October 14, 2013

MIAC Football Athletes-of-the-Week

MIAC Football Offensive Player-of-the-Week

Tim Bona, Hamline
Columbia Heights, Minn. / Columbia Heights

The Hamline football team had reason to celebrate Saturday, as their win over St. Olaf was the team's first over a MIAC opponent since 2009. The Pipers' offensive leader was quarterback Tim Bona (Columbia Heights, Minn.), who racked up more than 300 yards of total offense and accounted for two touchdowns in the 31-28 win. For his big performance, Bona was named the MIAC Football Offensive Player-of-the-Week.

Bona was good in the passing game in Saturday's win, going 14-for-25 for 215 yards and two touchdowns and two interceptions. He was also the game's leading rusher on the ground, carrying the ball 11 times for 96 yards and a great 8.7 average. Bona came through with big plays as well. His 87-yard scoring strike to Naji El-Araby was the longest Hamline offensive play in 11 years, and his 43-yard run late in the third quarter set up the field goal that put the Pipers ahead for good. This season, Bona has thrown for 715 yards and four touchdowns, with 227 yards and two scores on the ground.

Thanks to Saturday's big win, Hamline is now 2-3 overall and 1-3 in conference play this season. The win snapped a 28-game conference losing streak, and the two wins are also a Hamline high since winning four games in 2009. The Pipers will hope to carry that momentum into a tough test Saturday at home. Hamline hosts No. 24-ranked Concordia at Klas Field in St. Paul with kickoff set for 1 p.m.

MIAC Football Defensive Player-of-the-Week

Anthony Hill, Hamline
Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Champlin Park

Hamline scored a historic win Saturday at St. Olaf, defeating the Oles 31-28 to score the Pipers' first MIAC win since 2009. Few players contributed to the win more than freshman Anthony Hill (Brooklyn Park, Minn./Champlin Park). The Hamline safety had a game-high 15 tackles, intercepted a crucial pass and added a pair of big plays on special teams. For his standout all-around performance, Hill was named the MIAC Football Defensive Player-of-the-Week.

Hill led all tacklers Saturday with 15 - seven solo and eight assist - and he had a tackle-for-a-loss and a pass breakup in his stat line as well. Hill's interception late in the fourth quarter stopped a St. Olaf drive at the Pipers' 21-yard line in the narrow win. He also blocked an extra point and recovered St. Olaf's onside kick attempt at the end of the game. Hill has been one of the MIAC's best defenders since league play began last month. In conference play, he leads the MIAC with 24 solo tackles, and he ranks second in the conference with 50 total tackles, 26 assists, 12.5 tackles per game and four pass breakups.

Thanks to Saturday's big win, Hamline is now 2-3 overall and 1-3 in conference play this season. The win snapped a 28-game conference losing streak, and the two wins are also a Hamline high since winning four games in 2009. The Pipers will hope to carry that momentum into a tough test Saturday at home. Hamline hosts No. 24-ranked Concordia at Klas Field in St. Paul with kickoff set for 1 p.m.

MIAC Football Special Teams Player-of-the-Week

Griffin Toomey, Saint John's
Anchorage, Alaska / South

The Saint John's football team scored another big win by a narrow margin Saturday with a 30-28 victory over Augsburg. The Johnnies' got a huge boost in the field position battle in the close game thanks to the punting of freshman Griffin Toomey (Anchorage, Alaska/South). The SJU punter averaged 40.2 yards on five kicks and put three of them inside the Auggie 20-yard line. For his performance, Toomey was named the MIAC Football Special Teams Player-of-the-Week.

Toomey punted five times Saturday for a total of 201 yards and an average of 40.2 yards per punt. His long for the day was 48 yards, and he had three inside the 20 and two fair catches. All three inside the 20 were downed at the 11 or better in the second half, with a 48-yard punt to the eight and a 32-yard punt to the 11 in the third quarter, and a 44-yard punt to the six in the fourth. This season, Toomey is second in the MIAC with an average of 39.2 yards per punt since taking over in the Johnnies' second game. His long of 64 yards and six fair catches both lead the MIAC, and his six inside the 20 are tied for second.

Thanks to Saturday's big win in a matchup of one-loss teams, the Johnnies improved to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in the conference, in sole possession of second place by a half-game and just one game behind first-place Bethel in the loss column. The Johnnies are ranked in both polls, at No. 23 in the AFCA poll and No. 25 in the D3football.com ranking. SJU will look for its sixth win of the season Saturday when it travels to Northfield to face Carleton in a MIAC showdown at 1 p.m.

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