Wide receiver Jesse Schmidt had a great game for the Iowa Barnstormers in Week One in their overtime road victory against the Spokane Shock, and Arena Football League fans have decided that Schmidt's performance was the most valuable in the league.
In a Facebook poll voted on by AFL fans, Schmidt was chosen as the league's Week One MVP after his stellar performance against the Shock, featuring 12 receptions for 157 yards and four touchdowns. He scored a fifth touchdown on the ground. The Barnstormers escaped Spokane with a 69-63 victory in overtime.
Iowa defensive back Cameron McGlenn was also honored by the league for his big game against the Shock, in which he intercepted two passes, recovered a fumble, and led the Barnstormers with nine tackles. McGlenn was named the league's Defensive Player of the Week.
It was a big week for the Barnstormers, as Iowa WR Marco Thomas was the recipient of the league's Catch of the Week after he brought down quarterback JJ Raterink's pass and took it 35 yards to the house in overtime for the game winner. Thomas finished his evening with seven receptions for 80 yards and the touchdown.
The Iowa-Spokane game featured yet another top performer in the league, Shock DB/KR Terrance Sanders, who was named Ironman of the Week for his feats on defense and on special teams. On defense, Sanders registered nine tackles, a pass break-up, and a forced fumble, while on special teams, he totaled 206 return yards on kickoffs and on two missed field goals. With :27 left to play, Sanders returned a missed field goal 54 yards for a touchdown that sent the contest into overtime. His 67 return yards on missed field goals set a Shock franchise record.
San Jose SaberCats quarterback Mark Grieb had an outstanding game against the Arizona Rattlers in Week One as the 'Cats clipped the defending National Conference champions in overtime, 71-70. Grieb hurled the pigskin for 432 yards and a whopping nine touchdowns without an interception in the come-from-behind win. For that performance, Grieb was named the AFL's Offensive Player of the Week.
Another quarterback, Russ Michna of the Chicago Rush, had a pretty darn good game, too. Michna tied a franchise record with eight touchdown passes in his team's game against the Tampa Bay Storm--a 70-48 victory for Chicago. His historic eighth touchdown pass went to WR Reggie Gray with 1:10 left to play, and that play has been named the league's Highlight of the Week.
Michna's Rush teammate, jack linebacker Kelvin Morris, was also busy against the Storm, intercepting two passes and returning them both for defensive touchdowns. He also recovered a fumble, giving him three of the Rush's five takeaways in the game. After giving the Storm fits all evening, Morris was named the AFL's Playmaker of the Week.
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