Ashley Jackson, Dax Lewis, Ray Bentley
Banner Image by Andy Hamilton
After a thrilling opening week for the 14th Season of Simulation Football League action, most people’s attention has focused on their upcoming opponents for Week 2. However, we’re not quite done with the first set of games that have just wrapped up. To whit, Ashley Jackson and Dax Lewis have combed through the stats to help bring the recognition that is deserved by exemplary on-field play. It is with great pleasure that we present to you the fruits of their labors: selections for the Players of the Week for Season 14, Week 1! This week, we’ve got a mix of veterans showing the new folks how things are done, rookies upending the usual hierarchy of star-powered kickers, and at least one person looking for his brother in bashing.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
The number one job of an offensive player is to run up the score on their opponents by any means necessary. Week One’s Offensive Player of the Week did just that, with a fantastic performance showcasing his strength, agility, and power. He is Mr. Warren Murry of the Houston Hyenas. Murray had 30 carries for 174 yards and 4 touchdowns, including a 56-yard long run! If he keeps performing like this, he will be a Hall-of-Famer in no time!
Khoury Jones of the Tulsa Desperados and Jamaal Wooding of the Atlanta Swarm are our Week 1 Offensive Honorable Mentions. Khoury Jones had a game winning hail-mary catch that will go down in SFL history as one of the beat catches ever! Coupled with his 7 catches,140 yards, 55 long and 2 TD, Jones will definitely be a force to wrecked with. Meanwhile, Jamaal Wooding went on a tear against the Jacksonville Kings, notching 6 catches for 174 yards and 2 touchdowns – a stat line so nice, you could take it home to your mother. Dang!
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
What do you get when you mix 12 tackles, 3 of which were TFL, 1 pass defended and a forced fumble? You get Vancouver Linebacker Brian Craven as the first Defensive Player of the Week for Season 14. Craven led the Legion in tackles as they left the Big Easy with a blowout victory over the Pharaoh’s 41-16. His 12 tackles were highest on the team, followed by SS Gus Shultz who had 10. The Rookie will look to add to his stats next week against a Charleston Predators offense that only gave up 1 sack and 0 turnovers in their Week 1 win over the London Knights.
Seattle Tyrants SS Cain Vasquez had 15 Tackles, 1 pass defended and an interception, which was plenty evidence for us that he belonged at least as an Honorable Mention. Even though the Tyrants lost handily to Baltimore, who are ranked #1 in the SFL Power Rankings, the 5th year man’s effort was truly noteworthy, and deserving of recognition.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ray Bentley won’t stop crowing about it, so it’s time the whole Beat Team accepted it as truth: Kickers are people too. Except in the case of Wally Herman, of the Carolina Skyhawks, who ascended beyond his humanity to Special Teams Player of the Week on the strength of a 5-for-5 field goal performance, including a bonkers 53-yarder from the rookie! While the game itself was sealed by the now-infamous “Pichler-Six,” without Wally’s steadfast foot the Skyhawks would be looking at a 20-28 performance – reason enough for me to put Mr. Herman as Special Teams Player of the Week!
On the opposite side of the field from Wally stand our two Honorable Mention recipients for Week 1, Charles Ball of Tulsa and Joe Clark Jr. of Mexico City. Both returners were in top form this weekend, with each of them taking it all the way to the house after a kickoff. Charles Ball ended up fielding 8 returns for 269 yards, including his 99-yard long TD, while Joe Clark Jr. fielded 5 for 200 yards, including his 98-yard long TD. Heck of an effort finding the open lanes from these two!