Morris, Ruffin and Curry Earn Weekly Honors
Tuesday July 15, 2014
Smith and Carter also awarded for weekend’s highlights
CHICAGO – Orlando Predators quarterback Bernard Morris has been awarded Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week, while Spokane Shock defensive end James Ruffin has been awarded Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and San Jose SaberCats wide receiver Dominique Curry has been awarded J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 18 of the 2014 NET10 Wireless Arena Football League season. In addition to these awards, the AFL is also awarding the Cutters Catch of the Week and AFL Highlight of the Week. The Cutters Catch of the Week has been awarded to New Orleans VooDoo wide receiver Courtney Smith, while the AFL Highlight of the Week has been awarded to Spokane Shock wide receiver Rashaad Carter.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Morris (6-4, 225, Marshall) accounted for nine total touchdowns, including eight through the air, in Orlando’s 66-33 victory over the Iowa Barnstormers in Week 18. Morris finished the night with 232 yards passing and added 46 more on the ground, moving him into ninth place all-time on the AFL’s list of career rushing leaders with 1,198 career rushing yards. It was also his fourth consecutive game with a rushing touchdown.
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Ruffin (6-4, 265, Northern Iowa) recorded 3.5 tackles, two sacks, one pass breakup, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in Spokane’s 73-66 victory over the Arizona Rattlers last week. He has recorded a sack in five consecutive games played and is now 1.5 sacks shy of Joe Sykes’ single-season AFL record of 16, originally set in 2012. He leads the League with 14.5 sacks on the season.
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK
Curry (6-3, 230, California PA) accounted for five total touchdowns in San Jose’s 52-43 victory over the Tampa Bay Storm in Week 18. He hauled in five passes for 49 yards and three scores as a receiver and punched in a pair of touchdowns on the ground as well. He also added two tackles on defense and tacked on three kickoff return yards on special teams. He will be awarded a timepiece crafted by J. Lewis Small for his efforts.
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK
Smith (6-4, 225, South Alabama) flew over the wall to haul in a nine-yard touchdown pass in New Orleans’ 36-35 victory over the Jacksonville Sharks in Week 18. Smith flipped over the boards in the back corner of the end zone, but managed to hang on for a spectacular grab that landed at No. 1 on ESPN SportsCenter’s Top 10 Plays. It was his fifth consecutive game with a touchdown reception. He will receive a Cutters hat and shirt in recognition of the catch.
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Carter (6-2, 210, Tusculum) hauled in a 27-yard game-winning touchdown reception with 10 seconds left in regulation of Spokane’s 73-66 victory over the Arizona Rattlers in Week 18. Carter finished the night with five catches for 54 yards and three touchdowns. He has caught a touchdown pass in each of the last seven games.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week candidates included: Arizona’s Nick Davila, Cleveland’s Dominick Goodman, New Orleans’ Adam Kennedy, Portland’s Jamar Howard and San Jose’s Dominique Curry.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Week candidates included: Cleveland’s Joe Phinisee, Jacksonville’s Micheaux Robinson, Orlando’s Tracy Belton, Portland’s Bryce Peila and San Jose’s Simeon Castille.
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week candidates included: Cleveland’s LaRoche Jackson, New Orleans’ Courtney Smith, Orlando’s Khalil Paden, Portland’s Douglas McNeil III and Spokane’s Terence Moore.
The Arena Football League is also awarding the MVP of the Week, where fans are given the opportunity to select the winner. Candidates include New Orleans defensive back Cameron McGlenn, Orlando Predators defensive back Tracy Belton and Portland Thunder Jack linebacker Bryce Peila. Fans will have 24 hours to vote on ArenaFootball.com beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, July 16. The winner will be announced on Thursday, July 17.
About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2014 season. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVII Saturday, August 23, 2014 on ESPN.