AFL Week 9 Players of the Week
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).