JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Nov. 24, 2003) - East Tennessee State senior tailback Gaven Varner (Summerville, S.C.) and redshirt freshman quarterback Carl Meadows (Cumming, Ga.) each earned Southern Conference honors for the second consecutive week for their performances in ETSU's thrilling 16-13 season-ending victory over The Citadel Saturday afternoon.
Varner earned SoCon Co-Offensive Player of the Week, splitting the award with Furman quarterback Bo Moore, while Meadows received Freshman of the Week honors.
Varner tied a career-high with 37 carries, and
rushed for a career-best 197 yards Saturday against The Citadel, the seventh-best total in Buccaneer history. He gained 1,199 yards on the season, placing him third on the ETSU single-season rushing list. He finished the season second in the SoCon in rushing, and was one of only three running backs to rush for over 1,000 yards.
Much like in last week's win over Chattanooga, Varner set the tone early, rushing for 118 yards in the first half. He had a career-high 47-yard rush early in the second quarter.
Varner was effective on the Bucs' three scoring drives, carrying the ball 19 times for 81 yards. The Citadel got a steady dose of Varner on the decisive drive of the game, rushing seven times for 28 yards leading up to Jonathan Godfrey's (Johnson City, Tenn.) game-winning field goal.
Varner also caught two passes for 15 yards on Saturday, and finished third on the Bucs with 18 receptions on the season.
Meadows finished the day 11-of-21 passing with 162 yards, a touchdown and no interceptions against the Bulldogs. He was also second on the team on the ground with five carries for 24 yards and another score.
He engineered two long touchdown drives in clutch situations Saturday, with a 10-play, 80-yard drive that brought the Bucs within one point, 7-6, in the second quarter, and a six-play, 80-yard drive that tied the score at 13 late in the third. He capped the first drive with an 18-yard touchdown run and the second with an eight-yard scoring strike to fullback Nick Spearman (Summerville, S.C.). Meadows completed long passes on each drive, with a 51-yarder to Frank Green (Moncks Corner, S.C.) on the first and another 51-yarder to Brian Matthews (Georgetown, S.C.) on the second.
Meadows finished his inaugural season leading the Bucs with 1,153 yards passing. He threw for ten touchdowns against just four interceptions and ran for two more scores.
It was Varner's third SoCon Offensive Player of the Week award of the season, and Meadows' third Freshman of the Week honor.