Sophomore defensive back DJ Exilhomme was named the Northeast Conference Defensive Player of the Week on Monday. Exilhomme and the Blue Devils, now 4-1 in NEC play, will host Duquesne on Saturday at 12 p.m. on ESPN3 for a share of their second-straight NEC title. The Blue Devils are coming off a 30-14 road victory at Saint Francis U on Saturday.
Exilhomme spearheaded a defensive effort that limited Saint Francis to 3.3 yards per play and helped CCSU remain alive in the chase for the NEC crown. The strong safety made a team-high nine tackles during the 30-14 road win. He also recorded two takeaways, including a major momentum shifter in the fourth quarter.
Exilhomme denied Saint Francis on what could have been the game-tying drive. With CCSU protecting a 21-14 advantage, Exilhomme picked off a pass in the end zone on a 3rd-and-Goal play. He returned the interception to the CCSU 30-yard line and the Blue Devils proceeded to march to an insurance touchdown. Helping the Blue Devils hold their opponent under the 100-yard rushing mark for the fifth time this season, Exilhomme made three key hits in run defense. His second-down tackle limited SFU to a two-yard gain late in the second quarter and it led to a punt two plays later.
After SFU advanced to the CCSU 36-yard line on the opening possession of the second half, he helped derail the drive by dropping the ball carrier for a one-yard loss on 2nd-and-10. The strong safety also made a hit for no gain on the Red Flash's second possession of the third quarter.
Exilhomme also recovered a fumble on a running play in the second quarter.