United States Football League
USFL Players of the Week: Johnnie Dixon, Frank Ginda snag Week 8 honors
United States Football League

USFL Players of the Week: Johnnie Dixon, Frank Ginda snag Week 8 honors

Updated Jun. 5, 2023 5:42 p.m. ET

Week 8 of the USFL season is in the books, and several players stepped up in a big way to help their respective teams make a late push for a playoff spot with just two weeks left in the regular season. 

The Houston Gamblers and Birmingham Stallions notched wins on Saturday, while the Memphis Showboats and New Orleans Breakers recorded victories on Sunday.

Who were the players that led the way for their respective teams?

Here's a look at who took home Player of the Week honors from Week 8.


Offensive Player of the Week: New Orleans Breakers WR Johnnie Dixon

Dixon presented problems for the Michigan Panthers' secondary in the Breakers' 24-20 win Sunday. He recorded nine receptions for 136 yards and two touchdowns, consistently helping New Orleans move the ball down the field.

After recording just one reception in the first quarter, Dixon was busy in the second quarter. On the Breakers' second drive of the quarter, Dixon made a 9-yard grab on second-and-19 that helped set up a first down. Six plays later, Dixon found the end zone when McLeod Bethel-Thompson threw a dart to him for a touchdown. 

Dixon made two more big grabs on the following drive. He turned a short pass into a 20-yard gain, then, on the following play, Dixon made a back shoulder grab along the sideline and stayed inbounds before turning upfield for a 36-yard touchdown to give the Breakers a 21-0 lead late in the first half.

While Dixon's two touchdowns came in the opening half, that didn't stop him for having an impact after halftime. The talented wide receiver recorded three more catches in the game, all of which resulted in first downs.

Johnnie Dixon dominates with 136 receiving yards, two TDs

Johnnie Dixon recorded nine catches for 136 yards and two TDs in the Breakers' win over the Panthers.

Defensive Player of the Week: Michigan Panthers LB Frank Ginda

While the Panthers didn't get enough out of their secondary on Sunday, their front seven made some plays to help keep it close. Ginda recorded 11 total tackles (eight solo) with two tackles for loss, an interception and a pass defended. The linebacker was also a key reason why the Breakers rushed for just 43 yards on 28 carries with the longest run going for six yards.

Ginda's biggest play of the game came on the Breakers' opening drive of the second half. After the Panthers scored 10 points in the final minute of the first half to make it a 21-10 game, Ginda found himself in the right place at the right time. Bethel-Thompson threw a pass that went off of the fingertips of a receiver and right into Ginda's arms for an interception.

Ginda's efforts weren't enough to help the Panthers win, but they were enough to earn special marks from his coach.

"Frank's a very good football player," Panthers coach Mike Nolan told reporters. "He's a very intelligent football player. I think he's good. He's got good ability. He's extremely smart and knows what to anticipate. He seems to be around the ball, which good players always are around the ball. That's what Frank is."

This is the third time Ginda has won Defensive Player of the Week this season, the most by any player since the USFL was relaunched in 2022. 

Special Teams Player of the Week: Memphis Showboats K Alex Kessman

Kessman had a big game in the Showboats' 25-16 win over the New Jersey Generals Sunday. The kicker was responsible for 19 of his team's points, making all six field goals he attempted to go along with his lone extra-point. 

Kessman's field goals didn't necessarily have the greatest difficulty. His longest field goal was a 38-yarder, as he kicked in a sunny, low-wind Tom Benson Hall of Fame Stadium in Canton, Ohio on Sunday.

But Kessman's kicks were clutch. He made three field goals in the fourth quarter, helping put his team in a good spot to hold off the surging Generals.

Memphis Showboats vs. New Jersey Generals Highlights

Alex Kessman made all six of his field goal attempts in the Memphis Showboats' 25-16 win over the New Jersey Generals.
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