WO-S grad Phillips earns SLC Defensive Player of the Week for UIW

Published 9:58 am Tuesday, October 23, 2018

University of the Incarnate Word sophomore cornerback and former West Orange-Stark standout Malick Phillips  was named the Southland Conference Defensive Player of the Week, announced the league office Monday. This is the first such award of Phillips’ career. It is also the first player of the week honor for the Cardinals since Oct. 30, 2017 (Desmond Hite)  and the first defensive recognition since Nov. 9, 2015 (Padyn Giebler).

“Malick was a huge part of a great team win on Saturday night,” said UIW Head Coach Eric Morris. “He is one of the best competitors on our team and that showed in every aspect of the game. Not only did he have an interception and a fumble recovery, but he also was extremely physical, which was awesome to see.  I’m proud of the way he played and only expect his play to improve from this time on.”

Phillips, an Orange, Texas, native, was a key part of a Cardinal defense that held No. 6 McNeese to just 222 yards of total offense, 90 yards below its season average in a 45-17 win. On the third play of the game, Phillips set the tone by intercepting a McNeese pass at the Cowboy 27-yard line. Six plays later, the Cardinals took a 7-0 advantage and never looked back.

That interception was just the beginning for Phillips, who was all over the field for UIW on Saturday night. Phillips finished with five tackles, three key pass breakups, and a fumble recovery on special teams that led to another touchdown, helping the Cardinals claim a 28-3 lead.

The Cardinals scored 21 points off turnovers in total, with 14 from Phillips, on a McNeese team that had allowed just 34 points off turnovers over six games in 2018. This victory marks the first Cardinal win over a ranked opponent in UIW history.

The Cardinals are now 4-3 overall but more importantly 4-1 in SLC play.

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