STEPHENVILLE (September 19, 2017) – Tarleton’s EJ Speed and Sergio Sroka each won their first career Lone Star Conference Player of the Week awards Monday afternoon after the two Texans led Tarleton to a 30-24 road win against Angelo State Saturday.
Speed, who earned the league’s defensive player of the week award, came up with big moment after big moment for the Tarleton defense in Saturday’s win at Angelo State.
The Rams were amid a run of 10 unanswered points and looking to take the lead heading into halftime with 1:44 on the clock in a 17-17 game, but Speed had other ideas. The junior linebacker forced and recovered a fumble, which he ran back 10 yards for his first career touchdown, to give the Texans the lead for good right before the break.
Fast forward into the third quarter with time winding down and Tarleton leading 27-17 and the Rams attempting to punt from their own 25-yard line, Speed strikes again. The linebacker blows through the ASU special teams unit and knocks down the punt, which rolled out of bounds at the four and set up another scoring opportunity for the LSC Special Teams Player of the Week, Sergio Sroka, and the Texans.
Despite also being responsible for 10 Tarleton points, Speed also made himself known with arguably the biggest stop of his career in the fourth quarter. With 10 minutes left in the game and the Rams looking to cut into a 30-17 Tarleton lead, the Rams marched 62 yards down to the Tarleton one-yard line before Speed stopped quarterback Charlie Rotherham for a two-yard loss on fourth-and-goal from the one-yard line. Tarleton took over and was eventually able to run the clock out en route to a 30-24 win over the previously unbeaten Rams. Speed finished the game with eight tackles, three for a loss, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery for a touchdown, and a blocked punt.
Meanwhile, Sroka accounted for the difference in the game with 12 total points. The senior from Miami, Florida connected on three field goals, including a long make of 38 yards, and three extra points to lead Tarleton to a win in the league opener.
It’s the first career award for both players. Speed, Sroka, and the Texans will return home this weekend for a home tilt against West Texas A&M at Memorial Stadium at 7 p.m.
STEPHENVILLE – Hailey Roberts continues to rack up Lone Star Conference weekly recognition as the senior from Cedar Park was named the LSC Offensive Player of the Week for the second time this season and the 13th time in her storied Tarleton career.
Roberts landed 62 kills in three matches, leading Tarleton to two wins last weekend. She went for a double-double in all three matches for the TexAnns and topped the 20-kill plateau against Dallas Baptist and Texas A&M-Commerce. For the week, Roberts hit .279, including a .447 clip at Texas Woman’s Friday night, to go along with two assists, five service aces, 42 digs, six blocks, and 70.0 total points.
The TexAnn senior also topped 2,000 kills in her career and now sits with 2,028 over her four years with the purple and white. She is 377 kills shy of passing Central Oklahoma’s Alma Brahimaj (1999-02) for the Lone Star Conference record in kills.
Roberts and the TexAnns visit No. 11 Angelo State tomorrow at 7 p.m. before returning home for a Friday night match against West Texas A&M at 6 p.m. and a Saturday tilt with UT Permian Basin at 2 p.m.