HILLSBORO, Ore. – Whitworth University football players swept all three awards in the Northwest Conference after last Saturday's 50-24 season-opening victory at the University of La Verne.
In addition, the Pirates remained 11th in the first regular season D3football.com top-25 poll after there were no upsets or losses among the top 12 schools.
Noah Alejado was selected as the NWC's special teams student-athlete of the week, Zach Hillman as the defensive student-athlete of the week and Leif Ericksen as the offensive student-athlete of the week in football.
A wide receiver who has had to take on kicking duties this season, Alejado (Kapolei, Hawaii) performed very well in his first game. He averaged 39.2 yards per punt (5 punts), including a 55-yard effort. Three were downed inside the 20-yard line. He made all six of his extra points and he averaged 58 yards per kick off.
Hillman (Post Falls, Idaho) had nine of his team-high 10 tackles by halftime, leading a defensive effort that held La Verne to only 109 yards in the first two quarters. Eight of his tackles were solo efforts as Whitworth took a 43-7 lead at the half. He also had a tackle for a seven-yard loss.
Ericksen (Kalispell, Mont.) played only the first two quarters of the game, leading Whitworth to a five-touchdown halftime lead at La Verne. He completed 72.4% (21-29) of his passes for 288 yards with five touchdowns and one interception. His longest pass was a 53-yard touchdown to Andrew Meredith.
Whitworth will get its first bye of the season on Saturday before heading back to Southern California to take on Chapman University on September 21st.