Week 1 AFL Honors
AFL Press Release
CHICAGO — Philadelphia Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh has been awarded Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week, while Cleveland Gladiators defensive back Joe Phinisee has been awarded Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and Jacksonville Sharks wide receiver Joe Hills has been awarded J. Lewis Small Playmaker of the Week for Week 1 of the 2015 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. The Cutters Catch of the Week has been awarded to Philadelphia Soul wide receiver Ryan McDaniel, while the AFL Highlight of the Week has been awarded to Portland Thunder wide receiver Jamar Howard.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Raudabaugh (6-3, 225, Miami University) was nearly unstoppable in Philadelphia’s 70-63 victory over the Orlando Predators in Week 1. The sixth-year quarterback passed for a League-high 422 yards and eight touchdowns, including the game-winning scoring strike with 12 seconds to play. Raudabaugh also became the 14th player in AFL history to eclipse 400 passing touchdowns in a career last week.
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Phinisee (5-10, 190, Walsh) was seemingly all over the field in Cleveland’s 60-44 victory over theTampa Bay Storm in Week 1. He finished the game with two tackles, a pair of fumble recoveries — one of which was returned for a touchdown — and an interception.
J LEWIS SMALL PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK
Hills (6-5, 215, Tennessee State) made quite the impression in his Jacksonville debut last week, hauling in 11 passes for 100 yards and five touchdowns in the Sharks’ 50-51 loss to the New Orleans VooDoo. Hills has now caught at least one touchdown pass in 36 consecutive games, the longest active streak in Arena Football.
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK
McDaniel (6-3, 200, Samford) hauled in 10 catches for 150 yards and three touchdowns in Week 1; however, he saved the best for last, recording a diving one-handed grab with 12 second remaining in regulation to secure Philadelphia’s 70-63 win over the Orlando Predators. He will receive a Cutters hat and shirt in recognition of the catch.
AFL HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Howard (6-4, 215, Central Missouri) displayed tremendous concentration on his first of three second half touchdown catches in Portland’s 42-37 victory over the LA KISS in Week 1. The third-year pro made a highlight reel grab as he flipped over the back wall of the end zone for a touchdown grab early in the third quarter. Howard finished the game with eight receptions for 114 yards and three scores.
The Arena Football League is also awarding the MVP of the Week, where fans are given the opportunity to select the winner. Candidates include Cleveland Gladiators defensive back Joe Phinisee, Philadelphia Soul quarterback Dan Raudabaugh and Portland Thunder wide receiver Jamar Howard. Fans will have 24 hours to vote on ArenaFootball.com beginning at 1 p.m. ET on Wednesday, April 1. The winner will be announced on Thursday, April 2.