For the third time this season and second consecutive week, Fort Hays State kicker/punter Dante Brown has earned MIAA special teams player of the week honors.
Brown set a school record with five field goals in the Tigers' 15-0 victory over Central Oklahoma on Saturday. He connected on kicks from 21, 39, 30, 25 and 44 yards and narrowly missed a 45-yarder.
The junior from Ontario is 12 of 14 on field goal attempts this season with both misses from beyond 40 yards out.
"We have confidence in Dante that he's going to put points on the board in any situation," FHSU coach Chris Brown said. "We get to the 30, 35-yard line, we know he has the leg to do it. He's confident and he's locked in."
He also had an average of 39.8 yards on six punts and booted a 63-yarder that pinned UCO at the 2.
Co-offensive player of the week went to Missouri Western quarterback Dom Marino and Central Missouri quarterback Jeremy Hunt.
Marino had 314 yards of total offense and accounted for five touchdowns in the Griffons' 38-7 rout against Washburn. He was 17-for-23 passing for 249 yards with four touchdowns while also rushing for a score.
Hunt directed the Mules to a school record for total offense with 731 total yards in a 61-7 win over Missouri Southern. He threw for 359 yards and four touchdowns and ran for a TD.
Kobe Cummings earned the defensive honor for Missouri Western after notching 14 tackles against Washburn.
Pitt State, Northwest set to clash
The top rivalry game in MIAA football is on tap this week with title implications on the line.
Pittsburg State will play host to Northwest Missouri at 2 p.m. Saturday at Carnie Smith Stadium , with the Gorillas looking to remain unbeaten and stay atop of the conference standings.
Pitt State (5-0) eked by Lindenwood on Saturday with a 27-24 overtime victory over the Lions.
Lindenwood led 24-17 late before Pitt tied it up with a 2:05 remaining after Brenner Clemons caught a 2-yard touchdown pass from John Roderigue.
In overtime, Lindenwood missed a field goal before Jared Vincent hit a 22-yarder to win the game for the Gorillas.
Northwest bounced back from a loss to Central Oklahoma to smash Emporia State 41-0 in Maryville. Redshirt freshman quarterback Braden Wright threw for 255 yards and three touchdowns for the Bearcats.
The Hornets (2-3) mustered just 194 yards of offense.
“We got back to the basics,” Northwest Missouri coach Rich Wright told the St. Joseph News Press. “We lined up and played one coverage and one (defensive) front all day. It has the ability to check and do multiple things off of it, but that’s our base. We told our kids that we’re going to get them in leverage positions and we’re going to get them to play fast and that’s what they did.”
Pitt State is the only unbeaten team in the MIAA, while Northwest and Fort Hays State sit a game back of the Gorillas.
Last year’s Pitt-Northwest matchup saw the Gorillas hand the Bearcats a 20-10 loss in Pittsburg to snap Northwest’s 38-game winning streak.
What the polls say
Fort Hays State held steady at No. 18 for the third straight week in the American Football Coaches Association Division II poll.
Pittsburg State moved up two spots No. 8 this week while Northwest Missouri climbed one spot to No. 16.
FHSU will travel to Emporia State for a 2 p.m. kickoff Saturday in Welch Stadium.