LB Dolph honored after record-setting day
Two days after he put his name into the St. Xavier University football record book, linebacker Zach Dolph also got it attached to a couple of prestigious awards.
The senior was tabbed as the NAIA National Defensive Player of the Week for his role in the Cougars’ 12-6 victory over William Penn University on Oct. 26, and also received that same designation from the Mid-States Football Association, which chose Dolph as the top defender in the Midwest League for that week.
Dolph was in on 23 tackles — five of them solo efforts — versus the Statesman, a single-game defensive performance that eclipsed the 20-tackle ones former SXU linebackers Sean Kenney and Joe Miller both produced on the same day in 2007. In addition, Dolph registered 1 1/2 tackles for loss and a half-sack as the Cougars held William Penn to 199 total yards.
Dolph, who also was selected as the national Player of the Week on Sept. 9 following SXU’s 31-24 come-from-behind overtime triumph against defending national champion Marian University, leads the Cougars in total tackles this season with 94. He is second in solo stops (36), sacks (three), forced fumbles (three) and interceptions (one), and third in tackles for loss (6).
Dolph’s 10.6 tackles-per-game average is 11th overall in the NAIA, while he is 16th in forced-fumbles average.
Also feted by the MSFA as its Special Teams Player of the Week was Spencer Nolen, who kicked 31- and 50-yard field goals, averaged more than 40 yards on seven punts, and also gained 16 yards on a fake punt to keep alive a fourth-quarter drive that resulted in SXU’s lone touchdown versus William Penn.
The NAIA honored Nolen on Sept. 30 after he kicked five field goals in a game, making the Cougars one of only two programs in the country to have three national honorees thus far during the 2013 campaign. Both Nolen and Dolph have been two-time Player of the Week selections in the MSFA.