The awards continue to roll in for West Liberty football's Shon Stephens after his four-interception performance in the win over Alderson Broaddus last week. D2Football.com announced today that Stephens has been honored as the National Defensive Player of the Week.
Stephens upped his season total to six interceptions with four on Thursday night. The picks came in one big situation after another with two being made in the endzone and one a 52-yard pick-six to seal the deal late.
The Bakersfield, Calif. native made his first interception of the game on a 3rd-down pass in the endzone to silence the Battlers opening drive of the second quarter. Then again with just under eight minutes to play, Stephens made a diving attempt and hauled in his second pick near midfield.
Alderson Broaddus recovered a fumble with 2:20 to play on the WLU 25-yard line and only trailed by six. Not to worry, Stephens was right there on the first play after the turnover to take it right back on a lofted pass into the endzone along the AB sideline.
The Battlers were able to get another opportunity late, but yet again Stephens halted that. This time a 52-yard pick-six sealed the deal for the West Liberty win.
Four interceptions set a Mountain East Conference single-game record and were the most by an NCAA D2 player since SW Minnesota State defensive back J.D. Jackson-Hanchett picked off 4 passes in a 51-35 victory at Minnesota State-Moorhead on Sept. 7, 2017.
The junior defensive back was recognized on Monday as the Mountain East Conference Defensive Player of the Week.
Stephens and the Hilltoppers will travel to Notre Dame College this Saturday for a 12 noon kickoff against the Falcons.