Conner & Horton named PFL Players of the Week

Sept. 25, 2006

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Junior wide receiver Nate Conner (special teams) and junior quarterback Chris Horton (offensive) were each named Pioneer Football League Players of the Week after helping the Dolphins to a 31-7 win over Butler to open PFL action on Sept. 23 at the Butler Bowl.

It marked the second consecutive week in which the Dolphins had a player recognized by the weekly conference honor. Freshman kicker Donovan Curry was named special teams player of the week after posting seven points, including a 37-yard field goal, at Southeastern Louisiana on Sept. 16.

Conner has always been a weapon as a receiver and on special teams for JU but he is breaking out on the national level in 2006. Along with a 64-yard touchdown catch against Butler, Conner registered eight punt returns for 141 yards (17.6 ypr) and tacked on one kickoff return for 35 yards to finish with 247 yards of total offense. An all-PFL selection on special teams in 2004, Conner currently leads the nation in all-purpose yards per game with an average of 208.7 yards.

"The amazing thing about Nate is the fact that he takes so many reps for us during a game," Gilbert said. "He is such a versatile player because he is one of our top receivers and he returns all of our kicks for us. He is also the type of player that will credit his teammates for making all the blocks for him."

Horton, who connected on 9-of-17 passes for 156 yards, tied a program record by throwing four touchdown passes in the contest. Three of his scores came within a 10 minute span in the first half, including a 64-yard strike to Conner. Horton, who also rushed for 20 yards on three carries, also threw touchdowns passes of 44, 18 and six yards. After taking over the starting spot in the final three games of 2005, Horton has led the squad to a 2-0 record in PFL games.

"I believe Chris had his best football game as a starter against Butler," said JU head coach Steve Gilbert. "He was extremely accurate, made good decisions and moved the ball around to a variety of different receivers. If he continues to do that, we will be a hard team to defend this season."

The Dolphins (1-2, 1-0) will look to win back-to-back road games for the first time since 2001 as JU continues PFL play against Valparaiso (2-2, 1-1) at Brown Field on Saturday, Sept. 30 at 1 p.m. Barry Milligan will handle the play-by-play on ESPN 1460 WZNZ with the Dolphin pre-game show beginning at 12:30 p.m.