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AFL Press Release

AFL awards Week 9 Players of the Week

Tuesday May 31, 2016

 Hills, Ross, Morgan Earn Weekly Honors With Standout Performances

LAS VEGAS
(May 31, 2016) – The Arena Football League has announced that Jacksonville’s Joe Hills, Cleveland’s Marvin Ross and Los Angeles’ Donovan Morgan have been named as the Under Armour Offensive Player, Riddell Defensive Player and AFL Playmaker of the Week for Week 9, respectively. In addition to these awards, the AFL has awarded Cleveland’s Quentin Sims the Cutters Catch of the Week, while the AFL Highlight of the Week was awarded to Tampa Bay’s T.T. Toliver. Those clips can be found by following the AFL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@aflarenaball).

UNDER ARMOUR OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Hills (6’4, 220, Tennessee State) set Sharks’ records with his performance this week. The All-Arena standout hauled in 15 catches for 173 yards and a team-record eight receiving touchdowns to lead the Jacksonville Sharks to a 59-56 victory over the rival Orlando Predators (7-2) and earned Under Armour Offensive Player and AFL Playmaker of the Game honors at Amway Center this past weekend. Hills currently is No. 2 in receptions (83) and receiving yards (1,079), while leading the AFL in touchdowns (30) and scoring (180). The Sharks (4-4) will host the Philadelphia Soul (7-2) in a re-match of the 2015 American Conference Championship on Saturday, June 4 at 7 p.m. at Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena on CBS Sports Network.

RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Ross (5’11, 180, Florida A&M) sparked the Gladiators (5-4) defense as they defeated the Philadelphia Soul, 63-49, this past weekend at Quicken Loans Arena. The AFL Rookie had 5.5 total tackles, a forced fumble, three pass breakups and a 19-yard interception return for a touchdown that sealed the victory. On the season, Ross has 47.5 total tackles, four interceptions, 15 pass breakups, 19 passes defended, two forced fumbles and a fumble recovery. Ross and the Gladiators will host the National Conference-leading Arizona Rattlers (6-3) on Friday, June 3 at 7 p.m. on WatchESPN.

J. LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK: Morgan (6’3, 215, Pearl River C.C.) helped lead the LA KISS to a 54-42 victory against the Portland Steel on Saturday at Honda Center. The former Rookie of the Year and perennial All-Arena performer hauled in seven receptions for 100 yards and four touchdowns. Morgan currently leads the KISS with 48 receptions for 624 yards, 21 touchdowns and 138 points in 2016. The six-year veteran and the KISS will host American Conference foe, the Orlando Predators (7-2), this Sunday, June 5 at 6 p.m. ET on WatchESPN.

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK: Sims (6’3, 205, Tennessee Martin) has become a key target for the Gladiators since becoming active in Week 4. The second-year veteran made a spectacular one-handed catch to start the second quarter on a ball that was thrown low and behind him for a 39-yard touchdown. Sims pulled down ten catches for 114 yards and three touchdowns to help Cleveland improve to 5-4 on the season. Not only is it this week’s Cutters catch, but the play made the No. 2 spot on SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays on Saturday night.

AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK: Toliver (6’0, 185, Bethune Cookman) continues to add to his stellar 13-year AFL career. The seasoned-veteran made an amazing 28-yard over the shoulder touchdown grab with three seconds left in the game that proved to be the game-winner and helped the Storm clinch their first win of the season. Toliver hauled in nine catches for 182 yards and two touchdowns in Tampa Bay’s 63-56 win over the Arizona Rattlers (6-3).

Under Armour Offensive Player candidates included: Cleveland’s Arvell Nelson, Los Angeles’ Pete Thomas and Tampa Bay’s T.T. Toliver.

Riddell Defensive Player candidates included: Jacksonville’s Greg Reid, Los Angeles’ Fredrick Obi, Portland’s Robert Hayes and Tampa Bay’s Cortez Stubbs.

J. Lewis Small Playmaker candidates included: Arizona’s Chase Deadder, Cleveland’s Quentin Sims, Jacksonville’s Joe Hills, Portland’s Tyrone Goard and Tampa Bay’s T.T. Toliver.

PREVIOUS WINNERS:
WEEK 1: Orlando’s Randy Hippeard (Offensive), Arizona’s Damien Borel and Luis Vazquez (Co-Defensive), Philadelphia’s Shaun Kauleinamoku (Playmaker), Los Angeles’ Donovan Morgan (Catch), and Cleveland’s Joe Powell (Highlight).
WEEK 2: Jacksonville’s Joe Hills (Offensive), Cleveland’s Joe Powell (Defensive), Arizona’s Rod Windsor (Playmaker), Tampa Bay’s Philip Barnett (Catch), and Orlando’s Kent Richardson (Highlight).
WEEK 3: Arizona’s Nick Davila (Offensive), Los Angeles’ Rayshaun Kizer (Defensive), Philadelphia’s Teddy Jennings (Playmaker), Cleveland’s Brandon Stephens (Catch), and Orlando’s Brandon Thompkins (Highlight).
WEEK 4: Philadelphia’s Dan Raudabaugh (Offensive), Orlando’s Varmah Sonie (Defensive), Arizona’s Maurice Purify (Playmaker), Philadelphia’s Darius Reynolds (Catch), and Cleveland’s Marvin Ross (Highlight).
WEEK 5: Orlando’s Brandon Thompkins (Offensive), Arizona’s Dimetrio Tyson (Defensive), Philadelphia’s Darius Reynolds (Playmaker), Arizona’s Rod Windsor (Catch), and Tampa Bay’s Mike Washington (Highlight)
WEEK 6: Orlando’s Randy Hippeard (Offensive), Los Angeles’ Josh Victorian (Defensive), Cleveland’s Arvell Nelson (Playmaker), Cleveland’s Collin Taylor (Catch) and Philadelphia’s Dwayne Hollis (Highlight)
WEEK 7: Philadelphia’s Dan Raudabaugh (Offensive), Cleveland’s Marvin Ross (Defensive), Tampa Bay’s Jimmy Gordon (Playmaker), Philadelphia’s Darius Reynolds (Catch), and Orlando’s Greg Carr (Highlight).
WEEK 8: Jacksonville’s Tommy Grady (Offensive), Jacksonville’s Greg Reid (Defensive), Cleveland’s Collin Taylor (Playmaker), Arizona’s Joe Matthews (Catch) and Philadelphia’s LaRico Stevenson (Highlight).

ABOUT THE AFL
The Arena Football League enters its 29th Season in 2016. 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 nationally broadcast AFL games each week, culminating with the ArenaBowl on ESPN. For all the latest news and discussion on the Arena Football League, follow the AFL on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram (@aflarenaball).