Big Sky announces football POWs

GDEN, Utah — The Big Sky Conference has selected its ROOT SPORTS Football Players of the Week for games played on Saturday, Sept. 8. Sacramento State quarterback Garrett Safron and North Dakota quarterback Marcus Hendrickson are the Co-Offensive Players of the Week. Northern Arizona defensive lineman Jarret Bilbrey is the Defensive Player of the Week. Sacramento State kicker Edgar Castaneda and Northern kicker/punter Andy Wilder are the Co-Special Teams Players of the Week.

Safron, a 6-foot-1, 195-pound sophomore from Santa Monica, Calif., completed 25-of-37 passes for 312 yards and two touchdowns as Sacramento State scored a 30-28 upset of Pac-12 Colorado. Safron, who has thrown for at least 300 yards in both games this season, drove the Hornets 85 yards in the final 2:26 of the game to put the Hornets in position to win. During the drive, he was 4-of-5 for 53 yards. This is Safron’s first Player of the Week honor.

Hendrickson, a 6-1 senior from Perham, Minn., tied a school record with six touchdown passes in North Dakota’s 45-37 non-conference win over Portland State. Hendrickson, making his first collegiate start, completed 16-of-25 passes for 294 yards and also tied for the team lead with 50 rushing yards. Hendrickson’s touchdown passes went for 66, 26, 49 and 34, 5, and 1 yards. He finished the game with an efficiency rating of 241.2 He leads the FCS with an efficiency rating of 258.31. This is his first Player of the Week Honor.

Bilbrey, a 6-5, 265-pound senior from San Diego, Calif., tied the team-high with 10 tackles in Northern Arizona’s 17-14 upset of UNLV of the Mountain West Conference. Belbrey led a Northern Arizona which kept the Rebels off the scoreboard for the final 43 minutes of the game. The victory was Northern Arizona’s first over an FBS team in 25 years. This is Bilbrey’s first Player of the Week Honor.

Wilder, a 6-3, 205-pound junior from Scottsdale, Ariz., kicked the game-winning 33-yard field goal in Northern Arizona’s 17-14 win over UNLV. Wilder’s kick came with 12 seconds remaining. Wilder also handled punting duties, averaging 49 yards per punt on seven kicks. He had a long of 66, and pinned the Rebels’ inside their own 20-yard line four times. This is Wilder’s first Player of the Week Honor.

Castaneda, a 5-9, 175-pound junior from Alameda, Calif., made three field goals, including the game-winner from 30 yards out in Sacramento State’s 30-28 upset of Colorado. Castaneda, a walk-on who was awarded a scholarship after the game, also made field goals of 28 and 31 yards. He also converted all three of his extra points. Castaneda’s game-winner came on the game’s final play. Sacramento State made three field goals the entire 2011 season. This is Castaneda’s first Player of the Week Honor.

ROOT SPORTS, the official TV partner of the Big Sky Conference, will televise 12 conference games in 2012. Its first telecast on Sept. 22 features Northern Arizona taking on nationally-ranked Montana.

— Big Sky Conference Information