The Valparaiso University football team received recognition from the Pioneer Football League on Sunday following Saturday’s 28-25 victory over rival Butler in the Battle for the Hoosier Helmet at Brown Field. Junior running back Robert Washington (Huntersville, N.C. / East Gaston [Old Dominion]) was named the PFL Offensive Player of the Week, while freshman defensive back Keyon Turner (Chicago, Ill. / Marist) was tabbed PFL co-Defensive Player of the Week.
Washington scored three touchdowns – two rushing and one receiving – to help Valpo to Saturday’s victory. The junior running back enjoyed his second game this season of 100+ rushing yards against the Bulldogs, this time going for 120 to help the Brown & Gold outrush the visitors 220-115. Washington had 26 carries and a long of 21. He added one reception, a 9-yard TD catch. Washington scored three of the team’s four TDs, with his rushing scores coming from 5 yards and 1 yard.
Turner has been involved in a crucial turnover forced by the Valpo defense in each of his three collegiate games. The freshman had a fumble recovery in Week 1 and an interception in Week 2 before snagging an interception on Saturday for one of the key plays of Valpo’s victory. The pick came with 6:09 remaining in the fourth quarter and the Brown & Gold leading 21-17. He made the interception at the Butler 13 and returned it 12 yards to the 1, setting up an insurance score that made it 28-17. The play proved pivotal in the eventual three-point triumph. Turner added five tackles and one pass breakup.
Valpo has won three official PFL honors this season and four total weekly awards counting those handed out by College Sports Madness. This marks Washington’s second honor as he was named College Sports Madness Offensive Player of the Week for his 199-yard rushing performance in Week 1 at Butler. Valpo also picked up a PFL Special Teams Player of the Week in Week 2 courtesy of punter Ben Niesner.
Valpo holds its best record through three games since 2007 and its best league record through three PFL contests since 2003. Valpo has won four of the last five matchups with Butler for the first time since winning seven straight meetings from 1994-2000.
The Brown & Gold will look to make it back-to-back wins on Saturday at 1 p.m. CT at Drake. The game will be broadcast on Bulldogs Vision in addition to the hometown radio call on the Valpo Sports Network. Links to live video, audio and stats will be available on ValpoAthletics.com.