Oct. 19, 2010

by Amy Farnum


KNIGHT SHIFT: Wartburg College made a huge jump in the latest AFCA Division III Top 25, shooting up eight spots to No. 16 after downing then-No. 8 Coe, 31-21, in an Iowa Conference match-up on Oct. 16.

The Knights ground game shined behind a stellar performance by the offensive line. Sophomore Jon Orrs 25 knockdowns led an offensive front that paved the way to 283 yards rushing as the Knights handed the Kohawks their first defeat of the season. Orr was named IIAC Offensive Player of the Week for his efforts in the victory.

Wartburg looks to remain the lone unbeaten IIAC squad as the Knights host Dubuque for Homecoming on Oct. 23.

BEAR TRACKS: Ursinus worked its way into the latest AFCA Division III Top 25 at No. 24 on the merits of an unbeaten season (6-0) following a 26-17 victory over defending league champion Johns Hopkins in Centennial Conference action last weekend. The Bears are 6-0 for the first time since 1996.

Junior wide receiver Nick Giarratano caught a pair of TD passes to lead the Bears, and needs just three more to tie the schools all-time mark of 19. The native of Wapwallopen, Pa., leads the conference with eight touchdown catches on the year.

Ursinus sits in a tie for first place at the top of the CC standings alongside Mulhenberg, which is also 5-0 in league play. Next, the Bears take on McDaniel, which just suffered a 29-0 shutout at the hands of the Mules.

HES COOKING: Delaware Valley College senior tailback Matt Cook garnered Middle Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week after rushing for a single-game record 324 rushing yards along with four touchdowns in a come-from-behind win at Wilkes University on Oct. 16.

The rushing total demolished the previous mark of 254 yards set in 1980, and was the second-highest total in MAC history. It was the second time Cook scored four TDs in a game - the only player in DVC history to accomplish the feat. Cook ranks 24th in the nation with 118.33 rushing yards per game.

The No.11 Aggies look to remain unbeaten in MAC play when they host Lycoming on Oct. 23.

NWC CLASH ON TAP: Pacific Lutheran has started the season 5-0 for the first time since 1997 following a 28-10 non-conference victory over Menlo College last weekend. The outstanding start propelled the Lutes into the AFCA Division III Top 25 at No. 23.

The victory also set up a meeting between the last two unbeaten teams in the Northwest Conference as PLU hosts No. 18 Linfield on Oct. 23. Last year, Linfield defeated the Lutes, 62-44, setting a new PLU record for the most combined points in a single game. This years match-up should be no different as the two squads are averaging over 77 points per game combined.

MIAC UNBEATENS COLLIDE: No. 5 St. Thomas hosts No. 20 Bethel will meet in a battle of Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference unbeatens on Oct. 23 as each vies for first place in the league standings.

The Tommies are looking to start the season 8-0 for the first time since 1956 in hopes of staying on track for their first MIAC football championship since 1990. Bethel is coming off a shutout of Gustavus Adolphus.

The match-up with feature two of the top running backs in the league with Bethel senior Logan Flannery and USTs Ben Wartman - both who are chasing the MIAC career rushing record of 4,40 yards.

QUICK HITS: Defiance Colleges Kyle Lonsdorf tied a Heartland Collegiate Athletic Conference mark with a 100-yard interception return in his teams 33-0 victory at Earlham, earning the leagues Defensive Player of the Week award for the second straight week … Augustana junior quarterback David Lee broke his own school record with 429 passing yards in a 43-16 win over Carthage last week. Lee tossed three TD passes without an interception, earning College Conference of Illinois & Wisconsin Offensive Player of the Week honors … Kean University senior running back Jay Gwaltney rushed for 209 yards and four touchdowns in a 35-14 defeat over Western Connecticut. It was Gwaltneys second straight week with 200-plus rushing yards, giving him New Jersey Athletic Conference Offensive Player of the Week honors. He currently leads the league with 139.0 yards per game.