ROCK HILL – Redshirt freshman running back Chance Walker has been named the AstroTurf South Atlantic Conference Special Teams Co-Player of the Week for his kickoff return exploits at Virginia Union on Saturday.
The Swansea High School product returned a first-quarter kickoff for a score on the first return of his college career that knotted the score at 7-7. The return officially went for 100 yards, making Walker just the second South Atlantic Conference player in the last 26 seasons and sixth in league history to return a kickoff 100 yards or more for a touchdown.
Walker received the kick a few paces into the end zone, jogged as he followed his blockers to the left, and accelerated through a small gap just before the 20. A quick cut to his right at the 25 made a defender miss, and the freshman outran the rest of the Panthers to the boundary and raced down the sideline and into the end zone untouched.
Chance Walker's 100-yard kickoff return that earned him a SAC Special Teams Co-Player of the Week award pic.twitter.com/fmaIALJoFJ— Newberry Wolves (@NewberrySports) September 11, 2017
The return was the longest in school history, surpassing Josh Pierce's 98-yard return vs. Benedict in 2000 for the record. It was Newberry's first kickoff return for a score since NFL free agent Corey Washington returned a pair of kickoffs for touchdowns in a postseason game at Carson-Newman in 2013.
Walker's other return went for 31 yards, giving him a 65.5-yard average on a pair of kick returns. He has scored touchdowns in each of his first two collegiate games after a 26-yard reception at The Citadel last week.
Walker shares the honor with Tusculum kicker Isaac Gallegos, who was 4-for-4 on field goal attempts and made three of his four PAT's in a 39-12 win over Shorter.