Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The nation's best.
Tennessee Tech quarterback Darian Stone, Liberty linebacker Nick Sigmon, North Carolina A&T defensive back D'Vonte Graham, Florida A&M place-kicker Chase Varnadore and San Diego running back Dallas Kessman have been named The Sports Network FCS National Players of the Week 11 for games ending Nov. 10.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Darian Stone, Tennessee Tech, Sophomore, 6-0, 185, QB, Clinton, Tenn.
In only the third start of his career, Stone helped Tennessee Tech pick up its first win since Sept. 6 with a thrilling 45-44 overtime victory versus rival UT Martin in the Ohio Valley Conference. He completed 16-of-29 passes for 277 yards and three touchdowns and carried the ball 25 times for 190 yards. His 467 yards of offense were the second-most in school history and he tied the program record for rushing yards by a quarterback. With his team trailing 31-17 in the fourth quarter, Stone engineered three scoring drives, including his final touchdown throw - a 79-yard bomb to Ryan Tilghman - with 1:10 left to give Tech a 38-31 lead. The Golden Eagles totaled 575 yards, the highest output during coach Watson Brown's six seasons with the program. In three games as a starter, Stone has averaged 132 rushing yards per contest.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Nick Sigmon, Liberty, Sophomore, 6-1, 245, LB, Roanoke, Va.
Sigmon might only be just a sophomore, but on Senior Day, when team needed a win more than ever, he had one of the best games of his career. The sophomore totaled nine tackles (eight solo), two tackles for loss, one forced fumble, one interception and one pass breakup, helping Liberty take down Big South leader and then-No. 6 Stony Brook, 28-14. Sigmon spearheaded a stout defensive effort which limited SBU running back and Walter Payton Award candidate Miguel Maysonet to 70 rushing yards on 25 attempts. The Flames intercepted quarterback Kyle Essington four times - one of which Sigmon returned 21 yards for a touchdown, giving Liberty a 21-7 lead in the third quarter - and held the Seawolves to a season-low 14 points. In the fourth quarter, Sigmon forced a fumble which was returned 44 yards for a touchdown to seal the momentous victory.
CO-SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
D'Vonte Graham, North Carolina A&T, Junior, 5-9, 180, DB, Tallahassee, Fla.
Graham totaled two blocked field goals and scored off a fumble as North Carolina A&T beat South Carolina State, 17-7, in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. The critical blocked field goals occurred in the first half and kept the Aggies within seven points. He scored off a 10-yard fumble recovery in the fourth quarter and had one pass breakup as the Aggies defeated South Carolina State for the first time in 12 years. They improved to 6-4 and are guaranteed of a winning season for the first time since 2003.
Chase Varnadore, Florida A&M, Sophomore, 5-11, 170, PK, Tallahassee, Fla.
Varnador tied a school record and the 2012 FCS single-game high with five field goals, as Florida A&M picked up a 22-21 MEAC victory over North Carolina Central in the program's 125th anniversary Homecoming game. The sophomore connected from 19, 17, 22, 17 and 36 yards, and his final and longest kick of the contest proved to be the game-winner with 2:00 remaining. In 10 games, he has made 14-of-17 field goals, which is tied for first in the MEAC.
FRESHMAN OF THE WEEK
Dallas Kessman, San Diego, R-Freshman, 5-9, 195, RB, Mission Viejo, Calif.
Kessman rushed for a career-high 190 yards on 31 carries and two touchdowns in 41-28 win over Morehead State. He also had three catches for 13 yards, finishing with 203 all-purpose yards. The Toreros totaled 268 rushing yards and kept their hopes alive for a possible share of the Pioneer Football League title. The redshirt freshman leads the team in rushing with 412 yards and seven touchdowns this season, while his latest effort helped USD remain undefeated at home for the second straight season.