By Daniel Whitehead
BUENA VISTA, Va. —Following his performance last weekend at NC Wesleyan, Southern Virginia University freshman Justin Gonzales was named the United States Collegiate Athletic Association Special Teams Player of the Week.
The Peoria, Ariz., native returned a blocked field goal attempt 75 yards for a touchdown to put the Knights up, 21-14, with 4:49 remaining in the game. Fellow freshman Grant Darrington came around the corner to block the kick, the ball bounced in Gonzales' direction and he was able to escape the remaining Battling Bishop players to run it all the way back for a touchdown.
It was Gonzales' second blocked field goal returned for a touchdown of the season as he achieved the feat on opening weekend at home against Methodist when he returned it 66 yards for a score.
The accomplishment marked the first time in program history a player has returned a blocked field goal for a touchdown in consecutive games.
"It feels great to help the team and to feel like I'm contributing," Gonzales said. "When good things happen, I know I'm doing my job. Grant Darrington and the defensive line deserve credit for actually blocking the kicks. I'm just lucky the balls have come my way after they're blocked and I just have to pick it up and run with it."
The Knights went on to defeat NC Wesleyan in overtime by a 24-21 score.
Southern Virginia travels to Lynchburg, Va., on Saturday to battle VU-Lynchburg. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m. at Lynchburg's City Stadium.