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2017 NCAC Football Players of the Week

OFFENSIVE DEFENSIVE
 
November 13th
 

Zach Taylor, Oberlin
(Artesia, CA/Buena Park) 

Passing Attempts: 31
Completions: 20
Passing Yards: 434
Passing TDs: 6

Rushing Attempts: 14
Rushing Yards: 116
Rushing TDs: 1

Oberlin sophomore QB Zach Taylor accounted for seven TDs and a school record 550 yards of total offense in the Yeomen’s 63-37 home win over Allegheny. He spearheaded Oberlin’s offense that posted the second-highest single-game total in school history with 651 yards of total offense. He threw for a career-high 434 yards and tied the school record with six TD passes, while also rushing 14 times for 116 yards and an additional score in the win.

 

Kor’Darius Melton, Ohio Wesleyan
(Warner Robins, GA/Houston County) 

Tackles: 14
Solo:
Asst.:
Tackles-For-Loss: 5.0
Sacks: 4.0
Forced Fumbles: 2

Ohio Wesleyan freshman defensive end Kor’Darius Melton had 5.0 tackles-for-loss, which included 4.0 sacks, in the Bishops’ 24-3 at Hiram. Both of Melton’s solo sacks resulted in forced fumbles, which included a strip sack on Hiram’s first offensive play of the second half that led to an OWU score. In total, Melton finished the game with 14 tackles (9 solo, 5 asst.), 5.0 tackles-for-loss, 4.0 sacks and two forced fumbles.

 
November 6th
 

Jake Kennedy, Wittenberg
(Bellefontaine, OH/Bellefontaine)

Passing Attempts: 35
Completions: 24
Passing Yards: 323
Passing TDs: 2

Rushing Attempts: 6
Rushing Yards: 52
Rushing TDs: 1

Wittenberg junior QB Jake Kennedy scored untouched from 45-yards out on the opening play of the game, and the Tigers never looked back en route to earning at least a share of the 2017 NCAC title with a 42-23 home win over Ohio Wesleyan. Kennedy, who finished the game with 52 rushing yards on six carries, also completed 24-of-35 pass attempts for 323 yards, highlighted by a 65-yard scoring strike to senior Bryce Bailey (Pickerington, OH/Columbus Acad.) that all but sealed the victory in the fourth quarter.

 

Von Wooding, Oberlin
(Flushing, OH/The Linsly School) 

Tackles: 15
Solo: 10
Asst. 5
Tackles-For-Loss: 1.5
Interceptions: 1

Oberlin sophomore linebacker Von Wooding was a menace against Hiram all afternoon as he totaled a career-high 15 tackles (10 solo, 5 asst.) in the Yeomen’s 27-14 home win on Saturday. On the game’s first play, he stopped Hiram running back Danny Robinson for a five-yard loss, setting the tone for what was just a 24-yard rushing performance by the NCAC’s second-leading rusher. And, with the game still in the balance in the closing minutes, Wooding snagged his first-career interception at Oberlin’s own five-yard line to seal the victory for the Yeomen.

 
October 30th
 

Jake Lasky, DePauw
(West Lafayette, IN/Harrison) 

Passing Attempts: 21
Completions: 15
Passing Yards: 413
Passing TDs: 5

Rushing Attempts: 15
Rushing Yards: 87

DePauw senior QB Jake Lasky set the program’s single-game record with exactly 500 yards of total offense in the 42-26 home win over Allegheny. He completed 15-of-21 pass attempts for a career-high 413 yards, while also rushing 15 times for 87 additional yards. He also tossed a career-high five TD passes in the win, which included a 73-yarder to classmate Jake Hagan (Indianapolis, IN/Cardinal Ritter) that put the Tigers up 14-6 late in the second quarter. His passer efficiency rating in the game of 305.676 is the fifth-best single-game performance by a Div. III signal caller this season.

  Chandler Ferko, Wittenberg
(Plain City, OH/Jonathan Alder) 

Tackles: 10
Solo: 5
Asst.
Tackles-For-Loss: 3.0
Sacks: 3.0

Wittenberg senior defensive end Chandler Ferko helped the nationally-ranked Tigers stay undefeated on the season with a strong showing in the 21-14 win at Wabash. Ferko finished the game with 10 total tackles (5 solo, 5 asst.), which included 3.0 sacks that total 12 yards in losses. Through the first eight games of the season, the Wittenberg defense has limited opponents to just 89 total points (11.1 ppg).

October 23rd
 

Gary Muntean, Wooster
(Poland, OH/Struthers) 

Passing Attempts: 25
Completions: 14
Passing Yards: 254
Passing TDs: 5

Rushing Attempts: 15
Rushing Yards: 98

Wooster senior QB Gary Muntean turned in a record-setting day in the Scots’ 58-25 win at Hiram. After completing 14-of-25 pass attempts for 254 yards, Muntean tied his own single-game record with five TD passes, making him just the second signal caller in school history with multiple games of five or more TD passes. To go along with his passing totals against Hiram, Muntean also added 15 carries for 98 yards to finish the game with 352 yards of total offense.

Robert Alvarez, Wooster
(Ft. Washington, MD/Riverdale Baptist) 

Tackles: 11
Solo:
Asst. 3
Tackles-For-Loss: 5.5
Sacks: 4.5
Forced Fumble: 1
Fumble Recovery: 1

Wooster sophomore defensive end Robert Alvarez broke the program’s single-game record with 4.5 sacks in the Scots’ 58-25 win at Hiram. Alvarez’s 4.5 sack output is tied for the second-most by a Div III player this season. Alvarez, who finished the game with 11 total tackles (8 solo, 3 asst.), also recovered a fumble for the Scots late in the fourth quarter to help preserve the win.

October 16th
 

Danny Robinson, Hiram
(Labelle, FL/Labelle) 

Rushing Attempts: 23
Rushing Yards: 220
Rushing TDs: 4

Hiram senior running back Danny Robinson led an offensive explosion in the Terriers’ 62-56 victory over Kenyon on Saturday. Robinson posted his second-straight 200-yard rushing game, this time rushing for 220 yards and four touchdowns on just 23 carries. Three of his TD runs went for 30-plus yards, including a 75-yarder late in the fourth quarter that all but sealed the victory for Hiram.

  Brad Brodek, Ohio Wesleyan
(Parma, OH/Valley Forge) 

Tackles: 13
Solo: 5
Asst.
Tackles-For-Loss: 1.0
Sacks: 0.5
Pass Breakups: 1

Ohio Wesleyan senior free safety Brad Brodek spearheaded an outstanding defensive effort in the Bishops’ 16-13 upset win at nationally-ranked Wabash. It was the lowest point total allowed by OWU this season and was also the first time this year that the Wabash offense was held out of the end zone in a game. Brodek finished the game with 13 tackles (5 solo, 8 asst.) and 1.0 tackle-for-loss, which included a half-sack that helped force Wabash into a field goal attempt on its final drive. OWU went on to block the Little Giants’ game-tying field goal attempt on the final play to secure the three-point win.

October 9th
 

Ike James, Wabash
(Lowell, IN/Lowell) 

Rushing Attempts: 22
Rushing Yards: 158
Rushing TDs: 3

Wabash sophomore running back Ike James led the Little Giants’ ground game in a 28-7 home win over Denison with 22 carries for 158 yards and three TD runs of 4-, 4- and 29-yards. He also had a 67-yard scamper on a carry in the fourth quarter that marked Wabash’s longest play from scrimmage this season and also set up the final score of the ball game for the Little Giants.

  Ben Rubel, Ohio Wesleyan
(Toledo, OH/St. John’s)

Tackles: 10 
Solo: 6
Asst. 4

Ohio Wesleyan senior safety Ben Rubel shared the team lead with 10 tackles (6 solo, 4 asst.) in the Bishops’ 23-21 come-from-behind victory at Kenyon on Saturday. Rubel, who also registered a pass breakup in the win, combined on a key fourth-down stop from OWU’s own 15-yard line late in the fourth quarter that gave the Bishops the ball back and set up the 11-play, 85-yard game-winning drive in the final minutes.

October 3rd
 

Alex Victor, Allegheny
(Miami, FL/G. Holmes Braddock) 

Receptions: 4
Receiving Yards: 174
Receiving TDs: 3

Rushing Attempts: 3
Rushing Yards: 17

Allegheny sophomore wide receiver Alex Victor had a big hand in the Gators’ 57-40 win over Hiram, as he accounted for 191 yards of total offense. He did the bulk of his work through the air, hauling in four catches for 174 yards and three TD strikes of 37-, 65- and 67-yards. Victor, who is averaging 27.8 yards per catch this season, now has 14 touchdown catches in just 13 career games with the Gators, which ranks sixth all-time in program history.

   

Jay Mastin, Wittenberg
(Centerville, OH/Centerville) 

Tackles:
Solo: 4
Asst. 3
Interceptions: 2

Wittenberg senior defensive back Jay Mastin helped the Tigers’ defensive unit stymie one of the most prolific scoring offenses in the nation on Saturday night in the 28-12 home win over Denison. Mastin picked off not one, but two passes from Big Red signal callers that entered the game having not thrown an interception all season. In addition, Mastin made seven total tackles in the game, which included four solo stops and three assists.

September 25th
 

Matt Labus, DePauw
(Westfield, IN/Guerin Catholic) 

Completions: 17
Attempts: 22
Passing Yards: 303
Passing TDs: 5

Rushing Attempts: 11
Rushing Yards: 50

DePauw junior QB Matt Labus had a near perfect game through the air in the Tigers’ 51-24 home win over Wooster on Saturday. Labus completed 17-of-22 pass attempts for 303 yards and five TDs, highlighted by a 57-yard TD pass to classmate Andy Hunt (Indianapolis, IN/Heritage Christian) late in the second quarter that put DPU up 31-10. Labus was also a threat on the ground in the game as he racked up 50 yards and 11 total attempts. After posting a 267.96 passing efficiency rating against Wooster, Labus now ranks third in the nation in passing efficiency for the season at 201.3.

  Byshup Rhodes, Wabash
(Taylor, TX/Hutto) 

Tackles: 8 (7 solo, 1 asst.)
Tackles-For-Loss: 3.0
Sacks: 2.0
Forced Fumble: 1

Wabash junior linebacker Byshup Rhodes led the Little Giants’ defensive unit with eight tackles (7 solo, 1 asst.) in its 25-21 Homecoming win over Hiram. Rhodes also tallied 3.0 tackles-for-loss in the four-point victory, which included a pair of sacks that totaled 13 yards of loss. In addition, Rhodes added a forced fumble for the defensive unit that allowed just one score and 187 yards of offense over the final three quarters of play.

September 18th
 

Canaan Gebele, Denison
(Annapolis, MD/Broadneck) 

Completions: 22
Attempts: 30
Passing Yards: 407
Passing TDs: 3

Rushing Attempts: 4
Rushing Yards: 76
Rushing TDs: 1

Denison junior QB Canaan Gebele passed for 407 yards and three TDs, and rushed for 76 yards and another score as the Big Red rolled to a 62-26 win over Allegheny. Gebele was 22-of-40 through the air on the day and gained his 76 yards on the ground on just four carries. His 407 yards passing was the fourth-highest single-game total in program history and a career-high for the junior signal caller. He accounted for eight plays that went for 30-yards or more. He scored on a 79-yard run in the third quarter and added a pair of TD strikes of 72- and 60-yards to junior Malik Webster (Thompson Station, TN/Independence)

  Michael Ford, Wittenberg
(Millersport, OH/Watkins Memorial) 

Tackles: 12 (9 solo, 3 asst.)
Tackles-For-Loss: 1
Sacks: 1
Interceptions: 1
Pass Breakups: 2

Wittenberg junior defensive back Michael Ford showed up in a big way for the Tigers in their 34-0 Homecoming win over Oberlin, recording 12 total tackles (9 solo, 3 asst.), 1.0 sack, one interception and two pass breakups. His interception came early in the fourth quarter in Wittenberg’s own end zone for a touchback, halting a possible scoring drive for Oberlin with the Tigers holding a 21-0 lead. 

September 11th
  Randy Tucker, Hiram
(Twinsburg, OH/Twinsburg) 

Completions: 28
Attempts:
42 
Passing Yards:
369 
Passing TDs:
6

Rushing Attempts:
13
Rushing Yards: 52
Rushing TDs: 2

Junior QB Randy Tucker set a new program standard with six passing touchdowns and eight total scores in Hiram’s 63-41 victory over Earlham. Tucker finished with 431 total yards of offense (369 passing, 52 rushing), lifting Hiram to the most points the team had scored in 102 years. In addition, Tucker completed 28-of-42 pass attempts for 369 yards and the six touchdowns, while not throwing an interception. Finally, Hiram’s 628 yards of total offense in the victory were the most in program history.

Luis Solorzano, Oberlin
(Pleasanton, CA/Choate Rosemary Hall, CT) 

Tackles: 6.0 (4 solo, 2 asst.)
Tackles-For-Loss: 2.0 
Sacks: 2.0
Forced Fumbles: 1
Pass Breakups: 2

Oberlin junior defensive lineman Luis Solorzano has been a menace for opposing offensive linemen this season, and last Saturday in the Yeomen’s 31-10 win over Kenyon was no different as he had six tackles, a forced fumble, two pass break-ups and two sacks that totaled 18 yards of losses. 

September 5th
 

Ike James, Wabash
(Lowell, IN/Lowell)

Rushing Attempts: 43
Rushing Yards: 238
Rushing TDs: 3

Wabash sophomore running back Ike James had a breakout game in his first-career game at Wabash as he accumulated 238 rushing yards and three TDs on 43 total carries in the Little Giants’ 35-26 home win over Albion. With Wabash holding a narrow 14-10 lead at halftime, James opened the third quarter with a pair of TD runs of 7- and 10-yards to extend the lead out to 18. The yardage was the sixth-highest output by a Wabash running back in the 131-year history of the program, while the 43 carries marked the fourth-most in school history. 

 

Freddy Ruiz, Allegheny
(Morristown, NJ/Morristown) 

Tackles: 6 (all solo)
Tackles-For-Loss: 3.0
Sacks: 1.0
Forced Fumbles: 1
Fumble Recoveries: 2

Allegheny senior linebacker Freddy Ruiz led the Gators’ defensive unit its 38-6 season-opening win at Thiel last Thursday night. The veteran tallied six solo tackles and 3.0 tackles-for-loss, which included a five-yard strip sack deep in Thiel territory in the second quarter that resulted in the Gators’ third TD of the game. Ruiz added a second fumble recovery later in the first half, as he helped spearhead a defense that forced three turnovers and allowed just nine first downs and 184 yards of total offense in the season-opening win.