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Players of the Week - No. 10

November 07, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The 10th installment of the 2011 NAIA National Football Players of the Week was announced on Monday by the national office. Dustin Craig of Marian (Ind.) was named NAIA Defensive Player of the Week, Brett Giesen of Kansas Wesleyan was tabbed NAIA Offensive Player of the Week and Sean Murray of St. Francis (Ill.) was selected as NAIA Special Teams Player of the Week for the week of Oct. 31 – Nov. 6. These winners were chosen out of a pool of player of the week performers among 10 conferences and Independents.

Craig, a 6-foot-1, 205 pound senior defensive back was instrumental in the Knights 27-9 upset of No. 1 Saint Xavier (Ill.) on Nov. 5. He led the nation's top defense with a team-high 10 tackles (five solo) and had two crucial interceptions of Jimmy Coy, the conference's top passer. The native of Indianapolis, was part of a defensive unit to limit the Cougars to 276 total yards of offense, well below its 500-yard per-game average entering the game. Saturday’s win earned Marian its first-ever Mid-States Football Association Mideast League championship and first undefeated regular season. His six interceptions on the season rank fifth in the NAIA.

Giesen, a 5-foot-11, 175 pound junior running back posted a career day for the Coyotes in their 38-37 win over McPherson (Kan.). He rushed 32 times for a career-high 256 yards (6.7 ypc). Giesen equaled his career high for touchdowns in a game with four. The native of Laguna Niguel, Calif., established the best single-game rushing yardage mark in the NAIA this season and eclipsed the 1,000-yard mark (1,186) for the first time in his career. He scored the first three touchdowns of the contest and then notched the eventual game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter that broke a 31-31 tie. Giesen ranks third in the NAIA this year in rushing yards per game (118.6) and fourth in all-purpose yards per game (159.8).

Murray, a 5-foot-8, 165 pound freshman placekicker hit a 30-yard field goal in overtime to send the Fighting Saints to a 30-27 victory over NCAA Division I Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) Georgia State in the Georgia Dome. Overall, he was 3-of-4 on field goals, which also included a 31-yarder as time expired in regulation. The native of Phoenix, Ariz., executed a successful on-side kick after St. Francis trimmed its deficit to 27-24 with 1:24 left in regulation. The team overcame a 10-point hole in the final five minutes for the programs first victory over a NCAA Division I FCS opponent. Murray ranks ninth in the NAIA in kick scoring per game (6.9).

Offensive Nominees: Bobby Brenneisen, Quincy (Ill.); Anthony Hubert, St. Francis (Ill.); Jeremiah Saffold, Doane (Neb.); Neal Pawsat, Georgetown (Ky.); Brady Wardlaw, Southern Nazarene (Okla.); Jordan Jackson, Benedictine (Kan.); Kevin Sampson, Eastern Oregon ; Chris Hart, Webber International (Fla.); John van den Raadt, Azusa Pacific (Calif.).

Defensive Nominees: Michael Hicks, Southern Nazarene (Okla.); Colby Henderson, Morningside (Iowa); Justin Vargas, Tabor (Kan.); Wayne Williams, Missouri Valley ; Jacob Batterson, William Penn (Iowa); Darius Skinner, Campbellsville (Ky.); Nick Magrone, Eastern Oregon ; Nate Keller, Webber International (Fla.); Sean Barber, Azusa Pacific (Calif.).

Special Teams Nominees: Tim Donegan, Bethel (Tenn.); Austin Coleman, Saint Francis (Ind.); Steven Lopez, Mayville State (N.D.); Austin Ledy, Southwestern (Kan.); Zach Thomas, Missouri Valley ; Mason Prater, Webber International (Fla.); Tom  Yaremko, Carroll (Mont.); Jordan Delbaugh, Nebraska Wesleyan.

2011 Football Players of the Week (Offense; Defense; Special Teams)
Week 1: Brandon Smith, Northwestern (Iowa); Reece Green, Marian (Ind.); Marcus Bratton, UVa-Wise (Va.)
Week 2: Chris Ware, Eastern Oregon; Vincent Aguilar, Trinity International (Ill.); Levi Cockle, Peru State (Neb.)
Week 3: Josh Hollingsworth, Faulkner (Ala.); Ross Bauman, Saint Francis (Ind.); Terry Stecker, Kansas Wesleyan
Week 4: Trevor Hoskins, Pikeville (Ky.); Demitri Travis, Pikeville (Ky.); Alex Fambrough, Bethany (Kan.)
Week 5: Jimmy Coy, Saint Xavier (Ill.); Nate Collier, Graceland (Iowa); Tom Lynch, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Week 6: E.J. White, St. Francis (Ill.); Eric Sheppard, Marian (Ind.); James McClain, Cumberland (Tenn.)
Week 7: Cameron Fore, Benedictine (Kan.); Mike Siegersma, Carroll (Mont.); Aukkarapong Sribenjakul, Montana Western
Week 8: E.J. White, St. Francis (Ill.); Dantren Anderson, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.); Tom Lynch, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
Week 9: John van den Raadt, Azusa Pacific (Calif.); Cris Basch, Saint Mary (Kan.); Treyton Buresh, Midland (Neb.)
Week 10: Brett Giesen, Kansas Wesleyan; Dustin Craig, Marian (Ind.); Sean Murray, St. Francis (Ill.)