FOREST, Va. – Guilford College swept both of the Old Dominion Athletic Conference’s (ODAC) weekly football honors Sunday. Junior running back De’Eric Bell (Jackson, Ga./Jackson) earned the league’s Offensive Player of the Week Award and classmate Gibson Ziah (Snellville, Ga./South Gwinnett) claimed the ODAC Defensive Player of the Week honor.
Bell, a 5-6, 205-pound running back, set school records for rushing yards and rushing touchdowns in one of the greatest individual performances in Guilford’s 110-year history. He carried a career-high 29 times for 295 yards and four touchdowns to help the Quakers past visiting Methodist University, 47-32. Bell, who scored one touchdown in each quarter, had a personal-best 190 yards and two scores by halftime. In the final seconds of the third quarter, he got loose for a 91-yard scoring run, the second-longest running play from scrimmage in school history. His 295 yards is the highest total in NCAA football this season and ranks fifth all-time in ODAC history.
Bell also caught two passes and returned two punts. He finished with 305 all-purpose yards the third-highest figure in NCAA Division III this year and the second-highest total in school history. His four rushing scores stand fourth in ODAC history and match the school standard set by Bob Jamieson ’33 in 1932.
After two games, Bell has 420 rushing yards and six touchdowns, both tops in Division III. He averages 210 yards per games, second-best in the nation, and 10.0 yards per carry, Division III’s fourth-highest total. Bell also sits fourth national in scoring with 18.0 points per game.
Ziah set a career high for tackles for the second straight week by making 10 stops (4 solo) in the victory over Methodist. He had two tackles for loss and forced a fumble for the second straight week. Guilford recovered the ball he jarred loose and it led to Guilford’s final touchdown of the first half and a 24-0 lead at intermission.
Ziah ranks second on the team and eighth in the ODAC with nine tackles per game. His 2.3 tackles per loss per outing mark the league’s highest average and sits 43rd in NCAA Division III. Ziah is 26th nationally with 1.5 sacks per game.
Coach Chris Rusiewicz’s Quakers (2-0) visit Averett University (1-1) September 17 at 6:00 p.m.