Sept. 23, 2013
Cullowhee, N.C. - Western Carolina wide receiver Karnorris Benson today received honorable mention accolades as the College Football Performance Awards (CFPA) released its weekly honors. WCU snapped the longest winless drought in the NCAA Football Championship Subdivision (FCS), rallying for the win on a rainy afternoon last Saturday at E.J. Whitmire Stadium / Bob Waters Field.
The honor is the second weekly recognition for Benson this season as he also garnered honorable mention plaudits following his four reception, 113 yard performance in the season-opener at Middle Tennessee. Eastern Illinois receiver Erik Lora earned CFPA's top receiver honors this week after catching 14 passes for 198 yards and three touchdowns in loss to Northern Illinois.
Benson helped spark WCU's come-from-behind victory over Mars Hill, hauling in a career-high nine passes for a career-best 212 yards and three, fourth quarter touchdowns in the 30-23 win. The Atlanta, Ga., product caught TD strikes of 80, 75 and 33 yards from sophomore quarterback Troy Mitchell, who finished with 350 yards passing as a part of 414 yards of total offense - the fifth-best individual single-game performance by a Catamount and the best since 2007.
Making Benson's performance even more impressive was that he had four catches for just three yards at halftime. In the fourth quarter alone, Benson caught four passes for 198 yards and the three scores.
Benson is just the fifth Catamount receiver all-time to surpass the 200-yard receiving mark, and the first since Eddie Cohen tallied 212 yards at Georgia Southern in 2007. The two stand tied for third in WCU's receiving ledgers for best single-game performances behind Jon Reed (235 vs. Appalachian State in 1989) and Craig Aiken (232 vs. The Citadel in 1992).
Each week, CFPA names it's top performers and honorable mentions at 12 different positions including four on offense (quarterback, running back, wide receiver and tight end); five specialists (placekicker, punter, all-purpose, kickoff returner and punt returner); and three on defense (lineman, linebacker and defensive back). The group also selects a National Performer and National Defensive Performer of the Week.
Western Carolina (1-3, 0-1 SoCon) returns to league action this week as it plays the first of three-straight games away from Cullowhee. The Catamounts travel to Samford (2-2, 0-0 SoCon) on Saturday afternoon in the conference opener for the Bulldogs. Samford opened 2013 with four-straight non-conference games including a season-opening road win over NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) squad, Georgia State, in the Georgia Dome in Atlanta, and went toe-to-toe with Arkansas out of the SEC before falling, 31-21.