ROCK HILL, S.C. - Newberry College senior quarterback Brandon Gantt has been named the South Atlantic Conference Offensive Player of the Week for the second consecutive week, the league office announced today. Catawba defensive end Marqus Davis was named the Defensive Player of the Week and Lenoir-Rhyne's Jamont Jones is the Special Teams Player of the Week.
Gantt, a senior from Lexington, S.C., recorded a total of 368 offensive yards for the second straight week to win the conference award. He completed 35-of-47 passes for 335 yards and a touchdown in the 34-23 loss at Division I-FCS Austin Peay. He completed his first 10 attempts of the game and threw no interceptions. The 35 completions tied a school record with Josh Stepp in a 2004 loss to Carson-Newman. The 335 yards is ninth in school history, pushing aside his 333 yards at Valdosta State on August 29, and the 47 attempts ranks fifth in the Newberry annals.
The game was the 15th game in school history where a quarterback passed for over 300 yards, and Gantt's second consecutive. He also carried the ball 10 times for 33 yards and had a quarterback efficiency rating was 141.36.
For the season, Gantt has completed 60-of-86 attempts (69.8%) for 668 yards, four touchdowns and an interception. He ranks second in the South Atlantic Conference in passing yards per game and total offense and third in passing efficiency.
Davis (Charlotte, N.C. / North Mecklenburg HS) was one of the defensive stars for Catawba in the win over Fayetteville State as he was in on three sacks and blocked a pair of kicks in the 21-20 win. The senior defensive end had nine tackles overall and had three of the eight team sacks, including one of the final play of the game. Davis also blocked a punt in the first quarter and a field goal try in the second quarter with the game tied at 7-7.
Jones (Washington, N.C. / Washington HS) had a big day on special teams for Lenoir-Rhyne Saturday night despite the 52-45 overtime setback to the Mountain Lions of Concord on the road. The sophomore returned four kickoffs for 168 yards (42.0 yards-per-return average) including a 90-yarder for a score in the third quarter. The kickoff return for a touchdown was the first by a Lenoir-Rhyne player in six years. One of the team's starting cornerbacks, Jones also made six tackles on defense.
The award recipients are chosen by the South Atlantic Conference office.
Gantt will not be able to earn a third straight award next week, as the scarlet and gray take a week off before hosting the Bulldogs of Cumberland (Tenn.) University on September 19. Kickoff for the home opener at Setzler Field that day is set for 7 p.m.
2009 SAC Football Players of the Week
Aug. 31 - Brandon Gantt, Newberry
Sept. 7 - Brandon Gantt, Newberry
Aug. 31 - Robert Fletcher, Wingate
Sept. 7 - Marqus Davis, Catawba
Aug. 31 - Cam Thompkins, Lenoir-Rhyne
Sept. 7 - Jamont Jones, Lenoir-Rhyne