|Top Division III Matchups|
Who: Springfield Pride at No. 12 Alfred Saxons
Who: No. 8 Thomas More Saints at Washington & Jefferson Presidents
Who: No. 3 St. Thomas (Minn.) Tommies at Concordia-Moorhead Cobbers
Who: No. 4 Mary Hardin-Baylor Crusaders at No. 25 Hardin-Simmons Cowboys
Who: Muhlenberg Mules at No. 23 Johns Hopkins Blue Jays
Who: Coe Kohawks at No. 11 Wartburg Knights
|Watch Them Now|
30 Domonique Hayden
Key Notes: An all-league performer a year ago as a freshman, Hayden has recorded 105 yards and five touchdowns on the ground through two games while averaging 7.5 yards per carry. He has proven to be a multiple threat again as he also has caught 12 passes out of the backfield, turning them into 156 yards and one score. Hayden is part of an offense that has averaged 403.5 total offense yards across two games while scoring 42.5 points per game. Hayden is tied for first nationally in scoring at 18.0 points per game.
Other Players to Watch this Week: Josh Carter, Springfield (Sr., QB); Andy Dalton, Hanover (Jr., LB); Peter Ford, Louisiana College (So., LB); Eric Kindler, UW-Whitewater (So., PK); Jason Silva, Endicott (So., DB); Travis Tatsch, Hardin-Simmons (Sr., WR); Kyle Vance, Hampden-Sydney (Sr., WR).
|Keep Your Eyes on This|
• The first American Football Coaches Association Division III poll came out this week and as expected, Wisconsin-Whitewater was in its familiar position atop the list. The Warhawks garnered 38 of the 42 possible first-place votes for 1,046 points, 32 points ahead of No. 2 Mount Union, which gathered the other four first-place votes. UW-W and the Purple Raiders were the only teams with more than 1,000 points in the initial poll while No. 3 St. Thomas was the only other team with at least 900 points.
• In the D3football.com poll, a pair of top-15 teams tumbled down the chart as Hardin-Simmons landed at No. 21, down 13 spots, while Cortland State also fell 13 spots to No. 24 after each lost last week. Only previous No. 24 Salisbury fell out of the rankings, being replaced this week by Mississippi College.
• A number of ranked teams will need to be ready for road tests this weekend. Overall, nine teams in the AFCA top 25 will be away from home Saturday, including a pair of top-five squads. No. 3 St. Thomas leads the way by heading to Concordia-Moorhead while No. 4 Mary Hardin-Baylor hits the road to play at No. 25 Hardin-Simmons. Two other teams in the top 10 — No. 8 Thomas More and No. 9 Ohio Northern — also make a trek this weekend.
• Thomas More heads away from home this weekend just days after an historic achievement. The Saints were ranked No. 8 in both the initial AFCA poll and the D3football.com poll, marking the highest ranking since the program started in 1990. Entering the season, TMC was second in the NCAA record book for all-time win percentage, as the program won 69.1 percent (150-67) of its games in the past 21 years before starting 2-0 this fall while looking for its third consecutive — and sixth overall — undefeated regular season.
• Ohio Northern jumped into the top 10 this week, but hopes to make it a little easier on itself against Muskingum on Saturday than it did last week. The Polar Bears played their first overtime in program history a week ago, stealing a 34-33 thriller as Otterbein’s two-point conversion attempt failed in the first OT.
• No. 3 Mary Hardin-Baylor will be looking for its ninth consecutive victory against Hardin-Simmons when it takes on the No. 25 Cowboys in Abilene, Texas, on Saturday. Last year, the Crusaders had a pair of sluggish performances to open the year before exploding for a 42-28 win against then-No. 8 HSU. The Cru hopes for a similar outcome after barely hanging on for a 28-27 victory against McMurry last weekend.
• Seventh-ranked Linfield hopes to get the offense back in gear this week when it faces La Verne. Last weekend, the Wildcats were held to 24 points. Luckily, sophomore LB Dominique Forrest was making stops all over the place as he had 10 tackles including a fourth-quarter sack to help LC to a 24-14 win against then-No. 16 Cal Lutheran. Forrest is tied for 76th nationally with 10.0 tackles per game.
• After two weeks being on fire, the North Central (Ill.) offense will be shut down this weekend, but only because the Cardinals have a bye week. That’s probably a good thing so they can catch their collective breath. NCC, which lost on the road to Redlands in Week 1, has torched opponents the past two weekends, putting up 70 points against Bethel (Tenn.) and then coming back with 86 points last weekend against Olivet. The 86 points were the third-highest total in school history and the most since 1958.
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