McCray Named SAC Football Special Teams Player of the Week


ROCK HILL, SC -- Catawba junior kick returner LJ McCray (Charlotte, NC/Harding HS) was one of three players selected as South Atlantic Conference Football Players of the Week.  He joins Carson-Newman running back Brandon Baker and Lenoir-Rhyne linebacker Tanner Botts.  It was announced on Mondy by the league office.

McCray earned SAC Special Teams Player of the Week honors after a key kick return for a touchdown in Catawba’s 19-13 win over Brevard.  With the score knotted at six in the first quarter, McCray took a BC kick 84 yards past the coverage team for the score.

McCray currently leads the SAC and ranks sixth in Division II with a kick return average of 30.1 yards.  Saturday marked his first special teams touchdown of the season, but his school-record third career kickoff return for a score.
Baker, the SAC Offensive Player of the Week, rushed for 185 yards and four touchdowns on 20 carries in Carson-Newman’s impressive 66-36 win at Tusculum.  The victory kept the Eagles alive for a share of the regular-season conference title. 

Baker’s touchdowns came on runs of 30 yards, 22 yards, two yards and one yard.  On the season, Baker ranks second in the SAC by averaging 108.7 yard per game.  His 11 touchdowns are also second in the conference.

Botts earned the SAC Defensive Player of the Week award for the second-straight week after piling up 10 tackles, two forced fumbles and two sacks in Lenoir-Rhyne’s 44-21 victory at Newberry. Botts also recorded three tackles-for-loss in the game. 

Behind Botts, the L-R defense forced four Newberry turnovers, putting the Bears in a position where a win next weekend over Catawba would clinch no worse than a share of the SAC regular-season championship.

Botts is currently second on his team this season with 74 tackles. 

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