Photo by Dave Shumway, Rocky Mountain College (Mont.)
KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Bryce Baker of Rocky Mountain (Mont.) has been named the NAIA National Offensive Player of the Week, Dexter Davis of Friends (Kan.) has been tabbed National Defensive Player of the Week and Ty Littzen of Morningside (Iowa) received National Special Teams Player of the Week honors, the national office announced Monday. Baker, Davis and Littzen were chosen for their performances during the week of Sept. 3 - 9 and were chosen out of a pool of conference and independent award winners.
Baker, a sophomore quarterback from Fernley, Nev., keyed a Rocky Mountain offense that racked up a NAIA-best 703 yards of total offense in its 52-30 victory against Southern Oregon on Sept. 8. Baker completed 41-of-52 passes for 544 yards and five touchdowns. He also ran for 36 yards and one score to finish the afternoon with 544 yards of total offense and six total touchdowns. Baker's performance set career-highs and NAIA game-highs in completions, passing yards, passing touchdowns and total yards.
Baker ranks in the top 10 nationally in passing (964), total offense (1,047), passing yards per game (321.3) and total offense per game (349).
Davis, a senior defensive end from Rex, Ga., anchored a Falcon defense in a 36-14 win against Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference rival Saint Mary (Kan.) on Sept. 8. Davis recorded six tackles (five solo), four tackles for loss, an NAIA-best four sacks, and one interception. Additionally, he forced two fumbles as Friends forced four Spire turnovers. As a team, the Falcons held Saint Mary to 294 yards of total offense, including only two yards rushing.
Davis currently leads the NAIA in forced fumbles per game (1) and sacks per game (2), while ranking second in sacks (4) and tackles for loss per game (2.5).
Littzen, a freshman kicker from Fort Dodge, Iowa, connected on field goals of 51 and 45 yards in Morningside's dominating 34-7 victory against then-No. 10 Northwestern (Iowa) on Sept. 8. Additionally, Littzen converted 4-of-4 point after attempts. His 51-yard field goal is the longest for the Mustangs since the NAIA's DakStats leader board was established in 2004 and is only two yards short of Mark Paulsen's Morningside record of 53 yards. He is the third Great Plains Athletic Conference (GPAC) player to receive weekly honors this season.
Littzen is top 10 in PAT kicking percentage (1.00) and scoring (kicking) per game (8.5).
For a complete listing of all the national statistical leaders, click here.
For the complete NAIA Player of the Week calendar, click here.
Offensive Nominees: Ken Eliacin, Valley City State (N.D.); Jimmy Coy, Saint Xavier (Ill.); Zach McClain, Kansas Wesleyan; Joel Nixon, Morningside (Iowa); Tommy Smith, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.); Sam Vossen, Baker (Kan.); Sammuel Fisk, Waldorf (Iowa).
Defensive Nominees: Jacob Ghinazzi, Saint Xavier (Ill.); Josh Downing, Georgetown (Ky.); Dustin Bergmeier, Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.); Jeremy Wallace, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Howard Mcdonald, Eastern Oregon; Silas Lopez, Webber International (Fla.); Tyler Davis, Missouri Valley.
Special Teams Nominees: Andrew Muzljakovich, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Joe Cannon, Tabor (Kan.); Kyle Fox, Marian (Ind.); Bert Brown, Union (Ky.); Craig Anderson, Jamestown (N.D.); Craig Anderson, Jamestown (N.D.); Bryan Williams, Baker (Kan.); Marc David, Eastern Oregon; Mason Prater, Webber International (Fla.).
2012 Football Players of the Week (complete schedule)
Week 1 (Sept. 3):
Offense: Davis Bloemendaal, Northwestern (Iowa)
Defense: Howard McDonald, Eastern Oregon
Special Teams: Jordan Delbaugh, Nebraska Wesleyan
Week 2 (Sept. 10):
Offense: Bryce Baker, Rocky Mountain (Mont.)
Defense: Dexter Davis, Friends (Kan.)
Special Teams: Ty Littzen, Morningside (Iowa)