CHICAGO – Being named the Outstanding Defensive Player of the Game following a 35-21 victory by No. 4 ranked Saint Xavier University over No. 7 University of the Cumberlands (Ky.) in the NAIA Football Championship Series Quarterfinals was not the only feat achieved by junior linebacker Zach Dolph (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) Saturday. Dolph also set a new school record for tackles in a season surpassing former standouts Mike Lally (2006-09) and Mike Kelly (1993-97). Kelly and Lally both finished with 119 tackles during the 1997 and 2009 seasons, respectively. With his game-leading 15 tackles Saturday against the Patriots, Dolph moved his season tackles total up to 120 (62 solos) on the year.
"Zach is having a tremendous year, all All-American caliber season," said SXU football coach Mike Feminis. "Mike Lally was one of the best, if not the best, defensive players to ever put on a Cougar football uniform and for Zach to pass his tackles total from 2009 goes to show you the type of production he is bringing to our defense. He has been a large part of our success this year."
Dolph has played in all of Saint Xavier's 12 games this season and posted 62 solo stops and 58 assisted tackles to reach his record-breaking total. He also has a shot at setting the single season tackles for losses record as well this year. Dolph currently has 19.0 tackles for losses. Lally currently owns the record with 25.0 tackles for losses during the 2009 campaign.