Valpo Football Announces Week 2 Team Honors
The Valparaiso University football program announced its team Players of the Week for Week 2 on Monday.
Senior Ben Niesner (Black Diamond, Wash. / Tahoma [Portland State]) earned the Valpo Special Teams Player of the Week nod, while junior Jaxon Peifer (Normal, Ill. / Normal Community) was named Valpo Defensive Player of the Week and senior Ollie Reese (Franklin, Tenn. / Battle Ground) received team Offensive Player of the Week accolades.
In addition, freshman tight end Liam O’Connell (Lincolnshire, Ill. / Stevenson) received the Scout Team Offensive Player of the Week honor for the second straight week, freshman linebacker Adam Mekky (Mount Prospect, Ill. / Prospect) was named the Scout Team Defensive Player and freshman wide receiver Garner Jones (Brentwood, Tenn. / Brentwood) was named the Scout Special Teams Player of the Week.
Niesner’s team honor came a day after he earned Pioneer Football League Special Teams Player of the Week based on his performance in Saturday’s contest vs. Drake. The Valpo punter averaged 45 yards per punt over eight punts including a pair of 50+ yarders in the team’s home opener. His 54-yard boot in the first quarter was two yards shy of his career high and pinned the Bulldogs inside the 2-yard line. He knocked three of his punts inside the 20. Niesner ranks ninth nationally and leads the PFL with an average of 42.3 yards per punt this season.
Peifer had six tackles including two solos and 0.5 tackles for loss in Saturday’s stellar defensive effort vs. Drake. Peifer’s performance contributed to a noteworthy day for the Valpo defense, which permitted just 211 yards of total offense. That marked the fewest yards of total offense allowed by the Valpo defense in a Pioneer Football League game since 2010. This marks the first time since the year 2000 that Valpo has held the opponent to 17 points or fewer in back-to-back PFL games.
Reese led the team and established career highs in both receptions (8) and receiving yards (86) in Saturday’s game vs. Drake. He accounted for over half of the team’s total receptions during the standout performance. Reese accrued 112 all-purpose yards in the game.
Valpo will be back in action on Saturday at 1 p.m. as instate rival Butler comes to town with the Hoosier Helmet on the line. The game will be available on ESPN+ with links to live video, audio and stats available on ValpoAthletics.com.