BRENTWOOD, Tenn. – Ben Johnson and Jackson Redditt, both of the University of Tennessee at Martin football team, have been recognized by the Ohio Valley Conference for their performances in a 16-7 victory at Eastern Kentucky on Saturday.
College Football Performance Awards also announced that Redditt earned Week 12 Honorable Mention Kicker Performer of the Week while junior Tony Bell was named Week 12 Honorable Mention National Linebacker Performer of the Week.
Johnson was named adidas OVC Defensive Player of the Week while Redditt brough home adidas OVC Specialist of the Week. Both players helped lead the Skyhawks to their first-ever win in 12 tries at Roy Kidd Stadium dating back to 1973. The win also clinched yet another winning season, the fifth in the last eight seasons under head coach Jason Simpson.
A 6-2, 235-pound redshirt senior linebacker out of Primm Springs, Tenn., Johnson registered a game-high 11 tackles, an interception and a pass breakup against the Colonels. He also added 0.5 tackles for loss for a defense that conceded just 225 yards of total offense and held Eastern Kentucky to season-lows in points (seven) and rushing yards (80). Johnson’s interception effectively sealed the Skyhawk victory, as he picked off Kyle Romano’s pass and returned it 42 yards late in the fourth quarter.
Johnson currently ranks second in the OVC in tackles (91, 8.3 per game) and fourth in tackles for loss (11.5). He is responsible for 319 career tackles, which ranks eighth all-time in UT Martin program history.
Redditt enjoyed one of the best games of his career on Saturday, drilling three field goals from 38, 51 and 45 yards out while also successfully booting his lone PAT attempt. He opened the game with a pair of field goals in the first quarter, the last of which was his career-long of 51 yards. One of his biggest kicks of the day, however, came in the fourth quarter when his 45-yard attempt split the uprights to make it a two-possession game at 16-7.
The 6-2, 190-pound redshirt sophomore out of Mt. Juliet, Tenn. leads the OVC in PAT percentage (1.000, 31-for-31) while ranking third in field goals (12, 1.09 per game) and eighth in scoring (67 points, 6.1 per game).
Bell tallied seven tackles, 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and a quarterback hurry against Eastern Kentucky on Saturday. The 6-1, 200-pounder out of Memphis currently leads the OVC in sacks (10) and tackles-for-loss (14) while his 72 tackles rank ninth in the league.
UT Martin will look to build its playoff resume this Saturday, Nov. 23 when it squares off against No. 2 Eastern Illinois at Hardy Graham Stadium. Kickoff time is scheduled for 1 p.m.