Cooley named NAIA Football National Offensive Player of the Week

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A.J. Cooley

A.J. Cooley

Oct. 20, 2008

Kansas City, Mo. - Shorter's A.J. Cooley continues to make his dent in the Hawks' history book today, when after being selected as Mid-South Player of the Week, he was just named NAIA National Football Offensive Player of the Week, for the week of Oct. 6-12. This is the first such award for the young Shorter College football team.

"This should be a team award," said Cooley. "I couldn't do this without the guys making the big blocks for me. We've really worked well together all season and I hope it continues onto these final games."

Cooley, who already became Shorter's all-time leading rusher earlier this season, continued to etch his name in the Hawks' record book when he rushed for 249 yards on 27 carries, breaking his own single-game marks he set this year, and scored four touchdowns to tie the record set by Fabian Daniel in Shorter's inaugural season in 2005.

He also broke his own record for the longest run when, after the Hawks turned in their first goal-line stand of the year stopping the Crusaders inside the Shorter 1-yard line, Cooley broke loose for a 99-yard touchdown run that sealed the win late in the game. In addition to the single-game records, Cooley set the mark for the most rushing yards in a season (986).

"It's amazing to take it 98 yards one week (against Campbellsville), and then 99 yards just two weeks later," said head football coach Phil Jones. "He's a talented kid, with good size and good speed - more importantly though, he's a team player. This is a continuation of what he's been doing all season for us."

Cooley was chosen for the honor out of a pool of conference player of the week performers among 10 conferences and independents.

Shorter plays again on Thursday with short rest, as the visiting Union College Bulldogs visit Barron Stadium for a 7 p.m. evening start. Union is ranked 14th in this week's NAIA Top 25 Coaches Poll.

"We think the early game for the week will be an advantage for us," added Cooley. "We're pretty confident in our ability to go in there and take control."

Shorter College Football
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