JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (Oct. 20, 2003) - East Tennessee State senior All-America cornerback Tony Tiller (Lithonia, Ga.) won three awards Monday following possibly the best game of his illustrious Buccaneer career with two interceptions for touchdowns Saturday afternoon in a 33-23 Homecoming victory Saturday afternoon against Liberty.
Tiller earned Southern Conference Defensive Player of the Week, CollegeSportsReport.com Division I-AA Performer of the Week and I-AA Defensive Player of the Week from The Sports Network.
The awards are all firsts for Tiller, but fellow Buccaneer defensive back Allen Davis (Mullins, S.C.) won SoCon Defensive Player of the Week earlier this season on Sept. 15. Only one other ETSU player has won a national player of the week honor, as former safety Adam Walton earned Defensive Player of the Week from Don Hansen's Football Gazette in 1996.
On Liberty's second possession, Tiller stepped in front of a Gus Condon pass at the 31-yard line of the Flames and returned it for a score. It was the first return for a touchdown in Tiller's collegiate career, but his day was far from done.
As the momentum of the game started to shift toward the Flames with the score 27-17 in favor of the Bucs, Tiller again made a huge play that essentially put the game out of reach. In almost an identical play to his first interception of the afternoon, only on the opposite side of the field, Tiller stepped in front of a short J.R. Barley pass and raced into the end zone for a 27-yard score to ice the game.
Tiller's first two touchdowns of his collegiate career give the Bucs five defensive touchdowns on the season. ETSU has scored 10 times on defense since the last defensive score by an opposing team on Oct. 28, 2001.
Tiller has four interceptions on the season, leading the Southern Conference and giving him 12 in his ETSU career. He is also the active SoCon leader in career interceptions.
The Bucs return to action on Saturday afternoon as they travel to face SoCon rival Furman. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m. from Paladin Stadium.