Written by Ashley Jackson, Jacob Clear, Tony Benefield
Images by Jon Bond
The Enemy of the best is the good. If you’re always settling with what’s good, you’ll never be the best. – Jerry Rice
It is always good to strive for greatness in life and even in any sport that you play or that you are involved with. There are teams this week that excelled at being from good to great and that are on their way to playoff contention. Player progression is extremely important in general but even more so towards the end of the season where it all comes together for hit or miss opportunities. The Players Of The Week showed hard work, determination and grit. On the road to be great are our picks for week 8.
Offensive Player Of The Week: Scott Johnson, RB, Las Vegas
Our Offensive Player Of The Week for Week 7 is Las Vegas Fury Tailback Scott Johnson, who was instrumental in Las Vegas’ 36-6 win over the San Diego Mavericks. Johnson, who averages 4.9 Yards Per Carry on the season, was unstoppable in the run game! Carrying his side forward with 223 Yards off of 25 Carries along with an 83 yard carry and 2 Touchdowns. Johnson continues to be a force for the Fury this season. Great effort Mr, Johnson!
Runner Up: Tom Pepper, QB, Vancouver
Our Runner Up for Week 7 is Vancouver Legion Quarterback Tom Pepper, who threw 37 Completions from 45 Attempts for 421 Yards, 3 Touchdowns and 0 Interceptions in Vancouver’s 37-24 win over the Denver Nightwings. Great work Mr. Pepper!
Honorable Mention: Gabriel Manning, WR, Tulsa
The Honorable Mention must go out to Tulsa Desperado’s Wideout Gabriel Manning, who gave it his all in Tulsa’s 45-38 loss to the Mexico City Aztecs. Manning hauled in 11 of 17 targets for 199 Yards and 2 Touchdowns. Keep it up Mr. Manning!
Defensive Player Of The Week: Moose Papineau, FS, Atlanta
A Hat-trick of Interceptions in one game is definitely going to turn heads, and this week it was Moose Papineau getting all of the attention in the Swarms war against the defending champ Vultures this past weekend as his defense was personally responsible for 1/3 of all of Jack Wigmore’s incompletions in the game. Moose was a menace out there, coming down with 2 Pass Defenses, 3 Tackles and 3 INTs, 1 of which he took back to the house for an ATL TD. Captaining his own “Neau-fly zone”, Moose contributed heavily to a victory that put Atlanta back in the post-season conversation as not only a participant, but one that could make a lot of noise. Congratulations Mr. Papineau!
Runner Up: Shaud Allen, SS, Portland
Shaud and his mounting pile of interceptions are once again here in the DPOTW mix. Although his performance didn’t nab him the hardware this week, that’s not to downplay his effectiveness against Josh Miller and the Nightwings aerial attack, as he came down with 2 INTs in addition to his 7 Tackles in their competition this past weekend. Oh, did I mention one of his INTs was immediately followed by a 95 yard dash to paydirt? Yeah – he did that as well. Despite his effort, the Fleet weren’t able to out-maneuver Denver as they broke away from the engagement with a 6-point loss, but Allen and his fellow secondary members fought a great fight against a tough opponent, and his performance is something to be lauded, not down-played. Well done Mr. Allen!
Honorable Mention: Taqwuan Hale, DE, Jacksonville
A name mentioned reverently in the church of Defensive Linemen, Taqwuan Hale has been a problem for opposing Quarterbacks since before I arrived here in Season 10. One of the 4 Horseman of Tallahassee, Hale keeps Quarterbacks honest every season, so it’s only fitting that in last week’s game vs. Vancouver, Hale was the most effective option to deal with QB Tom Pepper on a night where it looked like he was firing on all cylinders en route to a convincing 37-24 win for the Legion. Fighting from the trenches as always, Hale was able to bring down Pepper twice in the contest, but the most impactful stat from the game is that Taqwuan not only caused a fumble, but also recovered said fumble in the game, generating a rare turnover from the DE position. I’m sure, to him, it was just another game… but we don’t have to be humble on his account and this honorable mention, though not the win I’m sure he wanted, should take a little bit of the sting out of the loss. Great work Mr. Hale!
Special Teams Player Of The Week: Giovanni Bolt, FS, Baltimore
The Special Teams Player Of The Week had a fantastic showing despite the loss that his team took. In the battle against the Atlanta Swarm, the Baltimore Vultures lost to Atlanta 31-41 but not before the Special Teams Player Of The Week put on a fantastic performance. He is Mr. Giovanni Bolt, Free Safety for the Baltimore Vultures. Bolt’s excellent performance included 6 Kick Returns for 237 Yards and 1 Kick Return Touchdown for 106 Yards. Bolt found a way to #makeanimpact! Congrats Giovanni!
Runner Up: Otis Boudreax, K, Las Vegas
Mr. Otis Boudreax, kicker for the Las Vegas Fury made 5 of 5 Attempts and his longest kick was 39 Yards. Toutes nos félicitations (congratulations) Otis!
Congrats to all of our awardees!