PERKINSTON — Mississippi Gulf Coast's Jackie Matthews has won NJCAA Defensive Player of the Week honors after his highlight-packed game in the Bulldogs' win over then-No. 11 Co-Lin.
"It's big for me and my team, knowing all the hard work we've put in," he said. "We go out there every week and get it done."
Matthews, a sophomore defensive back from Pinson, Ala., had both his interceptions in the first half of the 38-20 win. He returned the second 75 yards for a touchdown, making the score 24-0.
His 20-yard return earlier in the game set up another short touchdown drive. Matthews also had five total tackles in the game.
"This award is just a confirmation that hard work pays off," Gulf Coast coach Jack Wright said. "He's been here a year-and-a-half, and he's done everything we've asked him to do as a coaching staff. He's got over a 3.0 GPA. He's been an excellent student and leader for our football team. He's an elite player. Everybody around here has known it for two years, and now the country's finding out.
Gulf Coast moved from fourth to second in the national rankings following the victory. The Bulldogs entertain Southwest on Saturday for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 2 p.m.
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