Fort Hays State’s Wyatt Parker was named MIAA defensive player of the week after helping the Tiger defense keep Washburn in check during a 30-24 win on Saturday night at Lewis Field Stadium.
Parker registered seven tackles (three for loss), 1.5 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception in the win.
The 6-foot-4, 290-pound defensive tackle from Blue Springs, Mo., was part of a stellar all-around performance from the Tigers’ D-line.
“We (emphasized) all week getting after it up front, playing physical, playing aggressive, beating them to the point of attack, getting our hands on them, getting separation — and I thought our guys did that very, very well,” FHSU coach Chris Brown said. “I’m proud of them.”
Parker and the Tigers face Missouri Southern (0-3) at 6 p.m. on Saturday in Joplin, Mo.
Central Missouri quarterback Jeremy Hunt was named MIAA offensive player of the week after throwing for 405 yards and four touchdowns in his first career start, leading the Mules to a 51-14 win over Missouri Western. Hunt, a redshirt freshman from Oak Park, Ill., didn’t turn the ball over and also ran for a TD.
Pittsburg State kicker Jared Vincent was special teams player of the week after booting a career-high 51-yard field goal in a 45-7 win over Northeastern State. He also converted all six of his PAT tries.
WU searching for offensive consistency
Craig Schurig feels like his Washburn Ichabods have the weapons to form an explosive offense, but the Bods have been held back by inconsistency so far.
WU struggled to hit on big plays in the Fort Hays loss, falling to 1-2 on the season.
The Ichabods managed just 94 yards on the ground, with 42 of it coming off a scramble from quarterback Blake Peterson. They had 299 yards of total offense and struggled to move the chains, going 3 of 16 on third down.
“That’s kind of how we’ve been all year, kind of sporadic,” Schurig said. “Hopefully, we learn something from this because we’ve got to be much more consistent on offense.
“It seemed like we had some chances and we either missed them, overthrew them or whatever, or someone didn’t catch the ball. They brought some pressure in the run sets that we had and it seemed like they got through a few times and made us kind of one dimensional at the end.”
Washburn trailed 20-10 at halftime and was stymied in the third quarter before scoring two late touchdowns, including a pick-six from linebacker Austin Tillman with 1:09 left in the game.
Peterson left the game early in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. He was 12 of 26 for 124 yards with one touchdown and one interception.
“(Peterson) is moving around pretty good right now (after the game Saturday night), so hopefully with treatment he’ll be fine," Schurig said.
The Ichabods will play host to Central Missouri (2-1) at 1 p.m. on Saturday at Yager Stadium.
ESU rallies past UNK
Emporia State overcame a 17-0 halftime deficit to rally for a 20-17 victory at Nebraska-Kearney on Saturday and hand the Lopers their first loss.
ESU dominated the third quarter, out-gaining UNK 133-1 and got touchdowns from Kai Callins and Tyler Harris in the frame to come within three.
“Our mindset here at Emporia State (is) we take pride in responding to adversity,” ESU running back Landon Nault told the Emporia Gazette. “That's what we did, we came out in the second half and imposed our will on them offensively and defensively."
ESU quarterback Braxton Marstall was forced to improvise for the game-winning touchdown after a snap sailed over his head on a 4th-and-1 at the UNK 8 early in the fourth quarter. Marstall retreated back past the 20 to scoop up the ball and then fired a strike in the end zone to Justin Brown. The PAT was blocked to keep the score at 20-17 with 10:43 remaining.
The Lopers saw a potential game-tying 32-yard field goal clank off the upright with just 1:07 left. UNK then used its timeouts and got the ball with 46 seconds left at their own 43. The Lopers moved the ball to the Hornets’ 37 but a Hail Mary fell incomplete as time expired.
Nault went over 100 yards for the second straight game, gaining 124 yards on a career-high 29 carries.
The Hornets will be at home to face Lindenwood at 2 p.m. on Saturday.
What the polls say
Pitt State is on the rise in the American Football Coaches Association Division II poll, climbing eight spots to No. 15 in the latest edition released on Monday.
Northwest Missouri State remained at No. 4 to lead all MIAA teams.
Despite the Washburn win, Fort Hays slipped one spot to No. 18 while Central Missouri is tied for 19th in the poll.
Johnson out at Missouri Southern
Denver Johnson has resigned as head coach at Missouri Southern, the school announced Tuesday morning in a press release.
The Lions are 0-3 this season and went 3-33 under Johnson, who was in his fourth year at Southern.
Lions' defensive coordinator Joe Bettasso has been named interim head coach for the remainder of the 2018 season.
"After long and thoughtful reflection, I have chosen at this time to resign out of consideration of the program," Johnson said in a press release. "I believe that affording the University the opportunity to begin a search immediately and name a new coach early in the upcoming recruiting cycle is paramount.
"There is a very capable staff in place to shepherd the program through the remainder of the season. They are fine men and good coaches and they will provide the needed mentorship and guidance through this transition."
Last week’s results
Central Missouri 51, Missouri Western 14
Central Oklahoma 52, Lindenwood 42
Emporia State 20, Nebraska-Kearney 17
Fort Hays State 30, Washburn 24
Northwest Missouri 63, Missouri Southern 0
Pittsburg State 45, Northeastern State 7
This week’s games
Central Missouri (2-1) at Washburn (1-2), 1 p.m.
Lindenwood (1-2) at Emporia State (2-1), 2 p.m.
Fort Hays State (2-1) at Missouri Southern (0-3), 6 p.m.
Northwest Missouri (3-0) at Central Oklahoma (1-2), 6 p.m.
Northeastern State (0-3) at Missouri Western (1-2), 7 p.m.
Nebraska-Kearney (2-1) at Pittsburg State (3-0), 7 p.m.