SIAC Football Honors: Week Nine

ATLANTA — The Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (SIAC) has announced its football weekly accolades for Week 9 of the 2017 season. All four recipients received the honor for the first time this season with Fort Valley State rounding out the list with three players.

Jonathan Hardy (Miles) was named Offensive Player of the Week and Walter Tucker (Fort Valley State) garnered the Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Tajee Steele (Fort Valley State) was named top newcomer while Juan Serna (Fort Valley State) was tabbed Special Teams Player of the Week.

Offensive Player of the Week
Justin Hardy
RB • 5-8 • 185 • Jr. •  Homewood, Ala.

Hardy fueled Miles to a 38-17 win over Clark Atlanta to stay in the hunt for the SIAC Western Division title. He eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark on the season after recording 177 yards on 17 attempts while averaging 10.4 yards per carry. He tacked on two touchdowns which included a score courtesy of an 86-yard run. Hardy has now logged five 100-yard rushing games and has run for at least 165 yards in four consecutive games.

Defensive Player of the Week
Walter Tucker
Fort Valley State
DL • 6-1 • 225 • Sr. • Melrose, Ga.

Tucker helped the defending SIAC Football champions Fort Valley State secure a consecutive title game appearance winning the Eastern Division after picking up a 52-7 win over Morehouse. Tucker spotlighted a defense that forced four turnovers and recorded two touchdowns. He led the team with six solo tackles, four tackles for loss, three forced fumbles and one sack. Among his three forced fumbles, two led to touchdowns including a 15-yard fumble recovery for a score.

Newcomer of the Week
Tajee Steele
Fort Valley State
WR • 6-1 • 200 • Fr. • Cleveland, Miss.

Steele helped Fort Valley State secure the SIAC Eastern Division with a 52-7 victory over Morehouse. He recorded a season-high 101 yards receiving yards on five receptions matching up with the league’s top defense. He posted a 36-yard touchdown catch to help push the lead and lift the defending SIAC football champions to a consecutive title game appearance.

Special Teams Player of the Week
Juan Serna
Fort Valley State
PK/P • 180 • 5-8 • Sr. • Douglasville, Ga. 

Serna capitalized after Fort Valley State recorded seven touchdowns en route to a 52-7 victory over Morehouse. The win pushed FVSU to a consecutive title game after capturing the SIAC Eastern Division. Serna tallied 10 points connecting all seven extra point attempts after posting the first points of the game with a 22-yard field goal.

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