KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Terach Antoine of Tabor (Kan.) is named the NAIA Football National Defensive Player of the Week; Austin Dodge of Southern Oregon is tabbed as the NAIA Football National Offensive Player of the Week and Nu'keese Richardson of Pikeville (Ky.) is recognized as the NAIA Football National Special Teams Player of the Week, the national office announced Monday. The trio was chosen for their performances during the week of Oct. 14 – 20 and each was selected from a pool of conference and independent award winners.
Antoine, a senior defensive end from Fort Pierce, Fla., led then-No. 13 Tabor with 14 total tackles, including nine solo, in a 20-19 victory over then-No. 15 Friends (Kan.) in the NAIA Football Game of the Week. The senior also recorded five tackles for a loss, three of which were sacks, to help the Bluejays hand Friends its first Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference loss of the season. The Bluejays win knots Tabor and Friends, as well as Ottawa (Kan.) and Sterling (Kan.), atop the KCAC at 4-1 with Tabor holding a slight edge with a 6-1 overall record. With his performance, Antoine now leads the Bluejays in total tackles (52), solo tackles (38), tackles for a loss (17) and sacks (4). Nationally, he is among the NAIA leaders in tackles for a loss (2nd, 17), tackles for a loss per game (3rd, 2.4), sacks per game (29th, .6) and total sacks (30th, 4).
Dodge, a junior quarterback from Vancouver, Wash., threw for 469 yards and five touchdowns as the Raiders topped then-No. 18 Montana State-Northern 55-28. The quarterback completed passes to eight different receivers, including two who went for over 150 yards in the contest. This was Dodge’s fifth-straight game with at least five touchdown passes and the Raiders fourth-straight victory after starting the season 0-3. In those wins, the Raiders have recorded a 38-point average margin of victory and Dodge has averaged 461 passing yards and six touchdown passes. After going 0-2 in the Frontier Conference to start the season, Dodge has the Raiders up to third in the league (4-2), just one game behind Carroll (Mont.) and Rocky Mountain (Mont.) (5-1). Dodge currently leads the NAIA in passing yards per game (411.7) and total offense yards per game (416.8) and ranks among the top three nationally in total passing yards (2nd, 2470), passing efficiency (2nd, 166.4) and total offense (2501 yards). With this week’s honor, Dodge becomes the first player to earn multiple Player of the Week awards in 2013. He was also named Player of the Week twice in 2012. Dodge’s acknowledgement also makes Southern Oregon the first program to have had three Players of the Week this season—running back Melvin Mason earned the third honor on Sept. 16 for his career-best performance against NCAA Division I FCS Sacramento State (Calif.). Morningside (Iowa) was the last program to have a least three Players of the Week in a season (2012).
Richardson, a junior from Pahokee, Fla., returned a pair of punts for touchdowns to help secure the Bears 35-24 victory over Bethel (Tenn.). The first, a season-long 76-yard return for Richardson—one yard shy of the Pikeville record, gave the Bears a 28-10 lead in the second quarter. The second, which Richardson took to the house from 44 yards out during the third quarter, proved to be Pikeville’s only score of the second half. Richardson, who also sees time at wide receiver, has one receiving touchdown on the season. The junior ranks among the national leaders in punt return yards per attempt (2nd, 20) and total punt return yards (9th,180). Prior to Pikeville, Richardson spent a season at NCAA Division I Tennessee after being classified as a four-star recruit and being ranked among the top 15 wide receivers in the Class of 2009 by Scout.com (No. 6), Rivals.com (No. 9) and ESPN (No. 13) coming out of high school.
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: Derek Fulton, Grand View (Iowa); Deshawn Weaver, Robert Morris (Ill.); Adam Craig, Cumberlands (Ky.); Brady May, Southwestern (Kan.); Ethan Bray, Peru State (Neb.); Kyle Kuban, Bacone (Okla.); Kyle Kuban, Bacone (Okla.); Ryan Kasdorf, Morningside (Iowa); Derek Elliott, Valley City State (N.D.)
Defensive Nominees: Ryne Diehl, St. Ambrose (Iowa); Weston Hazlehurst, Cumberlands (Ky.); Josh Licht, Dakota State (S.D.); Erik King, Bacone (Okla.); Erik King, Bacone (Okla.); Tyler Karcher, Siena Heights (Mich.); Gary Posten, Eastern Oregon; Leon Jackson, Missouri Valley; Taylor TeKolste, Nebraska Wesleyan
Special Teams Nominees: Austin Manger, Oklahoma Baptist; Andrew Muzljakovich, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Michael Brewer, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.); Dylan Torgerson, Mayville State (N.D.); Chris Mayer, Southwestern (Kan.); Emerson Ueber, Saint Francis (Ind.); Chris Frierson, Morningside (Iowa); Ryan Steska, Rocky Mountain (Mont.)
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.)