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Reese, Denney and Willis Earn Week 17 Honors

July 23, 2008 - arenafootball2 (af2) News Release

CHICAGO - Amarillo quarterback/linebacker JULIAN REESE, Arkansas wide receiver CHRIS DENNEY and Green Bay defensive lineman ODELL WILLIS have been named the JLS Ironman, Schutt Offensive Player and ADT Defensive Player of the Week, respectively, for Week 17 of the 2008 season. In addition to these three awards, the Cutters Catch of the Week Award for Week 17 goes to Oklahoma City wide receiver/defensive back FRED SHAW.

JLS IRONMAN OF THE WEEK

Reese (6-2, 215, Indiana St.) had an impressive all-around effort for Amarillo in the team's important, 42-35, Week 17 home victory on Monday night against Lubbock. The af2 veteran signal caller from Indiana State, now in his fourth season, nearly single-handidly carried the Dusters past the Renegades. On offense, Reese completed 21-of-35 passes for 190 yards and five touchdowns without an interception. In addition, he ran the ball seven times for 20 yards. While Reece's offensive exploits were impressive, his recent impact on defense as a jack linebacker has been just as valuable. This past week was a great example. With the game tied at 35-35 with just over a minute to play and Lubbock threatening with a 2nd-and-goal from the Amarillo 4-yard line, Reese recorded a crucial interception (his second of the season) in the end zone to halt a potential go-ahead score by the Renegades. He then turned around and led the Dusters down the field on offense for the game-winning score - a 1-yard touchdown pass to Craig Fulton, Jr. - with just five seconds left. Reese is the first quarterback in league history to receive the Ironman of the Week Award.

SCHUTT OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Denney (6-3, 210, Nebraska-Omaha), an af2 rookie, had another impressive outing in the Twisters' Week 17 game against Bossier-Shreveport. Arkansas saw its seven-game win streak snapped by the BattleWings, 80-69, but the result could not overshadow Denney's individual effort. The former Nebraska-Omaha standout caught 14 passes for an af2 season-high 237 yards with five touchdowns (Week 17 high). Denney, in just 10 games played, leads the af2 in scoring (256 points), points per game (25.6), receptions per game (10), receiving yards per game (141.1) and receiving TDs (41). He has recorded 100+ yards receiving in eight out of 10 games and boasts the two highest single-game receiving totals in the af2 this season (237, 229). This is Denney's first Offensive Player of the Week Award. He is also the second straight Arkansas player in as many weeks to earn the honor (Kyle Rowley - Week 16).

ADT DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Willis (6-2, 245, West Georgia) was a menace on defense for Green Bay in the team's 33-20 home victory in Week 17 against Midwest Division rival Louisville. The rookie defensive lineman from West Georgia imposed his will on the Fire with a 2008 af2 single-game best and team-record five sacks. Two of Willis' sacks resulted in safeties. He also had one forced fumble, one fumble recovery and finished with six total tackles (5 solo, 2 asst) on the night. Willis' sack total also tied the second highest single-game effort in league history behind former Bossier-Shreveport DL Elex Reed's six-sack outing in 2007 against Texas. This is the first league honor of Willis' career. He has six sacks in two games played with the Blizzard and 12.5 overall including his 6.5 recorded in eight games played with Peoria earlier this season.

CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK

Shaw (6-2, 200, Central Oklahoma) is the Week 17 recipient of the Cutters Catch of the Week Award, a weekly honor that emerged in 2006 to highlight the player who makes the best catch of the week. Shaw's catch was an incredible game-winning touchdown grab off a Hail Mary pass from QB Evan Gray in Oklahoma City's 58-57 home win against Tulsa. As time on the clock expired, the third-year player from Central Oklahoma went up high to snatch Gray's pass as it caromed off the rebound net. The catch was Shaw's only reception of the night. On the defensive side he contributed 3.5 tackles (3 solo, 1 asst), one tackle for loss and one pass breakup. The play was so impressive that it earned national TV exposure that night as the No. 9 play on ESPN's SportsCenter Top 10 Plays of the Day.

JLS Ironman of the Week candidates included:

Albany's Vernard Abrams, Green Bay's Robert Garth, South Georgia's P.J. Berry, Tulsa's Jeff Hughley, Bossier-Shreveport's Jason Schule, Spokane's Raul Vijil, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's Larry Kendrick, Lexington's J.T. Haskins, Stockton's Justin Taplin, Central Valley's Jomo Wilson, Rio Grande Valley's Anthony Chambers, Tennessee Valley's Travis Blanchard and Texas' David Kennebrew.

Schutt Offensive Player of the Week candidates included:

Manchester's James Pinkney, Louisville's Lonnell Dewalt, Peoria's Reggie Gray, Oklahoma City's Al Hunt, Bossier-Shreveport's Gary Cooper, Spokane's Nick Davila, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's J.J. Outlaw, Lexington's Eddie Eviston, Stockton's Andy Collins, Rio Grande Valley's Tiger Lyon, Tennessee Valley's Kevin Eakin, Central Valley's Jason Barnes, Corpus Christi's Nathan Fricke and Lubbock's Alvance Robinson.

ADT Defensive Player of the Week candidates included:

Manchester's Dahnel Singfield, South Georgia's Roland Cola, Tulsa's Jamar Ransom, Bossier-Shreveport's Marvin Byrdsong, Spokane's Lee Foliaki, Wilkes-Barre/Scranton's Micheaux Robinson, Lexington's Jamus Martin, Stockton's Ruschard Dodd-Masters, Rio Grande Valley's Chris Canty, Iowa's Tanner Varner, Tennessee Valley's Rico Reese, Corpus Christi's Justin Williams, Central Valley's Wes Borba and Amarillo's Terick Thomas.

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