MIAC Football Athletes-of-the-Week
Jerise Washington, Augsburg
Roseville, Minn. / Mounds View
A few weeks ago, Augsburg moved sophomore wide receiver Jerise Washington (Roseville, Minn./Mounds View) to running back out of necessity - a move that paid off in a huge, record-setting way Saturday. Washington ran wild against St. Olaf, setting a new school record for rushing yards in a game and tying Auggie records for rushing and overall touchdowns and total points. For his historic performance, Washington was named the MIAC Football Offensive Player-of-the-Week.
Washington's huge day against a good St. Olaf team featured a new record 245 rushing yards on 22 carries (11.1 average) with four rushing touchdowns - three after halftime - and a long run of 69 yards. The previous record was 217 yards, so the recently-converted back easily sprinted past that mark on his way into Augsburg history. He also had a team-high seven receptions for 60 yards, and a staggering total of 305 all-purpose yards in the 45-37 win. This season, the versatile Washington has 683 all-purpose yards, 410 rushing and 273 receiving.
The victory helped the Auggies improve to 5-1 this season (4-1 MIAC), and they now sit a half-game ahead of Bethel and Concordia in second place in the MIAC standings. St. Olaf entered the game with one loss as well, so Augsburg's win helped add some clarity to the current pecking order. This is the Auggies first 5-1 start since 1997, when they won the MIAC title. Saturday, Augsburg will host one-loss Concordia at home in another crucial MIAC matchup with kickoff scheduled for 1 p.m.
MIAC Football Defensive Player-of-the-Week
Mike Elder, Carleton
San Antonio, Texas/Central Catholic
All season, Carleton's Mike Elder (San Antonio, Texas/Central Catholic) has been one of the league's top playmakers on defense, and he was at his best Saturday in a 51-14 loss at Saint John's. The senior defensive back led the Knights - and the conference Saturday with 18 total tackles, and he now leads the MIAC in both solo and total tackles in 2012. For his impressive performance, Elder was named the MIAC Football Defensive Player-of-the-Week.
Saturday, 11 of Elder's 18 total tackles were of the solo variety, with seven assist tackles to his credit as well. That robust number gives him a total of 77 tackles this season, and 47 solo tackles, the latter of which leads all other MIAC defenders by at least nine solo stops. He is ranked eighth in Division III with 12.83 tackles per game, and is ranked 12th across all three divisions. Elder is the only defensive back ranked among the top 30 in tackles in D-III, and his average of 7.83 solo tackles per game is tied for the fourth-best average in Division III, and the sixth-best average among all NCAA players.
Despite Saturday's loss, Carleton still remains .500 this season at 3-3 overall, with a 1-3 record in conference play thus far in 2012. The Knights have a huge game Saturday, as they host cross-town rival St. Olaf in a MIAC matchup set to kick off at 1 p.m. The Oles are coming off a narrow loss to Augsburg, and will bring a 5-2 overall record (3-2 MIAC) into Saturday's battle of Northfield rivals.
MIAC Football Special Teams Player-of-the-Week
Seth Lage, Concordia
Pelican Rapids, Minn. / Pelican Rapids
Special teams was an important part of Concordia's big 63-14 win over Hamline Saturday in Moorhead, thanks largely to the work of senior Seth Lage (Pelican Rapids, Minn.) in the return game. Lage took a kick all the way back for a touchdown, and all three of his punt returns crossed into Hamline territory and set up Cobber touchdowns. For his role in the win, Lage was named the MIAC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week.
Lage's biggest play answered Hamline's first score of the game. After the Pipers reached the end zone, Lage responded by taking the ensuing kick back for an 84-yard score at the 4:49 mark of the third quarter to push Concordia's lead to 49-7. His three important punt returns totaled 81 yards (27.0 average), giving him a total of 165 return yards in the win. Lage's 84-yard kick return is just the second kick return TD for Concordia since 2007, and it ranks as the longest such play in the MIAC this season. His average of 17.2 yards per punt return (138 yards on eight returns) leads the conference as well among players who meet the minimum requirements (1.2 attempts per game).
The big win helped the Cobbers celebrate Homecoming in style, as they improved to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the MIAC this season. Concordia is tied with Bethel and just a half-game behind second-place Augsburg (5-1, 4-1) in the conference standings, as all three have just one loss this season. Saturday, the Cobbers will try to leapfrog the Auggies into second when the two meet head-to-head in Minneapolis. Kickoff for the big conference matchup is set for 1 p.m.