FORT WAYNE, Ind. – University of Saint Francis defensive lineman Matt Swartz started a new club when the 6-foot, 267-pound nose guard blocked a Concordia University field goal that led to the game-winning touchdown on Saturday night. Swartz is the FIRST USF D-lineman to be named NAIA National Defensive Player of the Week on Monday.
The Snider High School graduate blocked a Wyatt Mast 39-yard game-winning field goal attempt with 7.9 seconds to play leading to a 65-yard touchdown by cornerback Jack Givens, who scooped up the blocked field goal and took it to the house with just two seconds to play for a 34-27 USF victory.
Swartz finished with three sacks for minus-18 yards, four tackles, three solo and a quarterback hurry.
“We came out here, fought through the adversity, and found a way to get the win,” Swartz said after the dramatic finish. “I didn’t see Jack scoop it, but I knew something good was happening because of the explosion of sound,” Swartz recalled. “It’s a great feeling. I thought it was possible to get in there.”
Earlier on Monday afternoon, Swartz was named Mid-States Football Association Mideast League Defensive Player of the Week and Givens was named MSFA MEL Special Teams Player of the Week.
This is the 23rd time in 22 seasons a member of the USF football program has earned an NAIA POTW award, the 10th time USF has won the defensive award.
USF moved up from a tie for No. 8 to No. 7 on Monday in the new NAIA Coaches’ Top 25.