Big Sky announces Players of the Week

OGDEN, Utah  — The Big Sky Conference has selected its first ROOT SPORTS football Players of the Week for the 2014 season. Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. is the Offensive Player of the Week. Sacramento State linebacker Darnell Sankey is the Defensive Player of the Week. Eastern Washington punter Jake Miller is the Special Teams Player of the Week.

Adams Jr., a 6-foot, 200-pound junior from Pasadena, Calif., has guided the top-ranked Eagles to victories over Sam Houston State and Montana-Western. In a 56-35 win over No. 17 Sam Houston State on Aug. 23, Adams Jr., threw for 302 yards and four touchdowns. He also rushed for 61 yards. In last Saturday’s 41-9 win over UM-Western, Adams completed 28-of-31 passes for 370 yards and five touchdowns in less than three quarters of work. Through two games, Adams is completing 69 percent of his passes for an average of 336 yards per game with nine touchdowns and one interception. The Walter Payton Award favorite is averaging 370.5 yards of total offense per game and has an efficiency rating of 174.9. This is Adams’ seventh career Player of the Week honor.

Sankey, a 6-foot-2, 250-pound junior from San Jose Calif., recorded a game-high 10 tackles, forced a fumble and returned an interception for a touchdown in Sacramento State’s 49-13 victory over Incarnate Word, an FCS team from the Southland Conference. Sankey, making his first career start at middle linebacker, returned an interception 59 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter. In the second quarter, he stripped the UIW running back of the ball to set up a Hornet touchdown. Sankey finished with five solo tackles and was credited with a half sack. Sacramento State’s defense held Incarnate Word to 98 rushing yards and 287 yards of total offense. This is Sankey’s second career Player of the Week honor.

Miller, a 6-foot-6, 225-pound senior from Spokane, Wash., has averaged 47 yards per punt with three of at least 50 yards and five downed inside the opponent 20-yard line through two games. In a 56-35 win over Sam Houston State, Miller punted six times with an average of 49.3 yards per punt. His longest punt went for 64 yards, and he also drilled punts of 54 and 50 yards. Three of his punts were downed inside the Sam Houston State 20-yard line. In last Saturday’s win over UM-Western, he averaged 40 yards per punt and both were downed inside the UM-Western 20-yard line. This is Miller’s first career Player of the Week Award.

ROOT SPORTS, the official television partner of the Big Sky Conference, will televise 11 games this season. Big Sky coverage on ROOT SPORTS begins on Sept. 20 when Eastern Washington takes on Montana State in a non-conference game.

Others Nominated

OFFENSE
Xavier Finney, RB, Idaho State
Jordan Johnson, QB, Montana
Paris Penn, QB, Portland State
Garrett Safron, QB, Sacramento State
Chris Robinson, WR, Southern Utah
Zach Smith, RB, Weber State

DEFENSE
Tevin McDonald, S, Eastern Washington
Mitch Beckstead, LB, Idaho State
Kendrick Van Ackeren, LB, Montana
Will Ratelle, LB, North Dakota
Anthony McNihols, LB, Portland State
Chinedu Ahanonu, LB, Southern Utah

SPECIAL TEAMS
Trevor Bolton, P, Montana State
Reid Taubenheim, K, North Dakota
Kyle Loomis, Sr., P, Portland State
Garrett Steele, Sacramento State
Tate Lewis, P, Southern Utah
Colby Wadman, P, UC Davis

— Big Sky Conference



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