Peru State senior football player Jordan Willis (Denver) was recently named as the Most Valuable Defensive Player (MVP) in the inaugural NAIA Senior Football Classic.
The Classic was hosted by the Savannah (Ga.) Sports Council and played in Memorial Stadium in Savannah on December 14.
Willis – a late addition to the Classic roster, along with three Bobcat teammates, played in the contest. He was joined by Luis Constantino (Varzea Grande, Brazil), Mardarius Adams (Lakeland, Fla.), and Victor Hubbard (Corinth, Texas). All four Bobcats were defensive standouts for Peru State. Hubbard played for the East team while Constantino and Adams joined Willis on the West squad.
Bobcat assistant coach Justin Hoffman coached the special teams for the East team. Graduate assistant coach Justin Barnes accompanied the group to Savannah.
During the game, the West team erased an early 14-point deficit as they put up 31 consecutive points and then held on to win 31-28.
The West defense had allowed 14 points to the East in the first eight plays from scrimmage. Then, the West, led by Willis's efforts, allowed no points over the next 52 plays.
Willis was selected as the defensive player of the game as he racked up eight tackles – two for losses, a sack, and a blocked kick. Following the game, Willis noted that all of the NAIA players played with heart to show that the NAIA produces a quality type of football player.
During the game, Adams was credited with a solo tackle, a pass break-up, and a fumble recovery.
The Peru State contingent arrived Wednesday, December 11, for preparation for the Classic. The different teams held team meetings that evening.
Both teams had their initial practices on Thursday which was followed by a banquet. Friday was another day of practice leading up to the game on Saturday.
Hoffman noted it was a great experience for all of the Peru State group. He stated, "The NAIA Senior Classic was a great event and I was excited to see our guys play very well.  I am proud of how well Jordan, Luis, Mardarius and Victor represented Peru State all four days we were in Savannah."
Continuing Hoffman noted, "I am extremely proud of Jordan winning the game's defensive player of the game since I was Jordan's position coach at Peru State. Seeing him receive that honor amongst all that top level NAIA players there was a blessing."
In conclusion, Hoffman added, "I want to thank the Austin Bennett at the NAIA and the Savannah Sports Council for such a great event. Everything was done in a first-class manner."