Samples earns SAC Player of Week honor after record-breaking performance

ROCK HILL, SC - The South Atlantic Conference has announced its Football Players of the Week for the week ending Nov. 8, 2003. Earning honors this week are Catawba quarterback Luke Samples, Tusculum defensive back D.J. Starling and Carson-Newman kicker Angel Gonzalez. Samples, a 6-3, 225, junior from Elkin, NC, set numerous school passing records in a 41-36 loss at 10th-ranked Carson-Newman. The former East Wilkes High School standout threw for a school-record 492 as he tried to rally Catawba from a 34-3 second-half deficit. He also set game records with 38 completions on 66 attempts and four touchdowns. For the season, Samples now has thrown for a school mark of 2,503 yards and 19 touchdowns. Starling, a 5-10, 195, senior from Ft. Valley, GA, had 10 tackles and an interception as the Pioneers defeated Lenoir-Rhyne 28-23. Among the former Peach County High School product's 10 stops were three for losses, including a sack. His interception in the red-zone stopped a Lenoir-Rhyne drive in the third quarter and helped the Pioneers erase a 23-7 deficit. Gonzalez (Miami, FL), a 5-11, 160, senior helped Carson-Newman hold off No. 6 Catawba 41-36. He kicked a pair of field goals and five PAT's in the Eagles' win. His field goals were from 29 and 45 yards out. Gonzalez is now 45-of-46 on PAT's and 8-of-10 on field goals for the season. The SAC Players of the Week are determined by a vote of the eight sports information directors of the conference schools. #####

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