Fort Hays State University continues to gain votes in the American Football Coaches Association Division II poll released Monday. The Tigers are one of four teams featured in the Week 2 poll after receiving seven votes, five more than last week’s poll.
All four MIAA teams featured in the poll are 2-0 in the MIAA, including No. 3 Northwest Missouri State and No. 4 Pittsburg State. Emporia State received nine votes in this week’s poll. Central Missouri received votes in last week’s poll but lost to Emporia State on Saturday.
Fort Hays sophomore running back Shaquille Cooper also was honored for the second straight week as the MIAA/AstroTurf Offensive Athlete of the Week.
This time, he shares the honor with Emporia State quarterback Brent Wilson as it was announced Monday. Cooper rushed for 263 yards Thursday against Northeastern State, including a 93-yard touchdown run with 2:19 remaining in the game to break a 13-13 tie, which is the longest play from scrimmage in Division II this season. It was a new career-high for Cooper, who has now rushed for over 100 yards in five of his six career games at running back. The 263 rushing yards were fourth-most in a single game in FHSU history. With two games under his belt this season, Cooper has 426 rushing yards, averaging 8.5 yards per carry. He has a total of 480 all-purpose yards over the two games. Cooper’s 213 yards-per-game average ties him for the third in the nation.
Wilson threw for 446 yards and five touchdowns to lead Emporia State to a 45-34 come-from-behind win over Central Missouri on Saturday.
Fort Hays (2-0) travels to Lindenwood (1-1) for a 6 p.m. kickoff Saturday. A win would give the Tigers their first 3-0 start under Brown and a six-game winning streak, which would be the program’s longest streak since a seven-game ride in 1995.