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NAIA Football Players of the Week No. 6

October 19, 2015
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By Alan Grosbach, Manager of Communications and Sports Information

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Ryan Kasdorf of Morningside (Iowa), Ben Kullos of Dakota State (S.D.) and Abdul Mahdi of Saint Xavier (Ill.) were named NAIA Football National Players of the Week, the national office announced Monday. The trio was chosen for their performances during the week of Oct. 12 – 18 and were selected out of a pool of conference award winners.

National Offensive Player of the Week
Ryan Kasdorf, Morningside (Iowa)
Sr., QB, Newhall, Calif.

• Tied a Morningside single-game record with seven touchdown passes in the Mustangs’ 76-20 win at then-No. 17 Dakota Wesleyan (S.D.) last Saturday.
• The seven scoring plays included passes of 61 and 70 yards to wide receiver Connor Niles.
• Tied the career touchdown passes record with 98 in three seasons at Morningside.
• Completed 20-of-29 (.690) passes for 365 yards.
• Also ran for 22 yards on eight attempts.
• Leads the NAIA in pass efficiency (210), while also ranking sixth in total offense (2,069), and eighth in total offense per game (295.6) and total passing (1,902).
• Second career National Offensive Player of the Week award.
• Last Morningside player to earn national weekly accolades: Brandon Wegher (offensive; Oct. 20, 2014).

National Defensive Player of the Week
Ben Kullos, Dakota State (S.D.)
Sr., LB, Peoria, Ariz.

• Recorded 20 tackles (10 solo), including six tackles for loss, in Dakota State’s 54-21 upset win against then-No. 24 Dickinson State (N.D.) over the weekend.
• Grabbed one of the team’s three interceptions in the contest.
• Saturday marked the fourth time this season that he has tallied at least 20 stops, including a school record 25 tackles against Waldorf (Iowa) Sept. 12.
• Leads the NAIA in tackles for loss (20.5) and tackles per game (17.0).
• Sits 12 tackles away from setting the Dakota State all-time career tackles record. He currently stands with 396.
• First career National Defensive Player of the Week award.

National Special Teams Player of the Week
Abdul Mahdi, Saint Xavier (Ill.)
So., K, Chicago, Ill.

• Connected on both field goal attempts, including a career-long 48-yarder in the Cougars 27-10 win against then-No. 25 St. Ambrose (Iowa).
• Also made a 43-yard attempt.
• Converted 3-of-3 PAT tries.
• Averaged 54.5 yards per kickoff.
• First career National Special Teams Player of the Week award.
• Last Saint Xavier player to earn national weekly accolades: Nick DeBenedetti (offensive; Nov. 10, 2014)

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: Javon Taylor, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.); John Rhode, Saint Xavier (Ill.); Gerrit Groenewold, Arizona Christian; Tanner Staats, Ottawa (Kan.); Tyus Alcorn, Campbellsville (Ky.); Robert Johnson, Dakota State (S.D.); Nick Ferrer, Saint Francis (Ind.); Marcus Lenhardt, College of Idaho; Jarrell Reynolds, Southeastern (Fla.).

Defensive Nominees: Thomas Dexter, Olivet Nazarene (Ill.); Timothy Clayton, Arizona Christian; Eric Price, Marian (Ind.); Joe Lewis, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.); Darien Anderson, Ottawa (Kan.); Albert Trammell, Point (Ga.); Mike Erpelding, Grand View (Iowa); Gary Posten, Eastern Oregon; Trey Barnes, Concordia (Neb.).

Special Teams Nominees: Cristian Casillas, MidAmerica Nazarene (Kan.); Austin Gunderson, Taylor (Ind.); Dakota Wainwright, Montana Western; Nick Powell, Point (Ga.); Will Ward, Campbellsville (Ky.); Chadd Dearen, SAGU (Texas); Lucas Norblom, Valley City State (N.D.); Brevin Ghoram, Friends (Kan.); Kramer Rath, Nebraska Wesleyan.

2015 NAIA Football Players of the Week (complete schedule)
Week 1 (Sept. 14)
Offense: Nick Ferrer, Saint Francis (Ind.)
Defense: Caleb Taylor, Faulkner (Ala.)
Special Teams: Daniel Martinez, Wayland Baptist (Texas)
Week 2 (Sept. 21)
Offense: Tray Boone, Dickinson State (N.D.)
Defense: Dontaye Johnson, Robert Morris (Ill.)
Special Teams: DeMario Fair, Valley City State (N.D.)
Week 3 (Sept. 28)
Offense: Patrick Smith, St. Ambrose (Iowa)
Defense: Josh Woodard, St. Francis (Ill.)
Special Teams: Matt Cotiguala, St. Ambrose (Iowa)
Week 4 (Oct. 5)
Offense: Jacob Russell, Campbellsville (Ky.)
Defense: Spencer Cowherd, Saint Francis (Ind.)
Special Teams: Wendall Williams, Cumberlands (Ky.)
Week 5 (Oct. 12)
Offense: Ryan Thompson, Reinhardt (Ga.)
Defense: Nick Holshoe, Concordia (Mich.)
Special Teams: Chadd Dearen, SAGU (Texas)
Week 6 (Oct. 19)
Offense: Ryan Kasdorf, Morningside (Iowa)
Defense: Ben Kullos, Dakota State (S.D.)
Special Teams: Abdul Mahdi, Saint Xavier (Ill.)