CHARLOTTE, N.C. (www.BigSouthSports.com) – Gardner-Webb quarterback Tyrell Maxwell (Cordova, S.C.) has been named the Big South Football Offensive Player of the Week, while Kennesaw State defensive end Tonarius Portress (Newnan, Ga.) has been selected as the Defensive Player of the Week for games played the opening week of the regular season. Charleston Southern punt returner Kelan Fraise (Dacula, Ga.) is the Special Teams Player of the Week and Buccaneers’ wide receiver Kameron Brown (Beech Island, S.C.) is The Crons Brand Freshman of the Week.
Maxwell rushed for 154 yards and one touchdown and passed for 109 yards to lead the Runnin’ Bulldogs to a 31-6 win at Elon. He averaged 7.3 yards per rush and completed 12-of-19 passes (=63.2 percent) in leading GWU to its first non-conference road win since 2014. Maxwell was at his best on third down, completing 4-of-5 passing attempts in those situations (80 percent), with all four completions resulting in first downs. He also ran for eight first downs, with two of those runs coming in third down situations, and added a 15-yard dash on a fourth-down conversion as well.
In his first collegiate start, Portress tied the Big South single-game record with 5.0 tackles-for-loss against East Tennessee State this past Saturday. He tied for the team lead with eight total tackles (seven solo), recorded a sack for a loss of 11 yards, and had another stop for no gain. Portress helped the Owls limit ETSU to just 2.4 yards per rushing attempt (43 for 106) and 10 points in regulation to force overtime.
Fraise returned three punts for a Big South single-game record 126 yards and a touchdown in Charleston Southern’s home opener vs. Kentucky State this past Saturday. He had returns of 16 and 40 yards before a 70-yard return for a score in the third quarter.
In the national FCS Kickoff at No. 1 North Dakota State on Aug. 27, Brown caught three second-half passes for 58 yards in helping the Bucs take the Bison to overtime for the first time in Fargodome history. He had catches of 21 yards go for first downs on back-to-back third quarter possessions, and also forced a pass interference call on a 3rd-and-long to move the chains for CSU. Brown saved his biggest play for the Bucs’ game-tying touchdown drive. On 4th-and-10 at the NDSU 29-yard line, Brown hauled in a 16-yard back shoulder throw to set-up Charleston Southern’s score two plays later.
Also nominated for Offensive Player of the Week: Mike Holloway (Charleston Southern), Lavon Chaney (Monmouth)
Also nominated for Defensive Player of the Week: D.J. Curl (Charleston Southern), Kenyatta Dunbar (Gardner-Webb), Alpha Jalloh (Liberty), Mike Basile (Monmouth)
Also nominated for Special Teams Player of the Week: Trey Turner (Liberty)