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NAIA Football Players of the Week - No. 4

October 03, 2016
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By Nikki Sherrill, Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, MO. –  Jake Bridges of Missouri Valley has been named the National Offensive Player of the Week, Saint Mary’s (Kan.) Isaiah Ross is this week’s Defensive Player of the Week and Osvaldo Espericueta of Lyon (Ark.) was selected as the Special Teams Player of the Week, the national office announced Monday. These athletes were chosen for their performances during the week of Sep. 26-Oct. 2, and were selected out of a pool of conference award winners.

National Offensive Player of the Week
Jake Bridges, Missouri Valley
Fr., QB, Park Hills, Mo. 

  • In a 49-30 win over Culver-Stockton (Mo.), Bridges set a program record with six passing touchdowns.
  • Completed 21-of-32 pass attempts and threw for 337 yards, only 10 yards shy of his career high.
  • Attempted nine rushes for 40 yards and one rushing touchdown.
  • Ranks No. 6 nationally in pass efficiency (164.8), No. 11 in total offense (1,452) and No. 13 in offensive yards per game (290.4). 
  • This is the first National Player of the Week honor for Bridges.

National Special Teams Player of the Week
Osvaldo Espericueta, Lyon (Ark.)
So., K, Batesville, Ark. 

  • Kicked in a career-long 49-yard field goal and was 2-for-2 in attempts on the night in a 48-42 win over SAGU (Texas).
  • Recorded a 56-yard punt, which tied for the second-longest of his career. In his four punts of the contest, he averaged 42 yards and pinned SAGU inside the 20-yard line twice. 
  • In eight kickoffs, he averaged 55.1 yards with his longest kick measuring at 63 yards. In extra points, he was 4-for-4 and remains perfect on the season.
  • Ranks No. 1 nationally in extra point percentage (1.0), No. 21 in kick scoring (31) and No. 25 in total field goals (3).
  • This is Espericueta's first National Player of the Week honor.

National Defensive Player of the Week
Isaiah Ross, Saint Mary (Kan.)
Fr., DB, Leavenworth (Kan.)

  • Directed a defensive charge in a 34-33 comeback win against Bethany (Kan.) when he blocked a punt late in the game to set-up a Saint Mary (Kan.) touchdown two plays later.
  • Led his squad in tackled with eight, including six solo and one for a loss. 
  • Ross started the contest with an interception and return for a touchdown. Late in the game, he broke up a pass on the fourth down to cut a Bethany offensive series short.
  • Ranks No. 20 in the NAIA with 0.5 interceptions per game and No. 24 in total interceptions (2). 
  • This is Ross' first National Player of the Week honor.

For a complete list of all the national statistical leaders, click here.

For a complete NAIA Player of the Week calendar, click here.

Offensive Nominees: Gunnar Griffin, Missouri Baptist; Clayton Nicholas, Faulkner (Ala.); Kenyatte Allen, Robert Morris (Ill.); Dwane Robinson, Lyon (Ark.); Hunter Krause, Davenport (Mich.); T.j. Spykstra, Northwestern (Iowa); Wesley Geisler, Kansas Wesleyan; Darrin (DJ) Davis, Warner (Fla.); Jj Jude, Georgetown (Ky.); Jason Shelley, Southern Oregon; Jed Fike, Dickinson State (N.D.) Morris (Ill.); Dwane Robinson, Lyon (Ark.); Hunter Krause, Davenport (Mich.); T.j. Spykstra, Northwestern (Iowa); Wesley Geisler, Kansas Wesleyan; Darrin (DJ) Davis, Warner (Fla.); Jj Jude, Georgetown (Ky.); Jason Shelley, Southern Oregon; Jed Fike, Dickinson State (N.D.)

Defensive Nominees: Josh Harris, Georgetown (Ky.); Xavier Spann, Morningside (Iowa); Xavier Story, Lyon (Ark.); Tj Douglas, Davenport (Mich.); Bradley Mullings, Marian (Ind.); Harrison Hale, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Justus Dauscha, Cumberland (Tenn.); Drew Clark, Warner (Fla.); Akim Francis, Baker (Kan.); Nicholas Mcbeain, Valley City State (N.D.); Keegan Lawrence, Southern Oregon

Special Teams Nominees: Rashaan Gaymon, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Patrick Gregory, Davenport (Mich.); Tahj Willingham, Hastings (Neb.); Brayden Bennett, Concordia (Mich.); Derek Burgett, Union (Ky.); Geness Kennedy, Warner (Fla.); Aiden Pirrin, Saint Mary (Kan.); Stephen Thayer, Missouri Valley; Louis DesPrez, Southern Oregon; Cody Johnson, Dickinson State (N.D.); Bradley Bates, Campbellsville (Ky.)


2016 NAIA Football Players of the Week
Week 1 (Sept. 12)
Offense: Jacob Giles, Dakota State (S.D.)
Defense: Jeff Branch, Presentation (S.D.)
Special Teams: Andres Burgoin, Doane (Neb.)
Week 2 (Sept. 19)
Offense: Cedrick Phillips, Sterling (Kan.)
Defense: Nate Moore, College of Idaho
Special Teams: Nick Giaffoglione, Hastings (Neb.)
Week 3 (Sept. 26)
Offense: Matt Gunterman, Culver-Stockton (Mo.)
Defense: Alden Mann, Wayland Baptist (Texas)
Special Teams: Zach Bunney, Montana Tech
Week 4 (Oct. 3)
Offense: Jake Bridges, Missouri Valley
Defense: Osvaldo Espericueta, Lyon (Ark.)
Special Teams: Isaiah Ross, Saint Mary (Kan.)