By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Owen Cole of Tabor (Kan.) is named the NAIA Football National Special Teams Player of the Week; Cameron Fore of Benedictine (Kan.) is tabbed as the NAIA Football National Offensive Player of the Week and Andrew Stewart of Kentucky Christian is recognized as the NAIA Football National Defensive Player of the Week, the national office announced Monday. The trio was chosen for their performances during the week of Oct. 7 – 13 and each was selected from a pool of conference and independent award winners.
Cole, a freshman from Freeport, Fla., had two kickoff returns for a combined 125 yards for the Bluejays. The freshman, who also sees time at running back, highlighted his second game returning kicks by taking a second quarter kickoff 96 yards for his first collegiate touchdown. Prior to Saturday’s performance, Cole’s career-long kickoff return was just seven yards. On offense, Cole added five rushes for 31 yards and one reception for four yards in Tabor’s 54-28 trouncing of Kansas Wesleyan. With the victory, Tabor sits at 5-1 on the year, including a 3-1 mark in Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference play.
Fore, a senior running back from Rolla, Mo., rushed for a school-record six touchdowns in Benedictine’s 62-37 victory over Avila (Mo.) in Heart of America Conference play. By halftime, Fore had tied the school record with five rushing touchdowns including scores from 43 and 55 yards. The record-breaking score came with just under nine minutes to go in the third quarter, when Fore found his way into the end zone from 25 yards out. The touchdown cemented Fore’s place in the Benedictine record book, not only for rushing touchdowns, but also for single-game scoring (36 points). The running back accumulated 236 yards on 21 attempts, bringing his season total to 816 yards in six games. The Ravens running back ranks among the top 25 nationally in total scoring (4th, 86 points), scoring per game (4th, 14.3 points), total rushing yards (7th, 816), rushing yards per game (8th, 136), all purpose yards (16th, 859) and all purpose yards per game (17th, 143.2).
Stewart, a junior linebacker from Cadiz, Ky., led the unranked Kentucky Christian defensive unit with 14 total tackles, including eight solo, in a 22-14 victory over then-No. 17 Lindsey Wilson (Ky.). The junior also recorded two tackles for a loss, by way of two sacks, in the upset. Most impressively, Stewart added two interceptions, including one that he took back 21 yards for his first collegiate touchdown—and the Knights first score of the game—with just under nine minutes to play in the first half. With his two-interception performance, Stewart is now tied for the team lead in interceptions (2). He also leads the Knights in total tackles (60) and solo tackles (32) and ranks second on the team in tackles for a loss (9.5). Nationally, Stewart is among the NAIA leaders in tackles for a loss (18th, 9.5), total interceptions (36th, 2) and tackles for a loss per game (37th, 1.4).
For a complete list of all the national statistical leaders, click here.
For the complete NAIA Player of the Week calendar, click here.
Offensive Nominees: Darryl Fields, Oklahoma Baptist; Dominique Bradley, Mayville State (N.D.); Reggie Langford, Sterling (Kan.); Eric Williamson, St. Ambrose (Iowa); David Yoder, Saint Francis (Ind.); Michael Nwokoji, Cumberland (Tenn.); Reinaldo Reyes, Bacone (Okla.); Anthony Muilenburg, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.); Dakota Stonehouse, Carroll (Mont.)
Defensive Nominees: Josh Mander, St. Francis (Ill.); Jon-Lucas Poe, Wayland Baptist (Texas); DeVontae Corbitt, Ottawa (Kan.); Chris Engelstad, Jamestown (N.D.); Derek Blessing, Concordia (Neb.); Nick DiMarco, William Penn (Iowa); Sean Blomquist, Carroll (Mont.); Darrick Smith, Baker (Kan.)
Special Teams Nominees: Marcellus Henderson, Wayland Baptist (Texas); Greg Conry, Peru State (Neb.); Alec Eickert, Taylor (Ind.); Dan Porter, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.); Jacob Batterson, William Penn (Iowa); Alonso Acosta, Belhaven (Miss.); Perry King, Dakota State (S.D.); Colter Rood, Carroll (Mont.)
2013 NAIA Football Players of the Week (complete schedule)
Week 1 (Sept. 2)
Offense: Bryce Baker, Rocky Mountain (Mont.)
Defense: Zach Hollier, Grand View (Iowa)
Special Teams: Zach Keenan, Benedictine (Kan.)
Week 2 (Sept. 9)
Offense: E.J. White, St. Francis (Ill.)
Defense: Zach Dolph, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Special Teams: Albert Huntley, Cumberlands (Ky.)
Week 3 (Sept. 16)
Offense: Melvin Mason, Southern Oregon
Defense: Erik Brown, Ottawa (Kan.)
Special Teams: Jordan Pedersen, Doane (Neb.)
Week 4 (Sept. 23)
Offense: Josh Miller, Saint Francis (Ind.)
Defense: JerSean Walder, Doane (Neb.)
Special Teams: Mike Phillips, McPherson (Kan.)
Week 5 (Sept. 30)
Offense: Christopher McGinnis-Parker, Eastern Oregon
Defense: Kris Lehmann, Sterling (Kan.)
Special Teams: Spencer Nolen, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Week 6 (October 7)
Offense: Austin Dodge, Southern Oregon
Defense: Phil Latimer, Nebraska Wesleyan
Special Teams: Trump Harrison, Faulkner (Ala.)
Week 7 (October 14)
Offense: Cameron Fore, Benedictine (Kan.)
Defense: Andrew Stewart, Kentucky Christian
Special Teams: Owen Cole, Tabor (Kan.)