Kansas Wesleyan’s Paden Hazuga (JR/San Diego, Calif.) and Zyair Velazquez (SR/San Diego, Calif.) were both named as the KCAC and NAIA Football Conference and National Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week, respectively, for their efforts in KWU’s upset win over then No. 11 ranked Bethel on Saturday.
KWU also found its way back into the NAIA Football FirstDown PlayBook Top 25 Poll on Monday at the No. 24 position. It is the first time the Coyotes have been rated in the Top 25 during the 2020-2021 season. The first poll of the year was released in February.
Hazuga had a huge afternoon catching the ball as the Coyotes upset No. 11 Bethel in North Newton. He had five catches for 160 yards and three touchdowns. His first score got the Coyotes on the board and in the lead early, the second TD catch got the Coyotes back within four and the third sealed the victory, putting KWU up 28-18 at that point in the game. It was a breakout game for Hazuga who had two catches for 32 yards heading into Saturday’s game.
Velazquez was a huge part of an outstanding defensive effort for the Coyotes in the upset of No. 11 Bethel in North Newton on Saturday. Velazquez was a huge part in holding the Threshers to 125 yards of total offense and three points in the second half; and nearly 29 points below their season scoring average of 49.7. He had 10 tackles, including four for loss and cashed in on a half-sack, an ultra-rare thing against Bethel’s triple-option offense.
KWU is 7-2 overall and 4-2 in the KCAC heading into Saturday’s match-up with the Tabor College Bluejays at Wiens Stadium in Hillsboro. Kickoff is slated for 1 p.m.