OGDEN, Utah — The Big Sky Conference has selected the ROOT SPORTS football Players of the Week for games played on Saturday, Dec. 9. Eastern Washington quarterback Vernon Adams is the Offensive Player of the Week. Southern Utah cornerback LeShaun Sims and Montana safety Matt Hermanson are the Co-Defensive Players of the Week. Montana returner Ellis Henderson is the Special Teams Player of the Week.
Adams, a 6-foot, 190-pound sophomore from Pasadena, Calif., completed 16-of-18 passes for 300 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions to lead No. 3 Eastern Washington to a 54-29 win over No. 4 Montana State. Adams also rushed for 76 yards and a touchdown. Adams threw TD passes of 17, 2, 68 and 76 yards, and scored on a 5-yard run. Adams finished with an efficiency rating of 302.2. He became the school’s single-season leader in passing touchdowns with 39, just three shy of the Big Sky single-season record. EWU ran 48 offensive plays for 591 yards, a Big Sky single-game record of 12.3 yards per play. This is Adams’ third ROOT SPORTS Player of the Week honor this season, and the fifth of his career.
Sims, a 6-foot, 180-pound sophomore from Las Vegas, had a key interception and fumble recovery in Southern Utah’s 27-21 win over Weber State. In the third quarter, Sims intercepted a pass and returned it 20 yards to the Weber State 12-yard line to set up the go-ahead touchdown. On the next Weber State possession, Sims recovered a fumble which led to a SUU field goal. Sims also had four tackles. This is Sims’ first career ROOT SPORTS Player of the Week honor.
Hermanson, a 6-foot-1, 198-pound junior from Sioux Falls, S.D., recorded a team-high 11 tackles and returned a fumble 35 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter of Montana’s 31-27 win over South Dakota. With Montana trailing 24-17 and 6:33 remaining, Hermanson caught a fumble forced by linebacker Jordan Tripp and raced into the end zone to tie the game. Hermanson also had eight solo stops and a pass breakup. UM’s defense held South Dakota to three points in the second half. This is Hermanson’s first career Player of the Week honor.
Henderson, a 6-foot, 185-pound sophomore from Portland, Ore., capped a great all-around performance by returning a kick 98 yards for a touchdown with 1:36 remaining to lift Montana to a 31-27 non-conference win over South Dakota. His return came just after the Coyotes took a 27-24 lead on a field goal. Henderson also had 29 punt return yards, and 188 receiving yards to finish with 315 all-purpose yards. Henderson caught four passes for 188 yards, including touchdown receptions of 6 and 71 yards. This is Henderson’s first career ROOT SPORTS Player of the Week honor.
ROOT SPORTS, the official television partner of the Big Sky Conference, will televise Saturday’s game between No. 3 Eastern Washington and Cal Poly. Coverage begins at 12:30 p.m. Pacific. The game will air live on ROOT SPORTS and DIRECTV’s Audience Network Channel 101.
Chris Brown, QB, Cal Poly
Chad Hansen, WR, Idaho State
Ellis Henderson, WR, Montana
Tanner Bleskin, WR, Montana State
Ryan Bartels, QB, North Dakota
Will Jefferson Jr., WR, Northern Colorado
DJ Adams, RB, Portland State
Aaron Cantu, QB, Southern Utah
Austin Chipoletti, QB, Weber State
Nick Leyden, DT, Cal Poly
T.J. Lee, S, Eastern Washington
PJ Gremaud, LB, Idaho State
Will Lewis, S, North Dakota
Gavin Miller, DE, Northern Colorado
David Edgerson, S, Portland State
Karl Finai, DT, Weber State
Alex Hubbard, Ret, Cal Poly
Jakob Pugsley, Eastern Washington
Brendon Garcia, K, Idaho State
David Dash, Ret., Montana State
Tanner Ellingsen, P, Northern Colorado
Kyle Loomis, P, Portland State
Brock Miller, P, Southern Utah
— Big Sky Conference