable mention status went to Colgate senior quarterback Gavin McCarney and Lehigh senior running back Keith Sherman on offense, with Fordham junior linebacker Stephen Hodge, Bucknell senior defensive lineman Tracey Smith and Lafayette senior linebacker Mike Boles named on defense.
Patriot League Football Weekly Awards (Oct. 19)
Defensive Player of the Week
MIKE ARMIENTO, COLGATE Jr., DB, 5-11, 175; Fort Lauderdale, Fla./Archbishop Edward A. McCarthy
Offensive Player of the Week
SAM AJALA, FORDHAM Jr., WR, 6-0, 194; DeSoto, Texas/DeSoto
Ajala had one of the top performances for a wide receiver in Patriot League history as he caught 10 passes for 282 yards and four touchdowns in a 52-31 win for No. 8/8 Fordham over Yale on Saturday. The receiving yardage total set a school record and ranks second in Patriot League history, and was the top mark for the League since Lehigh's Jason Cristino had 319 yards in 1992. Ajala tied a League record with four touchdown receptions, becoming the first to pull it off since Fordham's Jason Caldwell in 2009. Ajala's scoring catches were 68, 29, 68 and 33 yards, and he now stands second in the nation with 951 receiving yards this season. Ajala is named Patriot League Offensive Player of the Week for the first time.
Armiento had a game-high 10 tackles and created two key turnovers to help lead Colgate to a 28-24 comeback win at Holy Cross on Saturday. He made Colgate's game-winning drive possible by intercepting a pass in the endzone with 3:50 to play and the Raiders trailing 24-21. Armiento also recovered a fumble at the Colgate 1 yard line in the first half to keep Holy Cross from scoring. He also added a tackle for loss. The interception was his fifth of the season and 11th in his career. Armiento is named Patriot League Defensive Player of the Week for the second time in the last three weeks.
Special Teams Player of the Week
MICHAEL MARANDO, FORDHAM Jr., PK, 5-7, 157; Brooklyn, N.Y./Xaverian
Marando booted a 43-yard field goal and made all seven of his extra-point attempts in Fordham's 52-31 win over Yale on Saturday. It was his third 40-yard field goal of the season. Marando also averaged 56.1 yards per kickoff for the game. He is named Patriot League Special Teams Player of the Week for the second time this season.
Rookie of the Week
PETER PUJALS, HOLY CROSS Fr., QB, 6-2, 185; Glenview, Ill./Loyola Academy
Pujals becomes the first player in Patriot League history to earn five consecutive Rookie of the Week awards after completing 25-of-40 passes for 232 yards and a touchdown and rushing for 55 yards and a score in a 28-24 loss to Colgate on Saturday. He had a one-yard touchdown run that put the Crusaders ahead 7-0 in the first quarter, and a touchdown pass for a 24-14 lead in the third quarter. Pujals is the first player since Bucknell's Brandon Wesley in 2010 to earn five Rookie of the Week awards in a season, and joins Wesley and four others in a tie for the second-most Rookie of the Week awards all-time behind the seven for Colgate's Jordan Scott in 2005.
GAVIN McCARNEY, COLGATE Sr., QB, 6-1, 205; Jefferson Township, N.J./Jefferson Township
McCarney completed 18-of-23 passes for 241 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 71 yards and a score in a 28-24 win at Holy Cross. He tossed the game-winning 31-yard touchdown to Brian Lalli with 59 seconds to play.
KEITH SHERMAN, LEHIGH Sr., RB, 6-0, 205; Bucksport, S.C./Lawrence (N.J.)
Sherman carried 19 times for a career-high 157 yards and two touchdowns in a 45-24 win over Georgetown.
STEPHEN HODGE, FORDHAM Jr., LB, 6-0, 202; Medford, N.J./Shawnee
Hodge had a career-high tying 14 tackles, five tackles for loss and two forced fumbles in a 52-31 win at Yale.
TRACEY SMITH, BUCKNELL Sr., DL, 6-1, 265; Allen, Texas/Allen
Smith had career highs with eight tackles and 2.5 sacks and recorded a key forced fumble in a 17-14 win at Dartmouth.
MIKE BOLES, LAFAYETTE Sr., LB, 6-3, 233; Winter Park, Fla./Winter Park
Boles had a career-high 16 tackles, including 12 in the first half, and recovered a fumble in a 35-16 loss to No. 25 Harvard.