Wiltz, Sam named SLC Players of the Week; Cowboys up to Nos. 4 a - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

Wiltz, Sam named SLC Players of the Week; Cowboys up to Nos. 4 and 7 in weekly FCS polls

McNeese State running back Marcus Wiltz and safety Aaron Sam have been named this week's Southland Conference Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, voted on by the league sports information directors and released by the conference office on Monday.

This is Wiltz's second conference weekly award of the season as he was named offensive player of the week after his 181 yards rushing performance in the Oct. 5 win at Central Arkansas. The award is the first for Sam in his short career.

In addition to the player of the week news, McNeese moved up five spots to No. 4 in this week's Sports Network Top 25 poll and jump three spots to No. 7 in the FCS Coaches poll.

North Dakota State continues to top both polls. Sam Houston State, ranked second in both polls last week, fell to No. 7 in the Sports Network and 8th in the coaches polls. Central Arkansas is also ranked – 23rd in the SN poll and 20th in the coaches while Southeastern Louisiana is ranked just outside both polls.

Wiltz is coming off his second consecutive 100-yard rushing game with 122 yards in Saturday's 31-23 win over Sam Houston State. The senior from Cecilia averaged 5.8 yards per carry and scored his sixth rushing touchdown of the season. His 4-yard touchdown score late in the third quarter gave the Cowboys a 21-9 lead. Wiltz, who had 85 yards rushing on nine carries in the first half, had three carries that went for 10 yards or more, including two of those that went 20 or more yards.

Wiltz is currently averaging 113.7 yards per game rushing – ranked second in the league and 14th nationally. He also became just the 13th running back in school history to top 2,000 career rushing yards.

Sam, a sophomore from Lake Charles, recorded a career-high 10 solo tackles and had several open field stops to help provide a tough defensive stand against one of the nation's top offenses.

He recorded two tackles for a loss and played a big part in holding the Bearkats to 84 yards rushing – 235 yards under their season average. The defensive unit also held Sam Houston State to 22 points below its season scoring average.

For the season, Sam is third on the team with 45 tackles and is second with 4-and-a-half tackles for a loss.

Sam was also named a College Sporting News Defensive National All-Star on Tuesday as well.

Southeastern Louisiana's Xavier Roberson was named the conference's special teams player of the week after he helped lead the Lions to a 37-22 win over Northwestern State with a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown.

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