The Minnesota College Athletic Conference opened up the 2017 NJCAA football season on Saturday, September 2, with a full slate of six contests in the MCAC. In Week 1, all MCAC football teams take on a team from the opposite division, as programs look to shake off the rust from the pre-season camps which began in mid-August. A handful of student-athletes turned in stellar Week 1 performances which turned heads across the Conference. For their standout efforts, the following Western Division student-athletes have been tabbed Player-of-the-Week at their respective roles.
MCAC Western Division Offensive Player-of-the-Week:
The Pioneers of Northland Community & Technical College hosted Rochester Community & Technical College in an important test for both teams to open the 2017 campaign. NCTC quarterback Shannon Patrick led his team to a 23-12 victory, going 24-34 on the day and tossing for 176 total yards. Patrick was not intercepted in the contest, and managed the Pioneer offense to three touchdowns. The Wellington, Florida product averaged 5.5 yards a throw on the day and looks to be hitting his stride in the pocket for NCTC as they look forward to Week 2. Northland travels on Saturday, Sept. 9th to take on Fond du Lac at Public School Stadium, in Duluth, Mn.
MCAC Western Division Defensive Player-of-the-Week:
For those athletes who toil along the defensive line in college football, having a low profile is part of the job description, compared to the rest of the defense. However, Northland CTC defensive end Ethan Hill showed he can get across enemy lines and make a statement, as he turned in a great performance in NCTC's 23-12 win over Rochester. Hill had four sacks of the RCTC quarterback, en route to 7 total tackles on the day. RCTC was held to 12 points in the encounter in the Week 1 matchup and the freshman from Eleba, Alabama was a major factor in bottling up the Yellowjackets. Hill is the Week 1, MCAC West Defensive Player-of-the-Week. Northland will travel to Fond du Lac in Week 2.
MCAC Western Division Special Teams Player-of-the-Week:
North Dakota State College of Science athlete Gregory Slade provided an offensive lift for his Wildcats in the first week of MCAC football action. Slade, a placekicker, hit field goals of 28, 35 and 40 yards, as well as two PAT's in his squad's season opening 23-20 win over Vermilion. Slade currently leads the MCAC in field goals, and only one other NJCAA program has more field goals than Slade at this point of the season (Navarro, 5 total in two games). For his strong first week performance, Gregory Slade has earned MCAC Western Division Special Teams Player-of-the-Week.
Other Notable Week 1 Performances in the Western Conference:
Caleb Tinklenberg had four catches for 121 yards, including a long of 49 yards for the Minnesota West Bluejays. He also punted 9 times for Minnesota West, including a 51-yarder.
Dakota College-Bottineau running back DeRante Sander carried for 116 yards in 10 attempts for the Lumberjacks.
Ridgewater College punter Carl Borleis kicked 7 times for a 47.0 average in Week 1, highlighted by a 76-yard effort.
Anthony Valcarcel, a Dakota College defensive end, had 2 sacks and 2.5 tackles-for-loss. The freshman from Hollywood, Florida was a major factor in bottling up the Vikings, who were held to 104 yards rushing.
M State's Benito Speight, a cornerback, racked up 5 kick returns for 94 yards and a 18.8 average, while teammate Daquan Wims had two returns, including a 37 yarder.
For more information on the 2017 Minnesota College Athletic Conference football season, be sure to bookmark these links:
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference website main page is: http://www.mcacsports.org/landing/index
This release sponsored in part by Gopher Sport.
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