Nov. 20, 2023
Contact: Joey Jones (jo*****@ap******.edu)
Secondary contact: Bret Strelow (st******@ap******.edu)
BOONE, N.C. — App State cornerback Ethan Johnson has been named the Sun Belt Conference’s Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in an overtime win against James Madison, and quarterback Joey Aguilar has earned national recognition following the victory.
Johnson recorded his first career interception to end a JMU drive into App State territory late in a low-scoring first half, and he was also defending the primary receiving target on three straight overtime incompletions inside the 10-yard line to force the Dukes to settle for a short field goal.
He was targeted with 14 passes at JMU and allowed a completion percentage of just 35.7.
In addition to his interception, Johnson finished with five tackles, one stop for a loss and two pass breakups as the Mountaineers’ defense had a season-high 11 tackles for loss and a season-high-tying five sacks, which were both the most allowed by the Dukes’ offense this season.
Among starting Sun Belt cornerbacks, Johnson has the third-best coverage grade of 78.9 from PFF on 65 targets this season and is also third with eight pass breakups.
Aguilar, meanwhile, threw for 318 yards and had three touchdown passes, including an 8-yard connection with Kaedin Robinson to win the game in overtime. App State was facing a defense that leads the nation in rushing defense and sacks.
Aguilar was recognized among the Davey O’Brien “Great 8” quarterbacks for Week 12 as well as the Manning Award’s Stars of the Week.
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