GLIAC -- The Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) has announced its weekly awards following the eighth Saturday of the 2018 football season. Wayne State junior running back James Hill earned GLIAC Offensive Player of the Week honors, while Ferris State University linebacker Avonte Bell captured GLIAC Defensive Player of the Week recognition along with Grand Valley State senior kicker J.J. McGrath who claimed GLIAC Special Teams Player of the Week accolades.
OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: James Hill - Wayne State
Wayne State junior running back James Hill rushed for 235 yards and four touchdowns as WSU posted a 55-21 victory over Northwood. Hill, who entered the contest with 300 rushing yards on the season, had a one-yard touchdown run on Wayne State's second possession of the game, then added a 51-yard scoring run early in the second quarter. He notched his third TD run just two minutes into the third period, then he concluded the Warriors scoring with a 27-yard TD run in the final stanza. For the game, he averaged 10.2 yards per carry.
DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Avonte Bell - Ferris State
Ferris State University linebacker Avonte Bell had a career day in leading the second-ranked Bulldogs to a 28-14 win over Saginaw Valley State in a battle between two of the league's top teams at Wickes Memorial Stadium on Saturday in University Center. Bell tallied a team-high 13 stops in the game, including six solo hits, while coming up with two sacks (-13 yards) and 2.5 tackles for loss (-13 yards) in addition to a pass breakup. His play helped the Bulldogs rally from a 14-7 halftime deficit and enabled FSU to shutout the Cardinals' offensive attack in the second half of play. The Bulldog defense gave up only 67 yards rushing and held SVSU to a five-of-16 showing on third down along with 0-of-4 on fourth down as they moved to 8-0 overall and perfect atop the GLIAC. Ferris State had six sacks and forced two interceptions along with a botched punt in the win.
SPECIAL TEAMS PLAYER OF THE WEEK: J.J. McGrath - Grand Valley State
Grand Valley State senior J.J. McGrath played a key role in the Lakers victory over Davenport with two field goal that covered 33 and 25 yards in a driving rain storm and winds over 20 mph. In addition, four of McGrath’s kickoffs were touchbacks. McGrath gave GVSU a 3-0 lead and upped the Lakers’ lead to 13-0 in the third quarter with field goals. J.J. has converted 6-of-7 field goals this season and has 24 touchbacks on 52 kickoffs.
OFFENSE: Luke Ogi (AU), Austin Paritee (GVSU), Jayru Campbell (FSU), Jared Smith (MTU), Jake Mayon (NMU), Haiden Majewski (DU), Nate McCrary (SVSU)
DEFENSE: James Prater Jr. (AU), Isaiah Nkansah (GVSU), Graham Hubbell (MTU), Brad Gustafson (NMU), Jamal Veazey (DU), Michael Alexander (SVSU)
SPECIAL TEAMS: Satchel Denton (AU), Jackson Dieterle (FSU), Michael James (MTU), Marvin White (SVSU)