2023 CAA Football

CAA Football Weekly Report | Week 9

CAA Football Weekly Report | Week 9

Catch up on the CAA Football weekly news, notes and awards. See who shined on the gridiron this week.

Oct 28, 2022 by FloFootball Staff
CAA Football Weekly Report | Week 9

See who shined on the gridiron this week.

Offensive Player of the Week

Marques DeShields | RB | Rhode Island

DeShields accounted for 256 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns, as Rhode Island outlasted Monmouth, 48-46, in a FCS-record seven overtimes. 

The grad student rushed for a career-best 161 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. He also caught three passes for 95 yards and two TDs. 

DeShields had a game-tying 77-yard TD reception with 3:23 to go in regulation and scored from 1 yard out in the first overtime.

Co-Defensive Player of the Week

Tye Freeland | S | William & Mary

Freeland made a team-high 11 tackles (eight solo), a tackle for loss and three forced fumbles in William & Mary’s 44-24 win at Towson. 

The three forced fumbles are the most by any player in the FCS this season. He was part of a Tribe defense that held TU to three points over the first 38 minutes of the game.

Co-Defensive Player of the Week

Jeremiah Grant | DE | Richmond

Grant recorded a career-high seven tackles, including two tackles for loss (-13 yards) and a sack, in Richmond’s 41-10 triumph at Hampton. 

The sophomore defensive end was part of a strong defensive effort by the Spiders, who held the Pirates to 255 total yards, with just 31 coming in the second half.

Special Teams Player of the Week

Sean Lehane | P | New Hampshire

Lehane averaged 44.8 yards on five punts and dropped four of them inside the 10-yard line to help New Hampshire get past Elon, 40-22. 

The sophomore’s first four punts pinned Elon at the 1-yard line, 4-yard line, 1-yard line and 7-yard line. He had two punts over 50 yards, including a 56-yarder.

Rookie of the Week

Charlie McKee | QB | Stony Brook

McKee completed 18-of-21 passes for a career-high 249 yards and three TDs, as Stony Brook rallied past Maine, 28-27, for its first win. 

Down 20-7 at the half, the freshman threw a pair of scoring passes (10 and 1 yards) in the third quarter, before hitting Khalil Newton on a 7-yard TD toss that gave SBU the lead with 5:48 to go.


SEVERAL KEY GAMES ON WEEK 9 SLATE: There are six conference matchups on the Week 9 schedule, and several could have a big impact on the title race. 

Highlighting the slate is a Top-25 showdown between No. 18 Rhode Island and No.10 William & Mary, with both teams on three-game winning streaks. 

No. 12 Delaware faces a tough test at Elon, while No. 17 Richmond travels to Maine. 

Also on the schedule, Monmouth hosts Towson, Hampton is at Villanova and Stony Brook meets UAlbany in the Battle for the Golden Apple.

THE RACE IS ON: The race for the CAA title is the most competitive in the FCS, with five teams packed within 1.5 games of the lead entering Week 9. 

New Hampshire is on top of the standings at 5-0, but there are four squads (Delaware, Rhode Island, Richmond and William & Mary) at 3-1. 

Eight CAA teams also have overall winning records, which is three more than any other FCS league.

WORKING OVERTIME: Rhode Island and Monmouth battled in the longest game ever played between two FCS teams last Saturday, with the Rams winning 48-46 in seven overtimes. 

Neither team led by more than seven points in the game, which was tied 35 at the end of regulation. 

Both teams scored touchdowns in the first overtime but failed to score in the second. After trading successful 2-point conversion attempts in the third and sixth OT periods, URI finally won on a pass from Kasim Hill to Ed Lee in the seventh.

DOMINANT IN NON-CONFERENCE PLAY: CAA teams have been dominant against FCS non-conference opponents over the past five years, winning a remarkable 76% of those games. 

The success has continued in 2022, as CAA teams are 20-5 against FCS opponents. The 20 wins and the .800 win percentage are the best of any FCS conference.

QUALITY QUARTERBACKS: CAA Football has featured some of the best quarterback play in FCS this season. 

The league has six of the top 20 QBs in FCS in pass efficiency (VU's Connor Watkins, UA's Reese Poffenbarger, MU's Tony Muskett, EU's Matthew McKay, UR's Reece Udinski and W&M's Darius Wilson) and five of the top 23 in passing yards (Poffenbarger, Udinski, UD's Nolan Henderson, McKay and Muskett). 

Udinski tops FCS in completion percentage (76.9%), Watkins is second nationally in yards per pass attempt (11.03), and Henderson is sixth in TD passes (19).

GETTING IT DONE ON THE GROUND: Six of the top 26 rushers in the FCS play in the CAA. 

MU's Jaden Shirden ranks second nationally at 144.2 ypg, UNH's Dylan Laube is 14th (103.4 ypg), W&M's Bronson Yoder is 15th (101.8 ypg), URI's Maruqes DeShields (94.9 ypg) is 20th, UA's Todd Sibley is 23rd (92.9 ypg),and EU's Jalen Hampton is 26th (89.9 ypg). 

Nineteen CAA players have run for at least 100 yards in a game this season, with Shirden (two) and Laube (one) having topped 200 yards.

LEHANE, MCKEE NAMED NATIONAL PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: New Hampshire punter Sean Lehane was honored as the FedEx Ground National Special Teams Player of the week on Oct. 24, and Stony Brook quarterback Charlie McKee was selected as the National Freshman of the Week. 

Lehane averaged 44.8 yards on five punts against Elon and dropped four inside the 10-yard line. McKee was 18-of-21 passing for a career-high 249 yards and three TDs in a win over Maine. 

Seven CAA Football players have earned national Player of the Week accolades this season: Delaware's Johnny Buchanan (Defense - Sept. 5), W&M's Jalen Jones (Defense - Sept. 12), Delaware's Nolan Henderson (Offense - Sept. 19), Richmond's Reece Udinski (Player by NCAA.com, Sept. 26) and UAlbany's Reese Poffenbarger (Freshman - Oct. 17).

FIVE TEAMS RANKED IN TOP 25: CAA Football had five teams ranked in the Stats Perform and AFCA Coaches Top 25 polls this week, which was tied for the most of any conference. 

William & Mary is No. 10 in the Stats poll and No. 12 in the AFCA poll, while Delaware is No. 11 in the AFCA poll and No. 12 in the Stats poll. Richmond is ranked No. 17 by Stats and No. 20 by the AFCA, while Rhode Island is No. 17 in the AFCA rankings and No. 18 in the Stats poll. New Hampshire is ranked No. 19 by Stats and No. 25 by the AFCA. Elon and Villanova received votes in both polls.

SIX PLAYERS ADDED TO WATCH LISTS FOR LEGACY AWARDS: CAA Football had six players named to watch lists for the Stats Perform Legacy Awards. 

Monmouth running back Jaden Shirden and Delaware quarterback Nolan Henderson joined the watch list for the Payton Award, which is given to the top offensive player in FCS. 

Delaware linebacker Johnny Buchanan and William & Mary linebacker John Pius joined the watch list for the Buchanan Award, presented to the top defensive player in FCS.

UAlbany quarterback Reese Poffenbarger and Towson linebacker Mason Woods were chosen to the watch list for the Rice Award, presented to the top freshman player in FCS. 

Seven other CAA players (3 - Payton, 4 - Buchanan) were named to the award watch list prior to the season.


•  Fell 31-29 at Villanova last week on a last-second field goal. It was UAlbany's fifth loss by seven points or less.

•  Reese Poffenbarger was 33-of-42 passing for 370 yards and three TDs at. VU. He ranks seventh in FCS in passing yards and 11th in pass efficiency and has thrown for 250+ yards in six straight games. He has 16 TDs and one interception.

•  Todd Sibley has run for over 100 yards in four of his last six games. He ranks 22nd in FCS in rushing (92.9 ypg).

•  Thomas Greaney had two TD receptions in the final two minutes at VU. He's made at least three catches in all seven games and tops all CAA tight ends in receptions (37), receiving yards (483) and TDs (eight).

•  UAlbany has generated over 400 yards of total offense in six consecutive games.

•  Christian Lewis recorded a career-high 13 tackles in the setback at Villanova

• Roy Alexander made a career-high 11 catches for 90 yards at Villanova.


•  Rolled past Morgan State, 38-7, last week to improve to 4-0 at home this season.

•  Nolan Henderson threw for 206 yards and a TD and ran for 65 yards and a TD vs. MSU. He has 200+ passing yards in six straight games and has accounted for at least two TDs in all seven games. He's sixth in the FCS with 19 TD passes and 16th in passing yards.

•  Jourdan Townsend, who has 25 catches for 337 yards and four TDs in the past five games, scored on a 17-yard run against MSU.

•  RB Marcus Yarns had a 72-yard TD catch vs. MSU and also ran for 27 yards on four carries.

•  Johnny Buchanan leads the CAA with 86 tackles. He was the FCS National Defensive Player of Week after making 23 stops vs. Navy and had 19 tackles at W&M.

•  UD has held five teams to 10 points or less. The Hens are first in the FCS in pass defense, second in total defense and third in scoring defense.

•  UD's defense contributed three interceptions and four QB sacks against MSU.


•  Dropped a 40-22 decision at No. 25 New Hampshire last week.

•  Matthew McKay passed for 185 yards and two TDs and ran for 61 at UNH. He has thrown for 300+ yards three times and is ninth in FCS in total offense, 14th in FCS in pass efficiency and 22nd in passing yards.

•  Jordan Bonner set career-highs with four catches for 90 yards at UNH.

•  Jalen Hampton ran for 81 yards at UNH. He ranks sixth in the CAA and 25th in FCS in rushing and has tallied 80+ rush yards in five of the last six games.

•  Skyler Davis is Elon's career FG leader (62) and is 11-of-14 this season with three FGs from 51+ yards.

•  Elon's defense has allowed just 33 points in the second half vs. its seven FCS foes, with 17 of them coming at UNH.

•  Omar Rogers had a team-high 11 tackles and a TFL at UNH. He's made 34 stops in five games this season.


•  Suffered a 41-10 setback to No. 19 Richmond last week.

•  Malcolm Mays threw for 214 yards and a TD vs Richmond. He has thrown for 200+ yards in three straight games with eight TD passes.

•  Jadakis Bonds made four catches for 35 yards vs. UR. He ranks third in the CAA in receiving yards and is third in FCS with eight TD catches. He had a HU-record 15 TD catches in 2019 and is the career leader in TD grabs.

•  Tyler Thompson had a season-high six receptions for 50 yards against Richmond.

•  Darran Butts had a 74-yard TD catch against UR and also ran for 25 yards.

•  Hampton is third in the CAA and 30th in FCS in rushing defense (124.4 ypg).

•  Ali Shockley recorded a season-high 14 tackles and broke up two passes vs. UR.

•  Mason King contributed nine tackles and a sack vs. UR. He ranks second on the team with 6.5 TFLs for the season.


•  Lost 28-27 to Stony Brook last week, ending a two-game winning streak.

•  Joe Fagnano passed for a season-best 314 yards and two TDs at SBU. He has thrown for 180+ yards and at least one TD in six straight games. He also ran for a team-best 65 yards.

•  Kobay White made seven catches for 51 yards and his first career TD at SBU. He has 24 receptions in his last four games.

•  TE Shawn Bowman had six catches for a career-high 130 yards and a TD at SBU. He leads Maine in receptions (29) and receiving yards (356) and receiving TDs (four).

•  Montigo Moss has a TD reception in four of the past six games.

•  Maine didn't force a turnover at SBU after forcing six over the two prior games.

•  Adrian Otero made a team-high eight tackles and a sack at SBU. He leads the Black Bears with 46 stops for the season.

•   Robby Riobe and Shakur Smalls added eight tackles apiece at Stony Brook.


•  Fell 48-46 in a FCS-record seven overtimes to #19 Rhode Island last week.

•  Jaden Shirden ran for 141 yards and a TD vs. URI. He's second in the FCS in rushing (144.2 ypg) and has topped the 100-yard mark in six of his last seven games, with two 200+ yd. outings.

•  Tony Muskett threw for 249 yards and three TDs vs. URI. It was his 23rd straight game with at least one TD pass. He has thrown for 200+ yards in 11 of his last 13 games and ranks 23rd in FCS in passing (249.6 ypg).

•  Owen Wright is second in FCS with 14 rushing TDs and is also second in scoring (11.2 ppg).

•  Assanti Kearney had five catches for 105 yards vs. URI. It was his third game with 100+ receiving yards and second in a row.

•  Thomas Joe-Kamara made a team-high nine tackles vs. URI and also intercepted his first pass of the season.

•   Davis Smith picked off two passes against URI, becoming the first MU player with two interceptions in a game since 2019.

New Hampshire

•  Stayed unbeaten in CAA play following a 40-22 victory over No. 21 Elon last week.

•  Dylan Laube amassed 200 all-purpose yards, including 147 yards and a TD rushing vs. Elon. He leads FCS in punt returns, ranks third in all-purpose yards and 14th in rushing.

•  Max Brosmer passed for 220 yards and two TDs and added a 42-yard rushing TD vs. EU. He has 13 TD passes in the past six games and has thrown for 200+ yards in five contests.

•  Freshman DJ Linkins set career-highs for catches (five) and receiving yards (58) vs. EU.

•  Joe Eichman intercepted a pass for the third straight game against Elon.

•  Josiah Silver is second in the CAA with 7.5 sacks and 11.5 TFLs, while Dylan Ruiz is third in the CAA with 7.0 sacks and has 8.5 TFLs.

•  Caleb Mead made a career-high and team-best seven tackles against Elon.

•   UNH is off to a 5-0 start in CAA play for the first time since going 8-0 in 2014.

Rhode Island

•  Outlasted Monmouth, 48-46, in seven overtimes in the longest game in FCS history.

•  Marques DeShields amassed 256 all-purpose yards and four TDs vs. MU, includng a career-high 161 yards and two TDs rushing. It was his fourth 100-yard effort and third in a row. He's 19th in FCS in rushing (94.9 ypg).

•  Kasim Hill passed for 352 yards and three TDs vs. MU. He has thrown for 200+ yards in 6-of-7 games and has had two or more TD passes in nine of his last 11 contests.

•  Ed Lee had four receptions for 120 yards and a TD vs. MU and also caught the game-winning 2-point conversion pass in the 7th OT.

•  Evan Stewart recorded a career-high 14 tackles and had one of four URI sacks vs. MU. He has 49 stops in six games.

•  Buzz Robinson had six tackles and made a key interception in the 2nd overtime.

•   Jordan Jones is 4th in the CAA in passes defended (7/1.0 pg). His 25 career passes defended is one shy of the URI record.


•  Off to their best overall start since 2016 after a 41-10 win at Hampton last week.

•  Reece Udinski was 30-of-37 passing for 314 yards and three TDs at HU. He leads the FCS in completion pct. (76.9%), ranks ninth in pass yards and has 17 TDs with two interceptions. He's thrown for 300+ yards in four of his last five games.

•  UR's 41 points at Hampton were its most in a road game since 2015.

•  Jasiah Williams had nine catches for 98 yards and a TD at HU. He's second in the FCS with 57 receptions and has nine or more catches in five games.

•  Jakob Herres had seven catches for 109 yards and a TD at HU. He's the FCS active leader in career receptions (263) and is second in career receiving yards (3,469).

•  Tristan Wheeler tallied six tackles, 2.0 TFLs, a sack and an interception at HU. He tops UR with 62 tackles and has 318 career stops.

•   UR ranks third in the CAA with 19 sacks, including 18 in the past five games.

Stony Brook

•  Rallied from a 13-point deficit to beat Maine, 28-27, for its first win last week.

•  Freshman Charlie McKee was 18-of-21 passing for a career-high 249 yards and three TDs vs. UM. He has six TD passes in the last three games and has thrown for over 200 yards in the past two outings.

•  Jayden Cook rushed for a career-high 92 yards on 26 carries against Maine.

•  Tyler Devera had a team-high four catches for 50 yards and a TD vs. Maine.

•  Reidgee Dimanche made a team-high 12 tackles vs. Maine. He leads the Seawolves and is second in the CAA with 66 stops.

•  Shamel Lazarus recorded a career-best 10 tackles with a TFL against Maine.

•  Dakar Edwards recorded a sack for the second straight game and also forced a fumble.

•  OL Kyle Nunez, a four-time All-CAA performer, was named a semifinalist for the prestigious Campbell Trophy.


•  Suffered a 44-24 setback to No. 12 William & Mary last week.

•  Tyrrell Pigrome amassed 291 yards of total offense vs. W&M, with 179 yards and two TDs passing and 112 yards and a TD rushing. It's the second time he's had over 100 yards passing and rushing in the same game.

•  Da'Kendall James made a team-high five catches for 77 yards and a TD vs. W&M. He tops TU in receptions (29) and receiving yards (298) and has at least three catches in six of the Tigers' seven games.

•  Joachim Bangda ran for a season-best 57 yards on 11 carries vs. W&M.

•  Freshman LB Mason Woods contributed 5 tackles and a TFL vs. W&M. He's tied with Ryan Kearney for the team lead in tackles with 54.

•  Riley Williams leads the CAA and ranks sixth  in FCS in punting average (44.8). He has a CAA-best 12 punts of 50+ yards.


•  Got past UAlbany, 31-29, last week on a walk-off 28-yard FG by Matthew Mercurio.

•  Connor Watkins was 18-of-26 passing for 292 yards and three TDs vs. UA. He ranks fifth in FCS in pass efficiency and has completed 13 passes of 40 or more yards this season.

•  TD Ayo-Durojaiye ran a career-high 136 yards and a TD vs. UA. It was his third 100-yard effort of the year and second in a row.

•  Jaaron Hayek made four catches for 57 yards and a TD vs. UA. He's fifth in FCS in receiving yards (101.9 ypg) and has topped 100 receiving yards in four games this season.

•  Rayjoun Pringle had four catches for a season-high 143 yards and two TDs vs. UA.

•  Shane Hartzell had six tackles and a sack vs. UA. He leads VU with 48 stops and three sacks.

•  Jalen Goodman tallied eight tackles and a pass breakup in the win over UA.

•  VU ranks 14th in FCS in rushing, 25th in total offense and 30th in scoring offense.

William & Mary

•  Moved to 4-0 on the road after a 44-24 win at Towson. Off to their best start since 2010.

•  Bronson Yoder ran 81 yards at TU. He ranks 15th in FCS in rushing and has topped the 100-yard mark three times this season.

•  Darius Wilson has tallied 180+ yards of total offense in six games and ranks 20th in FCS in pass efficiency. He has nine passing TDs.

•  W&M ran for 300 yards at TU and is fourth in FCS in rushing (245.2 ypg). W&M is 15th in FCS in total offense and 21st in scoring.

•  Lachlan Pitts caught an 83-yard TD pass at TU. He leads W&M with 358 receiving yards and is second in FCS in yards per catch (23.9).

•  John Pius leads FCS in sacks (10.5) and TFLs (15.5). He also tops W&M with 44 tackles.

•  W&M has recorded 22 sacks, which ranks second in the CAA. W&M is 28th in FCS in total defense and 25th in scoring defense.

•  Tye Freeland tallied a team-best 11 tackles at Towson and forced three fumbles, which is the most by an FCS player in 2022.