KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Montana Western linebacker Joe Caicedo was named the NAIA national football defensive player of the week on Monday.
Caicedo, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound junior from Darby, returned two fumbles for touchdowns in the Bulldogs' 38-7 win at Rocky Mountain College on Saturday. Caicedo also had 10 tackles, seven solo, in the game.
Western trailed 7-0 in the first quarter before scoring 38 unanswered points against the Battlin' Bears. Caicedo's two touchdowns came within seconds of each other in the third quarter. He scored his first with 3:26 remaining in the third quarter and his second with 2:47 to go.
In addition to Caicedo's national honor, he won the Frontier Conference's award for the second consecutive week. Teammates Kylar Prante and Jason Ferris were the Frontier offensive and special teams players of the week, as well.
Prante, a 5-0, 220-pound junior running back, rushed for a career-best 187 yards and two touchdowns on 29 carries.
Ferris, a 6-3, 220-pound senior linebacker from Dillon, blocked a field goal attempt in the Bulldogs' win. Overall, he recorded 11 unassisted tackles, five assisted tackles, one sack and four tackles-for-loss.
Western, which is 3-0 this season and ranked 19th in the latest NAIA top 25 poll, hosts Eastern Oregon in its Homecoming game at 1 p.m. on Sept. 28.