Jones, Peila, and Thompkins earn weekly honors
Tuesday April 14, 2015
Toliver and Sanders also awarded for weekend’s highlights
CHICAGO – Jacksonville Sharks wide receiver Anthony Jones has been awarded Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week, while Portland Thunder Jack linebacker Bryce Peila has been awarded Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and Orlando Predators wide receiver Brandon Thompkins has been awarded J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 3 of the 2015 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 Tampa Bay Storm wide receiver T.T. Toliver, while the AFL Highlight of the Week has been awarded to Cleveland Gladiators defensive back Terrance Sanders.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Jones (5-11, 195, Louisville) set a new single-game Jacksonville Sharks record with 239 receiving yards in the team’s 52-63 loss to the Philadelphia Soul in Week 3. “Tiger” scored on five of his 13 catches in his return to Philadelphia. The League’s receiving yardage leader has now recorded triple-digit receiving yards in all three games as a Shark this season and hauled in five touchdown receptions in each of the last two games.
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Peila (6-1, 205, Western Oregon) swung the momentum back in Portland’s favor with two third quarter defensive touchdowns in the Thunder’s 47-43 victory over the Spokane Shock in Week 3. The second-year pro recorded his first pick-six of the season to open the second half, returning a Danny Southwick interception 46 yards for a score. On the ensuing possession, Peila scooped up a fumbled snap and found the end zone once again for a three-yard touchdown.
J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK
Thompkins (5-10, 190, Arkansas State) came up big when Orlando needed him most with three game-changing plays in the Predators’ 47-42 win over the New Orleans VooDoo in Week 3. The veteran speedster put the Preds on top with two kick return touchdowns in the second quarter, the first coming on a 51-yard kickoff return to give Orlando the lead, followed by an electrifying 52-yard missed field goal return for a score. Thompkins also made his presence known as a receiver, hauling in a game-clinching 31-yard catch on fourth down with less than 30 seconds to play to preserve the Orlando victory.
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK
Toliver (6-0, 180, Bethune-Cookman) recorded his 1,000th career reception in Tampa Bay’s 27-36 Week 3 loss to the San Jose SaberCats, becoming the 17th player in pro football history and just the fourth in AFL history to reach the milestone. He finished the night with six receptions, bringing his career total to 1,004 and tying Chris Jackson for the third-most in League history. He will receive a Cutters hat and shirt in recognition of the catch.
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Sanders (5-10, 180, Eastern Illinois) brought life back to Quicken Loans Arena with a 50-yard pick-six to close out the first half in Cleveland’s 41-49 loss to the Arizona Rattlers in Week 3. Just as it appeared Arizona was poised to put the dagger in the Gladiators with a three-possession advantage heading into halftime, Sanders stepped up to prevent a Rattlers score, turning it into points and a huge momentum swing for Cleveland.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week candidates included: Arizona’s Nick Davila, LA’s Adrian McPherson, Las Vegas’ J.J. Raterink, Orlando’s Randy Hippeard, Philadelphia’s Dan Raudabaugh, San Jose’s Erik Meyer, and Spokane’s Danny Southwick.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Week candidates included: Cleveland’s Dominic Jones, Las Vegas’ Dwight McLean, Orlando’s Austin Brown, Philadelphia’s James Romain, and San Jose’s Rodney Fritz.
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week candidates included: Arizona’s Rod Windsor, Las Vegas’ Jomo Wilson, Philadelphia’s Ryan McDaniel, Portland’s Bryce Peila, and Tampa Bay’s T.T. Toliver.
The Arena Football League is also awarding the MVP of the Week, where fans are given the opportunity to select the winner. Candidates include Las Vegas Outlaws quarterback J.J. Raterink, Orlando Predators wide receiver Brandon Thompkins 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, April 15. The winner will be announced on Thursday, April 16.
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 2015 season. This season will also be the first with Scott C. Butera leading the way as Commissioner. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVIII Saturday, August 29, 2015 at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN.