Kansas City, Mo. – Leading a defensive effort that kept No. 2 ranked and defending national champion Marian University (Ind.) from scoring after halftime, Saint Xavier University senior linebacker Zach Dolph (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) was named both the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League Defensive Player of the Week and the NAIA Football National Defensive Player of the Week when the awards were released Monday afternoon. Coincidentally, the last time a SXU football player earned national player of the week recognition was Dolph nearly one year ago when he earned the same award following a stellar performance in the Cougars' 37-7 victory over Langston University (Okla.).
Dolph tallied a game-best 15 total tackles (nine solos) in the 31-24 overtime victory over the visiting Knights, while also posting 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and a pass break-up. He also contributed on the sack that forced a fumble by the Marian quarterback and ended the game in overtime. The Knights had a 24-10 halftime lead over the Cougars before Dolph helped propel a defensive effort that gave up just 153 yards of total offense after the break. Dolph appears to be picking up right where he left off last season when he set a new SXU record with 128 total tackles in a season.
Saint Xavier (1-0 overall) heads to Indianapolis on Saturday, September 14, to take on NCAA Division II foe University of Indianapolis. The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. (eastern) kickoff at Key Stadium.