On the heels of one of the best performances of the 2011 season by the Northern Illinois defense in NIU’s Mid-American Conference West Division clinching 18-12 victory over Eastern Michigan last Friday, Huskie junior defensive end Sean Progar (Glenview, Ill./Glenbrook South HS) has been named MAC West Defensive Player of the Week, the league office announced Monday.
Progar is the second NIU defender to earn the honor this season and his award marks the seventh time a Northern Illinois player has earned a MAC weekly award this season.
It is the first MAC West Defensive Player of the Week honor of Progar’s career.
Progar made two of the biggest defensive plays of the game for Northern Illinois versus Eastern Michigan. In the second quarter, after an NIU punt pinned EMU at its own one-yard line, Progar tackled Eagles’ back Dominique Sherrer in the end zone for the Huskies’ first safety of the season and a 9-3 NIU lead.
On the Eagles’ last drive, with NIU needing a stop to preserve an 18-12 lead, Progar sacked EMU quarterback Alex Gillett for a 10-yard loss to force Eastern Michigan into a fourth-and-35 desperation last play. His pressure on the previous play also helped force Gillett into the arms of Alan Baxter for a sack.
Progar finished the game with four tackles, three solo, two for losses and the sack. He leads NIU with 5.5 quarterback sacks and five hurries on the year and ranks second on the team in tackles for loss with 10.5.
The Huskie defense limited EMU to 280 yards for the Huskie D’s second-lowest total of the season and did not allow a touchdown until the fourth quarter.
Progar and the Huskies take on Ohio in the 2011 Marathon MAC Championship game at 6 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, at Detroit’s Ford Field. The game will be broadcast on ESPN2. Information on tickets and fan bus packages are available online.