QU’s Plunkett earns GLVC Defensive Player of the Week after big plays against Chadron State


Quincy University linebacker Peyton Plunkett was named the Great Lakes Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week after returning a fumble 91 yards for a touchdown and setting up another score with an interception last Thursday night against Chadron State. | Matt Schuckman photo

QUINCY — A new number. Same attitude and effort.

Peyton Plunkett’s aggressive approach to playing linebacker for the Quincy University football team is why he is considered a lynchpin of the Hawks’ defense.

It showed in the season-opening 35-34 loss to Chadron State as Plunkett helped the Hawks dig out of a 22-0 hole to take the lead in the fourth quarter. The Palmyra product made two critical plays — a first-half interception that set up a touchdown and a fumble return for a score.

Plunkett, who switched jersey numbers from 42 to 0 this season, also had five tackles, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry, earning Great Lakes Valley Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors along the way.

In the second quarter, with the Eagles facing third and 14, Plunkett picked off Chadron State quarterback Heath Beemiller at the 30-yard line and returned it to the Eagles’ 3-yard line. Hawks quarterback Drake Davis scored on the next play, trimming the deficit to 22-14 with 12:50 to go in the first half.

Plunkett’s biggest play came in the fourth quarter. With Chadron State facing third and goal at 1-yard line with the chance to take a two-touchdown lead, Eagles running back Preston Pearson fumble the handoff and Plunkett picked up the loose ball and returned it 91 yards for a touchdown as the Hawks pulled within 29-28 with 10:08 remaining.

Plunkett, who transferred to Quincy from Northwest Missouri State, is in his second season as a starter. He was a second-team All-GLVC selection last season when he led the Hawks with 18 tackles for loss, eight sacks and six forced fumbles.

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