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Mercedes Tyler Named Pacific Conference Player of the Week (Presented by Commons)

By Derek Fleming, staff writer, WNFC

Saturday’s contest between the San Diego Rebellion and the Las Vegas Silver Stars was an all-out fight from beginning to its highlight-reel double-overtime ending. Throughout the contest, Rebellion linebacker and tight end Mercedes Tyler took every advantage to put her team in the best position to win, earning her the honor of being named Pacific Conference Player of the Week for Week 6.

“Mercedes is the heart and soul of the defense. Her relentless energy, devastating blows, and big play-making ability put her in the running for DPOY,” said Rebellion linebackers coach Darren Edwards. “Every offense has to game plan against her, but she still ends up making momentum-changing plays.”

Tyler earned three blocked kicks in the game, including two blocked field goals and a blocked punt. She also forced a fumble that she recovered and amassed a total of 12 tackles.

“Mercedes is one of the best LBs in the league, her leadership, and passion for the game helps make our defensive front one of the dominant forces in the WNFC,” Defensive Coordinator John Serrata said.

Her passion and aggression paid off, preventing two field goals that would have changed the outcome of the game.

“I knew they wanted to be the first to score on us with that field goal, and I knew once I blocked it the first time, I knew I had the advantage over the center,” Tyler said. “I realized after the first one, ‘Wow, this is going to be easy,’ so I knew I could play with the center a little bit.”

One of the keys to the victory was the defense's ability to get five red-zone stops, including one that led to the game’s final score. Tyler said that the entire defense felt the pressure on the final drive and made a stand as a unified force.

“It was kind of silent, and I felt the energy, [Las Vegas] felt like we were going to lose this fight,” Tyler said. “I just knew that I couldn’t be in that mindset as a leader on our team. I knew that I had to do whatever I could to keep fighting and push us through, and sure enough, we got the W, even if it took double overtime.”

Tyler’s contributions on offense don’t always return huge stats, but her presence is vital to the team's run game.

“On offense, she is an exceptional blocker with consistent pancake blocks and a huge part of the running game success,” Edwards said. “Every coach would be ecstatic to have an X-factor like Mercedes on their team. Her stats don’t do her justice for the impact that she has on the field!”

“Mercedes’ coaching experience at the high school level has played a key role in increasing her football IQ as a player and has helped make her the dominant force that she is in the Pacific Conference,” Team Owner Knengi Martin added.

Always the team player, Tyler gave credit to the entire team, stating that Las Vegas came prepared to play and gave the defense the biggest struggle of the season.

“I think our balance and discipline prove that we want this,” Tyler said. “We are ready for the Championship.”


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