Smith earns MVFC Offensive Player of the Week

Published: Oct. 18, 2021 at 8:14 AM CDT
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ST. LOUIS -- Redshirt freshman running back Isaiah Smith was named the MVFC’s Offensive Player of the Week on Sunday following his second-career 100-yard rushing performance against No. 4 Southern Illinois, as announced by the league.

Smith took over the running back duties, with Otis Weah missing the contest, and took 17 carries for 111 yards and a score in the 31-28 defeat to the Salukis. The Minneapolis, Minn., native also hauled in four passes for 35 yards to help the Hawks rally from a pair of 14-point deficits in the contest.

This is the first weekly award for Smith.

Offensive Player of the Week

RB Isaiah Smith, North Dakota

6-0, 200, R-Fr., Minneapolis (Minn.) Benilde-St. Margaret’s School

Smith filled in for Otis Weah, who did not play in Saturday’s contest, with his second-career 100-yard rushing game. The rookie scampered for 111 yards on 17 carries and a touchdown while adding four catches for 35 yards against No. 4 Southern Illinois.

Defensive Player of the Week

LB Jack Cochrane, South Dakota

6-3, 230, Sr. (5th year), Mount Vernon (Iowa) Mount Vernon HS

Playing near his hometown, Cochrane had two interceptions and seven tackles including one for loss in leading USD to a 34-21 upset of No. 16/17 Northern Iowa Saturday in Cedar Falls. He returned his first interception 23 yards to setup a short touchdown drive in the first half. His second stopped a drive in the fourth quarter. They were career picks three and four for Cochrane.

Special Teams Player of the Week

LB Steven Ward, Missouri State

6-0, 215, Fr., Nixa (Mo.) High

Ward ignited a 21-0 run in the final three minutes of the first half by Missouri State has he forced Indiana State fumbles on back-to-back kickoffs. The first forced fumble set the Bears up at the ISU 24 with 2:10 left in the half and led to an MSU touchdown three plays later. On the very next kickoff, Ward again forced a Sycamore fumble, which the Bears recovered at the ISU 20. Two plays later, Missouri State scored again to make it 24-0 at the half. A local product from Nixa (Mo.) High, Ward had two special teams tackles in the homecoming win.

Newcomer of the Week

QB Quincy Patterson, North Dakota State

6-3, 246, Jr., Chicago (Ill.) Solorio Academy/Virginia Tech

Patterson rushed 18 times for 100 yards averaging 5.6 yards per carry in North Dakota State’s 20-0 road win over Illinois State. He picked up six first downs by rushing and finished the day 13 of 22 passing for 124 yards and one touchdown.


RB Travis Theis, South Dakota -- Theis carried a career-high 29 times for 113 yards and a touchdown in USD’s 34-21 upset of No. 16/17 Northern Iowa Saturday in Cedar Falls. He carried 20 times for 87 yards in the second half when USD attempted just five passes, all in the third quarter. It was his second straight 100-yard game

WR Tyrone Scott, Missouri State -- Missouri State’s top receiver made the most of his first homecoming with the Bears, posting his third 100-yard receiving game in four weeks with 3 catches for 106 yards and two touchdowns. Scott’s 26-yard reception just before halftime gave MSU a 24-0 lead at the intermission against Indiana State, which he followed up with a season-long 59-yard catch and run for a TD early in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. Scott also had a 21-yard reception on third down on MSU’s first drive of the game, which ultimately set up a 38-yard field goal. Scott has posted multiple touchdowns in back-to-back weeks and is averaging 104.3 receiving yards per game in Valley games.

WR Jaxon Janke, South Dakota State -- Janke caught a career-high nine passes for 101 yards and a touchdown in South Dakota State’s 41-17 victory at Western Illinois on Oct. 16. His 21-yard touchdown reception capped a 21-point third quarter for the Jackrabbits. It was Janke’s second career 100-yard game.

QB Connor Sampson, Western Illinois -- Sampson went 29-of-51 on pass attempts during Saturday’s (Oct. 16) home matchup against South Dakota State. He totaled 207 passing yards.

WR Dante Hendrix, Indiana State -- Hendrix made an immediate impact on the Indiana State offense in his first game back on the field from injury. The redshirt junior wide receiver hauled in the first pass of the game to run his consecutive game completion streak to an ISU-record 23 straight games, and hauled in nine more the rest of the way for his second collegiate double-digit reception game. Hendrix brought in 10 catches for 121 yards and the Sycamores’ lone score of the game on a 19-yard touchdown reception in the fourth quarter. It marked his first 100-yard receiving effort since the 2019 season

DT Eli Mostaert, North Dakota State -- Mostaert had a career-high 3.5 sacks for 17 yards in North Dakota State’s 20-0 road win over Illinois State. Mostaert had three solo and assisted one of NDSU’s five sacks as the Bison held Illinois State to 99 yards of total offense and 2 of 11 on third down. He tied a career high with six total tackles.

LB Devon Krzanowski, North Dakota -- Led the way with nine tackles and also recovered a fumble for a touchdown against No. 4 Southern Illinois. It marks the second time in two games against SIU that Krzanowski has scored a touchdown, returning a fumble for a score on Feb. 20, 2021.

LB Tylar Wiltz, Missouri State -- The Bears starting linebacker notched a game-high 9 tackles to help lead MSU to its largest margin of victory since 2018 and its first homecoming victory since 2017. Wiltz racked up 8 solo stops, the team’s only sack of the day, and 2.0 tackles for loss in addition to a forced fumble. He came up with two big third-down tackles for the Bears and also had a punt return tackle on the heels of a 52-yard punt from Grant Burkett.

DE Reece Winkelman, South Dakota State -- Winkelman was constantly in the Western Illinois backfield Saturday, recording two sacks and forcing and recovering a fumble. The senior finished the game with four total tackles and also was credited with a pass breakup and quarterback hurry for a Jackrabbit defense that limited Western Illinois to 237 yards of total offense (84 yards in the second half).

DE Inoke Moala, Indiana State -- Moala continues to get after the quarterback this season as the redshirt senior defensive end increased his Missouri Valley Football Conference sack totals against Missouri State. Moala recorded sacks in both the first and third quarters to force Bears’ punts in the game. His first sack also knocked the ball loose in his second forced fumble in as many games. Moala leads the MVFC with eight sacks and 12.0 tackles for loss on the season through the first seven games of the year.

P Travis Reiner, Indiana State -- Reiner continues to pace the Sycamores’ special teams efforts on the season as the redshirt senior punter averaged 41.6 yards over his seven attempts in the game. Reiner pinned the Bears inside the 20 yard line on two separate occasions and connected on a game-high 53-yard punt in the loss.

PK Mason Lorber, South Dakota -- Lorber has made 10 consecutive field goals after going 2-for-2 in Saturday’s game against UNI. His 31-yard field goal came at the first-half horn. His second was from 45 yards – second longest of his career – and stopped a 14-0 UNI run that had cut the lead to 10 in the third quarter. Lorber also had six touchbacks on six kickoffs.

PK Nico Gualdoni, Southern Illinois -- Gualdoni made a career-long 46-yard field goal with five minutes remaining in the game to provide the winning margin in SIU’s 31-28 victory over North Dakota. Gualdoni was also 4-for-4 on PATs.

Jayson Coley, North Dakota -- Coley recovered the blocked punt in the third quarter against Southern Illinois. Has now blocked or recovered three punts this season (blocked two last week at South Dakota).

RB Donnavan Spencer, Southern Illinois -- Spencer led SIU’s rushing attack with 11 carries for 63 yards and a touchdown. He averaged 5.7 yards per carry and his 48-yard run in the fourth quarter helped set up a Saluki go-ahead touchdown.

RB Nate Thomas, South Dakota -- Thomas carried 14 times for 59 yards and a touchdown in Saturday’s 34-21 win against No. 16/17 Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. He carried seven straight times for 47 yards on a drive he capped with a 2-yard touchdown run that extended USD’s lead to 34-14 late in the third quarter.

QB Anthony Thompson, Indiana State -- Thompson completed 18-of-31 in the passing game and completed passed to seven different receivers in the loss on Saturday afternoon at Missouri State. Thompson finished the day with 177 yards and a touchdown, while adding an interception in the loss.

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