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NAIA Football Players of the Week No. 10 (Nov. 4)

November 04, 2013
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By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Darius Hicks of Morningside (Iowa) is named the NAIA Football National Defensive Player of the Week; Chris Mayer of Southwestern (Kan.) is tabbed as the NAIA Football National Special Teams Player of the Week and Eric Williamson of St. Ambrose (Iowa) is recognized as the NAIA Football National Offensive Player of the Week, the national office announced Monday. The trio was chosen for their performances during the week of Oct. 28 – Nov. 3 and each was selected from a pool of conference and independent award winners.

Hicks, a junior defensive back from Kansas City, Mo., tied a Morningside single-game record with three interceptions in the Mustangs 48-31 win over then-No. 25 Concordia (Neb.). The junior also recorded a pass breakup and two solo tackles in the contest. With the win, the Mustangs (7-0) earned at least a share of the Great Plains Athletic Conference regular-season title. Northwestern (Iowa), Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) and Doane (Neb.) (5-2) are tied for second in the conference with two weeks left to play in the regular season. With this week’s performance, Hicks now leads Morningside in interceptions (3) and ranks 30th nationally in the category.

Mayer, a senior kicker from Tucson, Ariz., tied the longest made field goal in Southwestern history, putting one through the uprights from 50 yards out as time expired at the end of the first half. The kick brought the Moundbuilders to within one at the half (21-20) and initiated Southwestern’s come-from-behind victory. Led by Mayer’s perfect day, with two field goals and two extra points, the Moundbuilders went on to beat Saint Mary (Kan.), 32-29. The win puts Southwestern (4-3) two games back of the leaders (6-1) in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference with two games left on the conference schedule. On the season, Mayer ranks among the NAIA leaders in total field goals (7th, 10), field goals per game (8th, 1.1), total scoring for kickers (8th, 61 points), scoring per game for kickers (13th, 6.8 points), point after attempt kicking percentage (33rd, .939) and field goal kicking percentage (42nd, .625).

Williamson, a senior quarterback from Springfield, Ill., set St. Ambrose career records for completions (593) and total offense (7,555) in the Fighting Bees 65-30 win over then-No. 14 Saint Xavier (Ill.). He also owns the program’s career record for touchdowns (74). In the contest, Williamson amassed 355 passing yards, six passing touchdowns and a team-high 92 yards rushing. His 447 yards of total offense in the matchup fell five yards shy of the St. Ambrose single-game record. With the victory, St. Ambrose (4-1) sits in second place in the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League behind Grand View (Iowa) (5-0), who is No. 3 nationally. Individually, Williamson currently ranks among the top 15 nationally in passing yards per game (3rd, 322.1), total offense (4th, 2867 yards), total offensive yards per game (4th, 358.4), total passing yards (5th, 2577) and pass efficiency (14th, 143).

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: Mark Wright, Jr., Langston (Okla.); Curtis Widener, Culver-Stockton (Mo.); E.j. White, St. Francis (Ill.); Reggie Langford, Sterling (Kan.); Francois Barnaud, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.); Beau Eriksson, Jamestown (N.D.); Beau Eriksson, Jamestown (N.D.); Beau Eriksson, Jamestown (N.D.); Dashawn Smith, Ave Maria (Fla.); Dashawn Smith, Ave Maria (Fla.); Dashawn Smith, Ave Maria (Fla.); Josh Hollingsworth, Faulkner (Ala.); Christopher McGinnis-Parker, Eastern Oregon.

Defensive Nominees: Jamar Wilhite, Marian (Ind.); Travis Ahlgren, Mayville State (N.D.); Brock Messina, Georgetown (Ky.); Ttorbin Harper, Southwestern (Kan.); Darrick Smith, Baker (Kan.); Harry Ford, SAGU (Texas); Bradley Brooks, Jamestown (N.D.); Kurt Joseph, Ave Maria (Fla.); Kurt Joseph, Ave Maria (Fla.); Kurt Joseph, Ave Maria (Fla.); Matt Upham, Carroll (Mont.); Jacob Batterson, William Penn (Iowa).

Special Teams Nominees: Luke Currens, Taylor (Ind.); James Gish, SAGU (Texas); Bryan Williams, Baker (Kan.); Trevor Schroeder, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.); Ryan Benke, Jamestown (N.D.); Ryan Benke, Jamestown (N.D.); Ryan Benke, Jamestown (N.D.); Cortez Barber, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.); Brandon Leon, Ave Maria (Fla.); Brandon Leon, Ave Maria (Fla.); Brandon Leon, Ave Maria (Fla.); Jace Billingsley, Eastern Oregon; Marcus Kerrigan, William Penn (Iowa).

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.)
Week 8 (October 21)
Offense: Austin Dodge, Southern Oregon
Defense: Terach Antoine, Tabor (Kan.)
Special Teams: Nu'keese Richardson, Pikeville (Ky.)
Week 9 (October 28)
Offense: Matt Westerkamp, Robert Morris (Ill.)
Defense: Zach Dolph, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Special Teams: Clarence Clark, Baker (Kan.)
Week 10 (November 4)
Offense: Eric Williamson, St. Ambrose (Iowa)
Defense: Darius Hicks, Morningside (Iowa)
Special Teams: Chris Mayer, Southwestern (Kan.)