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Morgan, Dukes & Whittaker earn weekly AFL honors
Courtesy of Arena Football League
Tulsa, OK (Sports Network) - Philadelphia WR DONOVAN MORGAN, Tampa Bay LB CLIFF DUKES and Tampa Bay WR HUEY WHITTAKER have been named Russell
Athletic Offensive Player of the Week, Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and JLS Ironman of the Week, respectively, for Week 1 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 1 is DB TANNER VARNER of the Philadelphia Soul, while the NiFTy Playmaker of the Week is New Orleans VooDoo WR/DB PJ BERRY. The Spalding Highlight of the Week award winner is Philadelphia DB MIKE BROWN.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Morgan (6-3, 225, Pearl River C.C.) tied a franchise record with 14 receptions in Philadelphia's victory, 58-52, over Pittsburgh. He finished the game with 191 all-purpose yards and six total touchdowns. Five of those touchdowns and 189 yards came through the air. Morgan also scored on a 2-yard touchdown rush.
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Dukes (6-3, 280, Michigan State) recorded a team-record 4.0 sacks against New Orleans. He also collected 5.0 tackles and a safety in the Storm's 46-40 win. The Storm came away with six sacks in Week 1.
JLS IRONMAN OF THE WEEK
Whittaker (6-5, 215, South Florida) caught 10 balls for 80 yards against the VooDoo. Though the Storm's passing game couldn't find the endzone against New Orleans, Whittaker's presence was felt just the same, as he recorded the sixth-highest reception total in the League.
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK
Varner (6-0, 210, Northern Iowa) came up with an off-the-wall interception in the end zone to stall a Pittsburgh drive late in the first half. He finished the game with two interceptions.
NIFTY PLAYMAKER OF THE GAME
Berry (6-0, 195, Virginia State) led the League in all-purpose yards with 233 in Week 1. Berry scored four total touchdowns: two through the air, one on the ground and one in the return game. Berry's VooDoo fell to the Storm, 40-46, in his efforts.
SPALDING HIGHLIGHT OF THE GAME
Brown (6-0, 170, Charleston Southern) made a 15-yard game-winning interception return for a touchdown to put the Soul ahead 58-52 in overtime against Pittsburgh. He also posted 3.5 tackles on the night.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week candidates included: New Orleans' PJ Berry, San Jose's Mark Grieb, Dallas' Derrick Ross, Arizona's Nick Davila, and Chicago's Russ Michna.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Week candidates included: Philadelphia's Tanner Varner, San Jose's Dwight McLean, Dallas' Chris LeFlore, Arizona's Vince Hill, and Chicago's Jason Simpson.
JLS Ironman of the Week candidates included: Pittsburgh's Joshua Rue, San Jose's Rodney Wright, Arizona's Jason Geathers and Milwaukee's Marcus Everett.
03/15 15:14:16 ET