Kansas City, Mo. – Saint Xavier University junior linebacker Zach Dolph (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) was named the NAIA Football National Defensive Player of the Week Monday afternoon when the national office announced its weekly awards. Dolph, tallied a season-best 14 total tackles, including eight solo stops, five tackles-for-loss and three sacks in Saint Xavier's 37-7 rout of Langston University (Okla.) this past Saturday. He also added a forced fumble and pass break-up in the effort. Overall, the Cougar defense held Langston to only 139 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers.
Dolph currently leads the team with 32 tackles and ranks fifth in the NAIA in tackles-for-loss (7.5) and eighth in sacks (3.0). It is the first national player of the week honor in any of the three categories (offensive, defensive and special teams) for the football team this season and marks the first time a Saint Xavier University football player has garnered one since week eight of last season when former SXU kicker Tom Lynch earned the NAIA's National Special Teams Player of the Week honor on October 24, 2011. Former standout cornerback Pat Geary was the last Cougar to win the NAIA National Defensive Player of the Week award back on November 8, 2010.
Saint Xavier (3-0 overall) heads to Trinity International University (Ill.) on Saturday, September 22, for a Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) crossover match-up. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. kick-off in Deerfield, Ill.