Cleveland Gladiators quarterback Shane Austin has been awarded Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week, while Jacksonville Sharks defensive back Terrance Smith has been named Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and Cleveland Gladiators wide receiver Collin Taylor has been named J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 13 of the 2014 NET10 Wireless Arena Football League season. In addition to these awards, the AFL is also awarding the Cutters Catch of the Week and AFL Highlight of the Week. Pittsburgh Power wide receiver Tyrone Goard has been awarded the Cutters Catch of the Week, while the AFL Highlight of the Week has been awarded to Jacksonville's Smith.
ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Austin (6-1, 200, Hawaii) accounted for nine total touchdowns in Cleveland's 86-49 victory over the Iowa Barnstormers in Week 13. The second-year pro tied career-highs with seven touchdown passes and two touchdown runs in the game, while improving to 7-1 as a starter in Cleveland.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Smith (6-2, 200, South Carolina State) collected 6.5 tackles, two pass breakups and two interceptions, one of which was returned for the game-winning touchdown in Jacksonville's 34-28 victory over the Spokane Shock in Week 13. Smith leads the Sharks with seven interceptions on the year.
LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK
Taylor (6-1, 200, Indiana) hauled in five passes for 49 yards and three touchdowns in Cleveland's 86-49 victory over Iowa in Week 13. He also saw time at Jack linebacker in the game, recording 1.5 tackles and returning an interception 35 yards to the Barnstormers one-yard line late in the contest. Taylor will be awarded a timepiece crafted by J. Lewis Small for his efforts.
CATCH OF THE WEEK
Goard (6-4, 205, Eastern Kentucky) made an acrobatic touchdown grab while being knocked over the wall in Pittsburgh's 65-26 victory over the New Orleans VooDoo in Week 13. The rookie wideout finished the game with seven catches for 76 yards and five touchdowns. He has scored nine touchdowns in the last two weeks and will receive a Cutters hat and shirt in recognition of his highlight reel catch.
HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Smith (6-2, 200, South Carolina State) picked off a Brian Zbydniewski pass and returned it for a touchdown with minutes to play in Jacksonville's 34-28 victory over the Spokane Shock in Week 13. The pick-six turned out to be the final points and deciding play in the game, securing a much-needed win for the Sharks.
Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week candidates included: Arizona's Nick Davila, Orlando's Bernard Morris, Philadelphia's Derrick Ross, Pittsburgh's Tyrone Goard, San Jose's Nathan Stanley and Spokane's Mike Washington.
Riddell Defensive Player of the Week candidates included: Arizona's Allen Chapman, Cleveland's Willie McGinnis, Orlando's Earl Okine, Pittsburgh's Jake Killeen, San Jose's Clevan Thomas and Tampa Bay's James Harrell.
J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week candidates included: Iowa's Darius Reynolds, Jacksonville's Terrance Smith, LA's Donovan Morgan, Orlando's Anthony Shutt, Philadelphia's Ryan McDaniel, Pittsburgh's Rodney Wright and Portland's Eric Crocker.
The Arena Football League is also awarding the MVP of the Week, where fans are given the opportunity to select the winner. Candidates include Orlando Predators quarterback Bernard Morris, San Jose SaberCats quarterback Nathan Stanley and Tampa Bay Storm quarterback Randy Hippeard. Fans will have 24 hours to vote on ArenaFootball.com beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, June 11. The winner will be announced on Thursday, June 12.
About the AFL
Since its inception in 1987, the Arena Football League has showcased a fast-paced and exciting game to millions of fans in a myriad of markets across the country. The ESPN family of networks and CBS Sports Network will nationally broadcast AFL games each week for the entire 2014 season. The AFL schedule culminates with ArenaBowl XXVII Saturday, August 23, 2014 on ESPN.