ST. PAUL, Minn. – Less than 72 hours removed from his record-breaking performance Saturday night at Presentation, Eureka College junior quarterback Sam Durley (Roanoke, Ill./Roanoke-Benson H.S.) has been named the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week, according to an announcement from the league office Tuesday morning. Durley set single-game school records with 29 completions, 478 passing yards and eight touchdowns in Eureka's 55-27 UMAC win over the Saints.
Durley's performance allowed the Red Devils to move to 2-0 in UMAC play, Eureka's best start in conference action since the Red Devils' most recent national playoff team opened the 1994 Illini-Badger Football Conference schedule with a 5-0 mark. Durley's eight touchdowns fell one short of matching the Division III record and were the most touchdown throws by a Division III quarterback in a game this season.
Additionally, his 478 passing yards on Saturday were the second-most in a single game by a Division III player in 2011, trailing only a 549-yard performance by Lawrence's Luke Barthelmess against Knox on Sept. 10.
The award from the UMAC is the second of Durley's career. He was previously chosen UMAC Offensive Player of the Week after throwing for 289 yards and five touchdowns in the Red Devils' 40-14 rout of Northwestern (Minn.) on Oct. 23, 2010.
Durley, who also set a career-high with 53 passing attempts versus the Saints, now ranks second among UMAC quarterbacks behind Westminster signal-caller Scott Rodgers with 920 passing yards and 11 touchdowns. Eureka's passing offense ranks second in the UMAC behind Westminster and 16th overall in Division III with 306.7 yards per game.
Eureka will put its unbeaten UMAC record on the line this Saturday when Westminster visits McKinzie Field at 1 p.m. for the Red Devils' annual homecoming game. Westminster is 4-0 overall and 3-0 in conference play.