Photo by Dale Grosbach Photography
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The first edition of the 2013 NAIA National Football Players of the Week were announced Monday by the national office. Bryce Baker of Rocky Mountain (Mont.) was named NAIA Offensive Player of the Week, Zach Hollier of Grand View (Iowa) received NAIA Defensive Player of the Week and Zach Keenan of Benedictine (Kan.) claimed NAIA Special Teams Player of the Week honors. Baker, Hollier and Keenan were chosen for their performances during the week of August 26 – Sept. 1 and were chosen out of a pool of conference and independent award winners.
Baker, a native of Fernley, Nev., led the Battlin’ Bears to a 35-30 upset win over No. 14 Southern Oregon on August 31. The junior quarterback, who is receiving the national offensive weekly honor for the second time, threw for a 2013 NAIA single-game best 517 yards, including three touchdowns in the win. Baker completed 31-of-51 passes (60.7 percent) and was intercepted twice.
Hollier, a sophomore linebacker from Beaumont, Texas, set a career-high with eight tackles, including two tackles for loss and two sacks, in Grand View’s 21-16 victory over NCAA Division I FCS Drake (Iowa). Additionally, Hollier had a key interception in the second half that stalled a Drake offensive series. With the performance, he ranks amongst the top five nationally in forced fumbles (1st), sacks per game (3rd) and total sacks (3rd).
Keenan, a senior kicker from Alton, Ill., connected on field goals of 41, 43 and 44 yards in Benedictine’s dominating 30-9 victory against Briar Cliff (Iowa) on August 31. Additionally, Keenan converted 3-of-3 extra points en route to scoring 12 points on the afternoon. He is second on the Raven’s all-time kickers scoring list with 212 career points – eight points shy of tying the record of 220.
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: Terrance Cobb, Cumberlands (Ky.); Brady Roland, Grand View (Iowa); Malcolm Coleman, Haskell (Kan.); Lamont Wims, Robert Morris (Ill.); Tyler Audsley, Peru State (Neb.); David Chapman, Bacone (Okla.); Kurtis Walls, Valley City State (N.D.); Michael Karls, Midland (Neb.); Billy Pavlock, Webber International (Fla.).
Defensive Nominees: D'Ante Meeking, Oklahoma Baptist; Chase Rettig, Bacone (Okla.); Andrew Jones, Benedictine (Kan.); Brennan Dunklin, Belhaven (Miss.); Matt Miller, Briar Cliff (Iowa); Josh Johnson, Rocky Mountain (Mont.); Austyn Flores, Valley City State (N.D.); Steven Willis, Webber International (Fla.).
Special Teams Nominees: Marcus Kerrigan, William Penn (Iowa); Jarrod Harrington, Campbellsville (Ky.); Rhys Felton, Carroll (Mont.); Thomas Cortez, Valley City State (N.D.); Kirk Zinermon, Midland (Neb.); Anthony Woythal, Webber International (Fla.).
2013 NAIA Football Players of the Week (complete schedule)
Offense: Bryce Baker, Rocky Mountain (Mont.)
Defense: Zach Hollier, Grand View (Iowa)
Special Teams: Zach Keenan, Benedictine (Kan.)