TULSA, OKLA. Jacksonville WR JEFF HUGHLEY has been named Russell Athletic Offensive Player of the Week. Cleveland DB LEVY BROWN and Chicago WR REGGIE GRAY have been named Riddell Defensive Player of the Week and JLS Ironman of the Week, respectively, for Week 16 of the 2011 AFL season. In addition to these three awards, the AFL is also awarding the best catch of the week, the playmaker of the week and the highlight of the week. The Cutters Catch of the Week award winner for Week 16 is WR JEFF HUGHLEY of the Jacksonville Sharks, while the NiFTy Playmaker of the Week is Chicago LB KEVLIN MORRIS. The Spalding Highlight of the Week award winner is Utah DL CAESAR RAYFORD.
RUSSELL ATHLETIC OFFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Hughley (5-8, 175, Averett) broke Shark records in the 66-41 win over in-state rival, Tampa Bay Storm. Hughley hauled in 13 receptions for 210-yards and six touchdowns, all new franchise records. Hughley also recorded 114 kickoff return yards, which put him at 324 all-purpose yards in the game. Hughleys 141.1 yards per game ranks fifth in the AFL. Hughley is also ranked third in the League in kickoff return average (21.0).
RIDDELL DEFENSIVE PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Brown (5-11, 200, Florida A&M) and the Gladiators defense held San Jose to only 21 points in the 82-21 victory. The 61 point differential is the second largest margin of victory in League history, just one point away from tying the top record. Brown contributed 15.5 tackles, a franchise record, and two pass breakups against the SaberCats. In the second quarter, Brown returned a 51-yard interception for a touchdown.
JLS IRONMAN OF THE WEEK
Gray (5-10,175, Western Illinois) notched five receptions for 68 yards and two touchdowns against the Barnstormers defense. One of Grays highlights came in the fourth quarter when he returned a kickoff for a 57-yard touchdown, pushing Chicago to a 48-41 lead. Just five minutes later, Gray returned another kickoff for a touchdown. A field goal in the final two minutes sealed Chicagos victory, 58-48. Gray leads the Rush in receiving yards per game (104.6), scoring (250) and all-purpose yards per game (150.4).
CUTTERS CATCH OF THE WEEK
Hughley (5-8, 175, Averett) hauled in a 23-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Aaron Garcia in the fourth quarter with 13:40 left on the clock. The pass was Aaron Garicas 3,886th career completion and marked a new AFL record, previously held by Andy Kelly. The touchdown gave Jacksonville a 66-34 lead. Hughley finished with 13 receptions for 210-yards and six touchdowns.
NIFTY PLAYMAKER OF THE WEEK
Morris (6-4, 250, Clemson) caused havoc on defense in Chicagos victory over the Iowa Barnstormers, 58-48, on Sunday. Morris, who has started at jack linebacker every game this season, started at cornerback due to team injuries. In only his second start at defensive back in his professional career, he posted 6.5 tackles, a tackle for loss and two interceptions in the win.
SPALDING HIGHLIGHT OF THE WEEK
Rayford (6-7, 265, Washinton) blocked Kansas City kicker Brian Umsteads extra-point attempt with 53 seconds remaining in Friday Nights Arena Football Friday. The blocked kick gave Utah a 61-60 lead and eventual win over the Kansas City Command. Rayford also posted a sack in the win.