MITCHELL, S.D. – Dakota Wesleyan University linebacker Anthony Cervantes kicked off his junior season with a bang Saturday night when the Tiger football team took on in-state rival Dakota State University.
The Burbank, Calif., native led the DWU defense in total tackles and tackles for a loss, and also returned an interception for a touchdown to help put the game away in the fourth quarter.
For his big performance and his boost to the Tiger defense, Cervantes has been named the Great Plains Athletic Conference Defensive Player-of-the-Week, it was announced by the league Monday afternoon. This is the first weekly honor for Cervantes, who is in his third season with the Tigers.
Saturday night, Cervantes came out and proved that he can be a leader for the young Dakota Wesleyan defense this season. He led the team with nine total tackles, including four solo tackles, and had a team-high 4.5 tackles for a loss of 22 yards. He also recorded 1.5 sacks for a loss of 16 yards to keep the Trojan offense on its heels all night.
To cap off his performance Saturday night, Cervantes picked off DSU quarterback Brandon Large on the Trojans’ first drive of the fourth quarter and ran it back 25 yards for a touchdown to cap the scoring for Dakota Wesleyan.
In one game this season, Cervantes has already surpassed his total tackles for a loss from the 2011 season. He recorded 34 tackles, including four for a loss, as a sophomore last season.
Cervantes and the Tigers are back in action Saturday, Sept. 15, when they travel to Seward, Neb., to take on Concordia University. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. The game against the Bulldogs marks the first GPAC game of the year for Dakota Wesleyan.