This week's Missouri Valley Football Conference players of the week are RB Shakir Bell of Indiana State; DE Ben Obaseki of Indiana State; DB Marcus Williams of North Dakota State; LB Evan Frierson of Illinois State; and OC Austin Richard of North Dakota State.
Offensive Player of the Week
RB Shakir Bell, Indiana State
5-8, 185, So., Indianapolis (Ind.) Warren Central High
Bell racked up 213 yards and three touchdowns on 21 carries against Western Illinois on Saturday, his third game of at least 200 rushing yards this season. Bell pushed his season total for rushing yards to 1,125 after seven games played, becoming the quickest Sycamore to reach the 1,000-yard milestone in a season. He busted touchdowns runs of 51 and 47 yards in the fourth quarter. For the season, Bell is averaging 160.7 yards per game and 9.1 yards per carry.
Defensive Player of the Week
DE Ben Obaseki, Indiana State
6-3, 260, Jr., Washington (Ind.) High
Obaseki had 22 tackles (seven solo, 15 assisted) with five tackles for loss and a trio of sacks against Western Illinois. Obaseki fell just three tackles short of tying the school record for single-game stops, set by Quintin Mikell in 1983 and Chris Libaire in 1995. The junior defensive end made three stops as the Leathernecks went for it on fourth down, making one tackle for loss and a pair of sacks to give the ball back to Indiana State. The 22 stops are tied for third most in the league in a single game in the past 10 years, and it's believed the 22 tackles are the most ever by a defensive lineman in a league game. For the season, Obaseki leads the team with 6.5 sacks and 11 tackles for loss while placing third with 54 tackles in 2011.
Special Teams Player of the Week
CB Marcus Williams, North Dakota State
5-11, 186, So., Minneapolis (Minn.) Hopkins High
Williams returned the second half kickoff 90 yards for a touchdown in North Dakota State’s 51-21 win over Missouri State. Williams returned two kickoffs for 113 yards. It was the first NDSU kickoff for a TD since Mike Sigers went the distance at Eastern Washington in the NCAA playoffs last December. Williams added one tackle on defense.
Newcomer of the Week
LB Evan Frierson, Illinois State
6-2, 230, Jr., Washington (D.C.) Univ. of Illinois
Frierson led the way for the Redbird defense that allowed #14 South Dakota just 108 yards of total offense in the team’s 28-3 win Saturday at Hancock Stadium. He set career highs with three sacks and four tackles-for-loss against the Coyotes and finished the game with a team-leading eight tackles, including seven solo stops. Frierson and the rest of the Redbirds allowed just three yards rushing and 10 yards total to USD in the second half and quarterback Dante Warren completed just five passes during the game while being sacked a total of six times.
C Austin Richard, North Dakota State
6-2, 314, Sr., Fargo (N.D.) South High
Richard switched from left guard to center in the 51-21 win over Missouri State. He graded out to 98 percent and had 10 knockdown blocks. He also allowed no QB pressures or sacks. NDSU rushed for 212 yards and had with 428 yards of offense. The Bison controlled the ball for 37:30.