NATCHITOCHES – Northwestern State senior quarterback Shelton Eppler’s first career rushing touchdown gave Northwestern State the lead for good in its 31-28 win against Sam Houston State on Saturday.
It also helped give Eppler his second career Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week. After throwing for 306 yards and two touchdowns and adding 31 rushing yards and the decisive rushing score, Eppler picked up his first SLC weekly honor of the season Monday after being selected by a vote of the conference’s football sports information directors.
Eppler completed 26 of 42 passes against the Bearkats, including a 67-yard touchdown pass to Kendrick Price and a 1-yard scoring toss to Quan Shorts. His 5-yard touchdown run with 8:03 remaining in the third quarter provided the final points of the game and was just the third rushing touchdown allowed by Sam Houston State this season.
It marks the first time Eppler, a Trinity Valley Community College transfer from Navasota, Texas, has earned the conference’s weekly offensive honor since Sept. 17, 2018, which came after he established Northwestern State single-game records with 474 passing yards and six touchdown passes against Lamar.
Entering Thursday’s regular-season finale against Stephen F. Austin, Eppler owns 15 single-game, season and career records as a Demon and needs 145 yards to break head coach Brad Laird’s career passing yardage record 6,037.
He becomes the third different Demon to earn SLC honors this season, joining linebacker Ja’Quay Pough (Defensive Player of the Week, Oct. 28) and punter Parker Pastorello (Special Teams Player of the Week, Nov. 11).