MARSHALL, Texas – Running back Brandon Sampson of East Texas Baptist University has been named the American Southwest Conference Offensive Player of the Week following the Tigers’ 41-24 win over McMurry Saturday.
Sampson (5-6, 185) tied a team record with three touchdowns and was the first Tiger to rush for 100 yards this season as ETBU (1-5, 1-3) snapped a five-game losing streak with its seventh consecutive win against McMurry (2-4, 1-3). The record performance came in just his second game at running back this season, as he was a starting cornerback the first three weeks of the year before making the switch due to injuries in the Tiger backfield.
Sampson, a native of Grambling, La., who attended high school at Westside High School in Houston, finished the day with 14 carries for 112 yards and three touchdowns. The three scores tied the team record of three rushing touchdowns set previously by Tauborick Thursby on Oct. 30, 2004, against Mary Hardin-Baylor and by Phil Van Cleave on Sept. 18, 2004, against Howard Payne.
It was the second straight game a player had either set or tied a team single-game record for touchdowns for the Tigers. In a 31-28 loss to Texas Lutheran on Sept. 30, Van Cleave set a team mark for passing touchdowns with four, and wide receiver Jason Gray tied a team record with three receiving touchdowns.
Two of Sampson’s touchdowns Saturday came in the fourth quarter and helped ETBU seal its first win since the regular season finale last year, which was also against McMurry.
Sampson and the Tigers face another huge test this week, as they travel to Abilene to face nationally-ranked Hardin-Simmons at 2 p.m. on Saturday. ETBU is 0-6 all-time against the Cowboys since joining the ASC in 2000.