Courtesy of Arena Football League
Tulsa, OK (Sports Network) - Utah Blaze QB Tommy Grady has been named Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week. Tampa Bay Storm DB Jarriet Buie and Arizona Rattlers DB Virgil Gray have been named Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and JLS Ironman of the Week, respectively, for Week 15 of the 2011 AFL season. In addition to these three awards, the AFL is also awarding the best catch of the week, the playmaker of the week and the highlight of the week. The Cutters Catch of the Week award winner for Week 15 is WR Lucas Taylor of the New Orleans VooDoo, while the NiFTy Playmaker of the Week is Milwaukee Mustangs DB Kelvin Rodgers. The Spalding Highlight of the Week award winner is Tulsa Talons DB JC Neal.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Grady (6-7, 245, Utah) tossed 10 touchdowns for the second time this season, helping the Blaze defeat the Power, 81-40. Only two other quarterbacks have thrown for 10 touchdowns in a game this season (Dan Raudabaugh and Brad Banks). Grady leads the AFL in passing average per game (302.9) and total offensive touchdowns (100; 5 rushing, 95 passing). Grady's 95 passing touchdowns is on track to break the League's record of 117 touchdowns (Chris Greisen, 2007).
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Buie (6-3, 250, South Florida) led the Storm's defensive effort that sacked Orlando quarterback Nick Hill seven times. Buie finished the game with six tackles, all for a loss, 4.5 sacks and one forced fumble in Tampa Bay's 44-42 victory over Orlando on NFL Network's "Arena Football Friday." Buie's 4.5 sacks tied the highest single-game total in franchise history with Craig Walls (vs. Den 7/17/87) and is tied for the second best single-game effort in AFL history. Additionally with 6.0 tackles for loss in the game, he now is ranked fifth the AFL with 9.5 tackles for a loss.
JLS IRONMAN OF THE WEEK
Gray (5-10,195, Rhode Island) had a record breaking night in Arizona's winning effort over West Division rival San Jose SaberCats, 64-57. Gray returned two kickoffs for touchdowns, tying the League's single-game record this season. A 58-yard kickoff return touchdown in the second half gave Arizona the lead and tied Gray for the longest kickoff return in AFL history. Gray ended the night with 222 kickoff return yards, six tackles and one pass breakup. The 222 kickoff return yards ranks second highest in the League this season.
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK
Taylor (6-0, 200, Tennessee) grabbed three receptions for 34 yards and one touchdown. Taylor hauled in his award winning catch in the fourth quarter. Taylor extended with one hand while diving for the ball. After hitting the turf, Taylor maintained controlled the football. The catch ultimately led to a touchdown by the VooDoo.
NIFTY PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK
Rodgers (6-1, 182, Minnesota State) slowed down the Jacksonville Sharks' No. 1 scoring offense and top quarterback in the League, Aaron Garcia. Rodgers notched 7.5 tackles, one interception and three pass breakups this weekend against Jacksonville. On special teams, Rodgers tallied 145 kick return yards. In the third quarter, Rodgers returned a kick 57-yards for a touchdown to tie the game, 34-34. The Mustangs were unable to hold off the Sharks as Milwaukee was defeated, 47-62. Rodgers leads the Mustangs in tackles this season with 61.5. In Week 10, Rodgers was named Defensive Player of the Week.
SPALDING HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Neal (6-0, 200, North Carolina State) caught his third interception for a touchdown this season in the 48-42 win over Philadelphia. The interception for a touchdown was his third in back-to-back games. With seven minutes left in the second half, Neal scored the first points of the quarter with a 50-yard interception return, putting the Talons up 13-7. Neal totaled two interceptions and a team-leading 6.5 tackles against the Soul. Neal ranks eighth in the League in tackles with 76.5 this season.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week candidates included: Philadelphia's Syvelle Newton, Jacksonville's Jomo Wilson, Dallas' Dan Raudabaugh, Arizona's Nick Davila, Spokane's Greg Orton, Georgia's Maurice Purify, Tampa Bay's Amarri Jackson and Kansas City's Bradley Chavez.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Week candidates included: Jacksonville's LaRoche Jackson, Tulsa's JC Neal, Dallas' James Bear, Arizona's Vince Hill, Spokane's Jon Williams, Kansas City's Sergio Gilliam, Utah's Alfred Phillips and Georgia's Tracy Belton.
JLS Ironman of the Week candidates included: Philadelphia's Mike Brown, Milwaukee's Kelvin Rodgers, Iowa's Todd Blythe, Arizona's Jason Geathers, Spokane's Antwan Marsh, Cleveland's Dominick Goodman, Utah's Aaron Lesue, New Orleans' Tommy Taggart and Orlando's Josh Bush.
06/21 16:43:41 ET