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SoCon Stars: Week Two

By Southern Pigskin Staff
SouthernPigskin.com
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The top individual performers from week two in the Southern Conference.

By Christian Goeckel

Devonnsha Maxwell, Chattanooga: 6 tackles, 3.0 TFL, 2.0 sacks, 1 FF
Chattanooga got off to a hot start to the spring with their 24-13 win over Wofford behind a stout performance from their defense. The Mocs only allowed 199 yards to No. 11 Wofford, and held the Terriers to just 3 points in the second half. Junior DL Devonnsha Maxwell was a big reason for that. The redshirt-junior had sacks on back-to-back possessions in the 4th quarter, one stopping a drive deep in Wofford territory, giving the Mocs a short field to tack on their final score of the day. An All-American in 2019, Maxwell was a preseason All-SoCon selection. The Mocs will look to make it two in a row when they head to Charleston to take on The Citadel.

Liam Welch, Samford: 26-36, 311 passing yards, 100 rushing yards, 5 TD
In their season-opening loss to ETSU, Samford averaged 2.6 yards per carry, rushing for just 89 yards. Saturday, Liam Welch rushed for 100 yards in his first start at quarterback in 202, leading Samford to a 55-27 win over Western Carolina. The Bulldogs needed a spark offensively, and Welch delivered just that. The threat of Welch’s legs put a constant strain on the Catamounts, opening up gaping holes for Jay Stanton and Dakota Chapman. Welch did have a couple of misfires, but was able to consistently find the open receiver on each level. Another important note: speed kills. Six of Samford’s eight scoring drives took less than two minutes. It’s probably safe to say Welch felt comfortable in the hurry-up.

Carter Johnson, VMI: 9 tackles, 1.0 TFL, 1.0 sack, 1 FR
The Keydets scored a massive win Saturday afternoon, upsetting No. 10 Furman 14-13. VMI was stingy on defense all day, holding the Paladins to 4.4 yards per play. There were multiple Keydets defenders we could’ve gone with here: Connor Riddle, Stone Snyder, and Ethan Caselberry all had at least 10 tackles and 2 sacks, but there’s one trait stat books don’t take into account. Clutch. Late in the fourth, Furman was deep inside VMI territory. All of Furman’s points had come in the first half, but the Paladins were looking at a scoring opportunity and a chance to win the game. On 3rd and 3, with less than a minute to go, Furman quarterback Hamp Sisson sent wide receiver Ryan DeLuca in motion, but before DeLuca could clear the center the ball was snapped, bouncing off his hip. Carter Johnson, a nuisance for the Paladins all game, was in the right place at the right time, falling on the ball and clenching the upset for the Keydets.

Carter Peevy, Mercer: 10-17, 208 passing yards, 3 TD; 8 carries, 37 yards
Drew Cronic earned his first win as Mercer’s head coach in the Bears’ 42-28 win over The Citadel. Carter Peevy, making his second consecutive start, had the Mercer offense moving up and down field on Saturday. Peevy looked extremely comfortable, consistently navigating the pocket and extending plays. The yards may not pop off the page, but the three touchdowns through the air will put a smile on the faces of Mercer fans.

Honorable Mentions
Jaylan Adams - The Citadel - 9/15, 75 passing yards, 144 rushings yards, 2 TD
Cooper Wallace - The Citadel - 8 carries, 125 yards, 1 TD
Connor Riddle - VMI - 13 tackles, 4.5 TFL, 2.0 sacks
Jay Stanton - Samford - 23 carries, 135 yards, 1 TD, 23 receiving yards
Ty Harris - Western Carolina - 10 tackles, 2.5 TFL, 1.5 sacks