UPike’s Romon Morris has been named the NAIA National Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the win over Kentucky Christian University.
Here is the release from the University of Pikeville:
Not long after learning he was the Mid-South Conference Defensive Player of the Week, Romon Morris of the University of Pikeville football team added national player of the week honors to his resume as well, NAIA officials announced on Monday.
Morris is the first UPIKE player to earn the national award since Nu’Keese Richardson earned it for special teams play in 2013. The last Bear to be named NAIA Defensive Player of the Week was Demitri Travis in 2011.
The Louisville native was locked in on coverage in the 70-28 win, snagging three interceptions, of which two were returned for touchdowns. The first, which was returned 30 yards, helped the Bears build a 21-7 lead just before halftime, but he was saving his best for the second half.
With his team up 49-14, Morris added to the cushion by picking off a Jakwon Roberts pass five yards deep in the end zone and returning it the full 100 yards for a touchdown. It’s the longest interception return for a score in program history, topping the previous best of 81 yards.
At the start of the fourth quarter, Morris nearly added a third score, but his interception return was stopped 14-yards shy of the end zone. The three interceptions in a game ties UPIKE’s program record and the 70 points scored, of which Morris accounted for 12, are a new high for the Bears.
Morris also had two solo tackles in the game, including one for a one-yard loss when he sniffed out a screen pass and pushed the KCU receiver back.
After the big performance, Morris is just two interceptions shy of matching Antwan Marsh’s program record for picks in a career of 11. March reached that number while playing from 2003-05.
Up next for UPIKE is the rare Friday night game, when it hosts Ave Maria (Fla.) at 7 p.m. ET at the Hambley Athletic Complex.