Dellovade earns MVFC top defensive honors

Dellovade recorded his first-career interception against the Jackrabbits

Armand Dellovade celebrates after grabbing his first-career INT in the Penguins win over SDSU Saturday night.

YOUNGSTOWN, OH (WYTV)-This week’s Missouri Valley Football Conference players of the week include WR Jaelon Acklin and LB Brett Taylor of Western Illinois; LB Armand Dellovade of Youngstown State; RS Deion Holliman of Missouri State; and FS Suni Lane of UNI.

Offense
WR Jaelon Acklin, Western Illinois
6-2, 190, Sr., Mountain View (Mo.) Liberty
Acklin set school single-game records with an extraordinary 19 catches for 343 yards in Saturday’s game against South Dakota. The yardage set an MVFC record and is the fourth-most of any player in a single-game in FCS history, while his 19 catches are tied for the 11th-most in a single-game in FCS history. Acklin also scored three touchdowns, one shy of matching a program record. In the fourth quarter alone, Acklin registered 12 catches for 172 yards and two touchdowns. Twelve catches was the fourth-most catches in a single-game in Western Illinois history until Acklin’s performance on Saturday. Acklin’s 343 all-purpose yards are also the fourth-most in a single game in program history.

Co-Defense
LB Brett Taylor, Western Illinois
6-2, 230, Sr., Macomb (Ill.) High
Taylor matched NFL great Rodney Harrison’s school-record (at Western Kentucky, 1993) with 28 tackles on Saturday against South Dakota. That figure ranks as the fifth-most in MVFC history. Taylor recorded 18 assisted tackles, the second-most in any game in program history.

LB Armand Dellovade, Youngstown State
6-0, 215, Jr. Imperial (Pa.) West Allegheny
Dellovade had one of the best games in his stellar YSU career in the Penguins’ 19-7 win over South Dakota State. Amazingly, he played just 37 plays, which was all the offensive snaps by SDSU in the contest. And Dellovade made a big impact. In a 14-7 contest, Dellovade tackled Daniel Mikey in the end zone for a safety to give YSU a 16-7 lead in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Dellovade intercepted a Taryn Christian pass at the Penguins’ 19-yard line to end an SDSU drive with 8:38 left. YSU then was able to end the game with an 8:38 drive. Overall he four total tackles, including three solo stops. The INT was the first of his YSU career.

Special Teams
RS Deion Holliman, Missouri State
5-9, 192, Sr., Camden (Ark.) Fairview High
Holliman delivered yet another record-breaking afternoon in the Bears’ setback at North Dakota State, piling up 221 kickoff return yards to eclipse not only Tony Gilbert’s MSU all-time mark of 2,219 career kickoff return yards but also Carlos Anderson’s Valley record of 2,318. Holliman, whose 221 yards on the day is second in school history only to his 238-yard performance at SIU in 2015, logged his longest kickoff return of the year—a 32-yarder—early in the contest, then eclipsed Gilbert’s 28-year-old mark with a 25-yard return in the second period. He also turned in a 14-yard punt return to total 250 all-purpose yards, good for the 12th-best figure in program history.

Newcomer
FS Suni Lane, UNI
6-3, 203, Fr., Bettendorf (Iowa) High
True freshman Suni Lane made a timely fumble recovery late in the fourth quarter to help hold off Southern Illinois on Saturday night. The free safety made four solo tackles and assisted on three to total seven for the night. His fumble recovery was a career first for the freshman, while the start on the Panther defense was his second.

OTHERS NOMINATED
Offense
TB Tevin McCaster, Youngstown State — Career-high 35 carries and 183 yards in the Penguins’ 19-7 win over South Dakota State. McCaster had 86 yards in the first half on 14 attempts and 97 yards on 19 second-half carries. He scored on a one-yard run with 10:02 left in the second quarter.

TE Jacquet McClendon, Indiana State — Team-high six receptions for 74 yards against No. 8 Illinois State Saturday in Normal. McClendon’s six catches were more than the rest of the team combined as he continues to cement himself as one of the best targets in the MVFC.

WR Christian Gibbs, Illinois State — Recorded his first 100-yard receiving effort of the season tallying a career-high 189 yards receiving on just five receptions with a pair of long touchdowns (54, 77).

QB Chris Streveler, South Dakota — Had 417 yards of offense and accounted for four touchdowns in leading No. 10 South Dakota to a 38-33 win against No. 16 Western Illinois Saturday in Macomb. Streveler completed 19 of 32 passes for 328 yards, the second-highest total of his collegiate career, and also led USD in rushing with 89 yards.

RB Daquan Isom, Southern Illinois — Averaged 7.9 yards on 16 carries on Saturday against Northern Iowa. Isom had 126 yards on the ground and added another 15 yards receiving in the loss. He ripped off five plays of 14 yards or more, including a 52-yard rush that is the longest play of the season for SIU.

QB Easton Stick, North Dakota State — Was 15 of 21 passing (with two drops) for 220 yards and two touchdowns in North Dakota State’s 38-11 win over Missouri State. He completed passes to six different receivers and went 6 of 7 for 121 yards in the first quarter to build a 14-0 lead.  Stick has zero interceptions in his last 106 passing attempts.

QB Eli Dunne, UNI — Threw for 266 yards and three touchdowns in the road win at Southern. Dunne completed 26 of his 36 attempts, while finding seven different Panther receives on Saturday night. The multi-touchdown game was Dunne’s third of the season and fifth of his career.

Defense
SS Korby Sander, UNI — Sander forced a fumble at 9:37 in the fourth quarter to spark the first of three turnovers for the UNI defense. Sander recorded three solo tackles, with five total on the night, while also breaking up three passes in the secondary.

SS Robbie Grimsley, North Dakota State — Made a game-high 10 tackles in North Dakota State’s 38-11 win over Missouri State.  He assisted on two tackles for loss including a fourth-and-goal stop early in the fourth quarter to preserve a 14-0 lead. Grimsley made his third interception of the season, one of three NDSU picks in the victory.

Kyron Watson, Southern Illinois — Game-high 15 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble, fumble recovery and pass breakup in the loss. After SIU faced a 17-3 halftime deficit, Watson had eight tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, and a forced and recovered a fumble in the second half to give Southern’s offense a chance.

CB Danny Rambo, South Dakota — His first interception of the season ended Western Illinois’ comeback bid and secured a 38-33 win in a battle of unbeatens Saturday in Macomb. In addition to his fourth collegiate pick, Rambo was credited with a team-best eight tackles (7 solo) and three pass breakups.

DE Adam Conley, Illinois State — Recorded a sack, two TFLs, four total tackles and was the beneficiary of a sack/fumble that resulted in the team’s second defensive touchdown of the season. Conley and the Redbird defense held the Sycamores under 200 total yards and forced four turnovers as they improved to 4-0 on the season.

CB Mekhi Ware, Indiana State — Had an explosive interception that he returned 47-yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to put the Sycamores on the scoreboard. Ware was also credited with a pair of pass breakups while making six stops on the night, including five solo tackles.

CB Matt Rush, Missouri State — Recorded a career-high six tackles on the day—all solo stops—and the first sack of his MSU career to help stall a second-half drive deep in Bears territory. The Springfield, Mo., product played a particularly prominent role in MSU’s first-half success, registering four stops to help the Bears hold the FCS’s No. 2 ground attack to just 51 yards.

Special Teams
DB Phillip Powell, South Dakota — Made a diving snag on Western Illinois’ late onside kick attempt to help the Coyotes secure a 38-33 win in a battle of unbeatens Saturday in Macomb. In addition to that play, Powell was credited with four tackles including one on special teams.

RB/PR Steve McShane, Western Illinois — McShane returned a punt for 77 yards on Saturday against South Dakota, the seventh-longest in program history. He also scored a rushing touchdown and made four catches for 27 yards.

P Sam Kuhter, UNI — Averaged 42.7 yards per punt attempt. The senior punter nailed a long of 52 yards, while also pinning two kicks inside the 20. Kuhter punted six times, totaling 256 yards.

Newcomer
LB Tre Hendon, Western Illinois — A redshirt freshman, Hendon made seven tackles, including one for a loss of eight yards, on Saturday against South Dakota.

TB Christian Turner, Youngstown State — Turner had 62 yards rushing on 16 carries and caught three passes for 19 yards in the Penguins 19-7 win over South Dakota State.

CB Mekhi Ware, Indiana State — also nominated at Defense

COURTESY: MISSOURI VALLEY FOOTBALL CONFERENCE