The Valparaiso University football team saw two players earn weekly honors from the Pioneer Football League office following the opening weekend of play, as junior Kellan Hughes (Cicero, Ind./Hamilton Heights) was tabbed the PFL Defensive Player of the Week and junior Jake Simpson (Wyandotte, Mich./Roosevelt) was named the PFL co-Special Teams Player of the Week.
Hughes enjoyed a strong defensive performance against #8 Illinois State, highlighted by a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown late in the second quarter which cut Valpo’s deficit at that point to 14 points. The interception was the fifth of Hughes’ career. The junior also finished second on the team with nine tackles, including six solo stops.
Simpson made his Crusader debut at placekicker on Saturday and made an immediate impact, connecting on a 45-yard field goal in the first quarter. He then hit from 43 yards in the fourth quarter, becoming the first Valpo kicker since 2008 to make a pair of field goals from 40+ yards in the same game. Simpson also converted his lone PAT effort, finishing his debut with seven points.