In the first regular season poll by the American Football Coaches Association, Fort Hays State University received two votes and is one of four MIAA teams to be featured on the season's first poll. The Tigers defeated Central Oklahoma 30-29 in Edmond on Thursday. The Bronchos received votes in the AFCA preseason poll.
This is the second straight year the Tigers have been among teams receiving votes in the poll. Fort Hays State received votes in the poll in 2014 after its upset win over then No. 8 ranked Pittsburg State. Prior to 2014, Fort Hays State had never received votes in the AFCA Poll.
No. 4 Northwest Missouri State moved up one spot after a 31-0 victory in Kearney, Neb., against the Lopers in Week 1. No. 5 Pittsburg State moved up two spots after a 38-14 win against Northeastern State. Central Missouri (22) was the only other team to receive votes from the conference. In the D2Football.com poll, Pitt State is ranked No. 6, one spot ahead of Northwest Mo. State, while Central Missouri is ranked No. 19.
Sophomore running back Shaquille Cooper was also named the MIAA/AstroTurf Football Offensive Athlete of the Week after having the league's best season opener by any skill's position player.
Cooper put together 195 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns, rushing for 163 yards on 21 carries and added 32 receiving yards. His only two receptions of the game went for touchdowns, one from 26 yards and the other from six yards. Cooper's rushing touchdown came on a 79-yard dash to pull the Tigers within two points in the third quarter at 23-21 after FHSU trailed 20-0 midway through the second quarter.
FHSU (1-0) hosts Northeastern State (0-1) in its home opener Thursday at 7 pm.