Fargo, N.D. / South
Concordia star Brett Baune (Fargo, N.D./South) has been a big reason for his team's success during his career, so it was fitting that Saturday he closed his career in grand fashion. The Cobber running back not only led his team to a season-ending victory with a big performance, but his three touchdowns also helped him ascend to the top of the career leader board with the most TDs in Concordia school history. For his role in the win, and his record-setting performance, Baune was named the final MIAC Football Offensive Player-of-the-Week for the 2012 season, his second such honor this year.
Baune's three-touchdown day helped power Concordia to a 29-10 win over Gustavus in St. Peter Saturday, and boosted his career total to 34. Ironically, the previous record of 33 was set by Baune's head coach, Terry Horan, in his playing days for the Cobbers. Baune's three scores Saturday were part of a 19-carry, 77-yard day that also featured a reception and a kick return for 11 yards. This season, Baune was just one of two players in the MIAC to average more than 100 yards per game on the ground (107.0 average), as he rushed for 963 yards and 10 touchdowns in nine games with an average of 5.4 yards per carry. He ranked second in yards per game and rushing TDs, and third in total rushing yards.
The big year from Baune helped Concordia finish in a second-place tie in the MIAC with an 8-2 overall record and a 6-2 conference mark. The Cobbers finished the season ranked No. 22 in both the AFCA Coaches' Poll and the D3football.com Top 25. Concordia's only two losses were to No. 3 St. Thomas and No. 21 Bethel, and the Cobbers were ranked as high as No. 16 in 2012.
MIAC Football Defensive Player-of-the-Week
Idowu, St. Thomas
Woodbury, Minn. / Woodbury
Saturday, St. Thomas locked up its third-straight undefeated regular season with a 35-21 home win over a good St. Olaf team, with the defense doing a great job against the Oles' vaunted offensive attack. Leading the way was senior Ayo Idowu (Woodbury, Minn.), who continued his great season with several big plays in the win. Idowu helped the Tommies keep St. Olaf QB Dan Dobson in check for most of the game, and created a turnover and a few more plays behind the line of scrimmage to help UST complete its 10-0 campaign. For his performance, Idowu was named the final MIAC Football Defensive Player-of-the-Week of the 2012 season.
Idowu's full stat line Saturday featured six total tackles (three solo), 1.5 sacks, 2.0 tackles-for-a-loss and a forced fumble. One of his Tommie teammates recovered Idowu's forced fumble in St. Olaf territory, and it led to a St. Thomas touchdown just two plays later. All season long, Idowu has created big plays along the Tommie defensive line, as his 13 tackles-for-a-loss lead the MIAC, and his five sacks rank No. 2. He also has 40 total tackles - 25 solo - one forced fumble and three pass breakups to his credit.
St. Thomas' perfect season marks the first time in MIAC history a team has gone undefeated in the regular season three times in a row. UST (10-0, 9-0) finished the regular season ranked third in Division III in the AFCA Coaches' Poll, and fourth in the D3football.com Top 25. St. Thomas won its third-straight MIAC championship and the league's automatic bid to the Division III Playoffs, where it will open Saturday with a home game against St. Norbert College at 12 p.m.
MIAC Football Special Teams Player-of-the-Week
Mattson, Saint John's
Eau Claire, Wis. / Memorial
Saint John's nearly ended its season with an upset of Playoff-bound Bethel, coming up just short on the road Saturday in a 27-22 loss. The Johnnies were right with the Royals thanks partly to another great kicking day by Jimmie Mattson (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) who closed his career with a magnificent performance. Mattson had a perfect placekicking performance, going 3-for-3 on field goals and drilling his only PAT, and his kickoffs were a weapon in the field position battle. For his performance, Mattson was named the final MIAC Football Special Teams Player-of-the-Week for the 2012 season. Mattson's latest MIAC weekly honor is his second in a row, third of the 2012 season, and the sixth of his career.
Saturday, Mattson became the first Johnnie to make three field goals in a game since 1990. He started with more than enough distance on a season-best 49-yard field goal that tied the game at 3-3, and he also nailed a 44-yard attempt in the second quarter, and a 29-yard try in the third. He was also good on his only PAT of the day, and averaged 63.8 yards on five kickoffs with a pair of touchbacks. This season, Mattson led MIAC kickers with 70 points and nine field goals, and he finished just one PAT behind the league leader after going a perfect 43-for-43 on extra points as a senior. Mattson averaged 63.3 yards on 57 kickoffs, including 33 touchbacks.
The final-day loss concluded another .500 season for the Johnnies - their 60th under head coach John Gagliardi - as Mattson and his teammates went 5-5 overall. SJU was 3-5 in MIAC play and finished sixth in the conference standings. Saint John's finished strong, winning four of its last five games, and was a perfect 2-0 against nonconference foes in 2012.