NAIA Football Players of the Week - No. 9 (Oct. 28)

NAIA Football Players of the Week - No. 9 (Oct. 28)

By: Sam Knehans, Communications & Sports Information Intern  

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Clarence Clark of Baker (Kan.) is named the NAIA Football National Special Teams Player of the Week; Zach Dolph of Saint Xavier (Ill.) is tabbed as the NAIA Football National Defensive Player of the Week and Matt Westerkamp of Robert Morris (Ill.) 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. 21 – 27 and each was selected from a pool of conference and independent award winners.

Clark, a freshman kicker from Phoenix, Ariz., made two of the biggest kicks in Baker history to seal the Wildcats 13-10 upset victory over then-No. 6 Missouri Valley. Clark nailed a career-long 59-yard field goal to knot the game at 10-10 in the fourth quarter and then put one through the uprights from 52 yards out for the game-winning score in overtime. The freshman, who also sees time at wide receiver, has over 500 all-purpose yards and seven touchdowns on the season. But this week his right foot was the difference, pushing Baker into a three-way tie for second place in the Heart of America Athletic Conference standings (5-1-0). Clark currently ranks among the top 10 nationally in total field goals (5th, 9), total scoring (5th, 93 points), scoring per game (6th, 11.6 points) and field goals per game (6th, 1.1).

Dolph, a senior linebacker from Crest Hill, Ill., set a Saint Xavier single-game record with 23 tackles in the Cougars 12-6 win over William Penn (Iowa). The senior had five solo tackles, 1.5 tackles for a loss and .5 sacks in the victory, leading a Cougar defense that did not allow a touchdown and held William Penn to just 199 yards of total offense. With this week’s victory Saint Xavier moves to second in the Mid-States Football Association Midwest League (3-1) behind Grand View (Iowa) (4-0). On the season, Dolph leads the Cougars in tackles (85) and is among the top three on the team in solo tackles (2nd, 29), tackles for a loss (3rd, 5.5), sacks (2nd, 3), fumbles forced (2nd, 2) and interceptions (2nd, 1). Nationally, Dolph is among the NAIA leaders in tackles per game (11th, 10.6) and fumbles forced per game (16th, .3). With this week’s selection, Dolph becomes the second player to earn multiple Player of the Week awards in 2013. Austin Dodge of Southern Oregon was the first to accomplish the feat, winning his second award on Oct. 21. Dolph’s selection also makes Saint Xavier the second program to have three Players of the Week this season (Southern Oregon). Spencer Nolan earned the third honor on Sept. 30 after tying a Saint Xavier single-game record with five field goals.

Westerkamp, a junior quarterback from Lombard, Ill., completed 21-of-29 passes to lead Robert Morris to a 28-24 upset victory over then-No. 4 Saint Francis (Ind.). The quarterback threw for 177 yards and three touchdowns in the contest, capping the game with a 67-yard scoring drive late in the fourth quarter. On that drive, Westerkamp connected with wide receiver Deshawn Weaver for the game-winning 17-yard touchdown with 33 seconds left on the clock. The victory brings Robert Morris to 2-2 in the Mid-States Football Association Mideast League, keeping the Eagles playoff hopes alive. Westerkamp currently ranks among the NAIA leaders in total passing yards (15th, 1,704), pass efficiency (19th, 139.6), total offense (20th, 1,754 yards), passing yards per game (26th, 189.3) and total offensive yards per game (35th, 194.9).

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.); Kyle Schuck, Morningside (Iowa); Beau Eriksson, Jamestown (N.D.); Stephen Anderson, Trinity International (Ill.); Michael Behr, Ottawa (Kan.); Maverick Lang, Haskell (Kan.); Maverick Lang, Haskell (Kan.); Rome Cotton, Lindsey Wilson (Ky.); Jesse Vaughn, Evangel (Mo.); Derek Elliott, Valley City State (N.D.); Dakota Stonehouse, Carroll (Mont.); Cole Whisenhunt, Dakota State (S.D.); Travis Makauskas, Ave Maria (Fla.).

Defensive Nominees: Marcus Carter, Friends (Kan.); Jeremy Gardner, Cumberlands (Ky.); Jarelle Miller, Jamestown (N.D.); Adam Sauder, Taylor (Ind.); Keshaun Malone, Bacone (Okla.); Adam Novak, Baker (Kan.); Dwanye Fearon, Valley City State (N.D.); Chad John, Dakota State (S.D.); Laurence Calcagno, Southern Oregon; Garret Borcher, Doane (Neb.); Gage Hayes, Ave Maria (Fla.).

Special Teams Nominees: Spencer Nolen, Saint Xavier (Ill.); Rashad Flanders, Mayville State (N.D.); Alex Sigmon, Union (Ky.); Dovi Gamble, Taylor (Ind.); Terry Stecker, Kansas Wesleyan; Marc David, Eastern Oregon; Justin Malleck, Doane (Neb.); Brandon Leon, Ave Maria (Fla.).

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.)

Championship Information

NAIA Football Championship

November 23, 30, Dec. 7, 2019
Football Championship Series
Campus Sites

December 21, 2019
Eddie G. Robinson Stadium
Ruston, La.