FRISCO - On the heels of a win over No. 7 Richmond, the Sam Houston State Bearkats claimed a pair of weekly superlatives on Monday when Southland Conference officials unveiled their first player of the week honors.
Senior quarterback Jeremiah Briscoe was named the Southland’s first Offensive Player of the Week of the season, while senior safety Josh Price claimed a similar honor on the defensive side.
Briscoe won the weekly honor twice last season on his way to claiming the Walter Payton Award, and picked right up where he left off last season in the season opener on Friday against nationally-ranked Richmond. The senior from Houston completed 20 of his 37 pass attempts for 411 yards, throwing for four scores and rushing for another as the Kats picked up their first ever win over a ranked opponent in a season opener.
As per 2016, much of his damage came in the opening half when he accounted for four of his five scores. He directed the Bearkats to a pair of field goals in the opening quarter and then popped the lid off the second quarter when he broke free for a 41-yard touchdown run, the second rushing touchdown of his career.
He would go on to throw four more touchdowns to four separate receivers, three coming in a 35-point second period for Sam Houston. In all, Briscoe directed the Bearkat offense to 683 yards of total offense against a Spider defense that allowed just 317 yards per game on their way to the FCS quarterfinals a year ago.
Meanwhile, Price demonstrated why the Bearkat coaching staff was excited to have him as part of a revamped defense as he made a splash in his Sam Houston debut. The senior sat out all of last season after transferring up from Southern Nazarene, and proceeded to pick up eight tackles and a pair of interceptions in his first game as a Bearkat.
Each of his interceptions came at key points too, both times in the red zone. With the two picks he became the first Kat with multiple interceptions in a game since Mikell Everette had two against Central Arkansas in November of 2015, a span of 19 games.
The first came in the opening quarter with the Kats holding a 3-0 lead. The Spiders had marched from their own 25 to the Bearkat 24 on 14 plays, but on the 15th play of the drive Richmond quarterback Kyle Lauletta took a shot at the end zone and Price was there with the pick to stop the drive in its tracks.
His second pick came on Richmond’s final drive when he broke on a mid-range pass and took it away again with just 2:03 to play in the game after the Spiders had driven inside the Bearkat 10-yard line.
Briscoe, Price and the Bearkats will go for their second win of the young season on Thursday when they travel to Prairie View to take on the Panthers. Gametime is set for 6:30 p.m. from Prairie View’s Panther Stadium with the game being aired nationally on ESPNU.