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Morning Sun
  • Gorillas among many performing well Saturday

  • Week 6 of Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play delivered enough sensational offensive performances that it must have been a tough decision for voters to determine Offensive Player of the Week.

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  • Week 6 of Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association play delivered enough sensational offensive performances that it must have been a tough decision for voters to determine Offensive Player of the Week.
    Pittsburg State junior receiver John Brown tied a season-high nine receptions and gained a season-high 157 yards Saturday against Central Missouri, scoring the first touchdown of the game on a 13-yard pass, catch and run late in the first quarter.
    Brown averaged 17.4 yards per catch and generated 246 all-purpose yards.
    Missouri Southern senior quarterback Kellen Cox ran for 90 yards and two scores on nine carries and threw for 72 yards and one TD on 2 of 4 passing against the Hardrockers of South Dakota Mines.
    Emporia State senior quarterback Tyler Eckenrode was probably the only POTW candidate to endure a groin injury early in the game Saturday and then come back in the second half to lead his team to victory. Eckenrode passed for three second-half touchdowns (46 yards to Shjuan Richardson, 6 yards to Adam Schiltz and 73 yards to Austin Willis) as Emporia State defeated Southwest Baptist 19-15. Eckenrode finished 17-29 with 322 yards, three TDs and no interceptions.
    Truman State junior receiver Dallas Grier caught 11 passes for 178 yards against Nebraska-Kearney, including a 20-yard TD. Grier did his damage on the MIAA Network.
    Missouri Western senior running back Michael Hill ranks among national leaders in rushing yards and all-purpose yards. On Saturday, as Western trailed for the first time all season, 3-0 against Northeastern State, Hill made sure that did not last very long as he rumbled for a 72-yard TD run en route to 195 yards on 31 carries and 45-31 Western victory. In fact, Hill leads the nation with 1,075 yards rushing on 145 carries, averaging over 179 yards per game and 7.4 yards per carry.
    Central Missouri junior receiver Ronrei Lloyd (Pittsburgh, Pa.) caught eight passes for 123 yards against Pitt State. Over his last two weeks against Missouri Southern and Pitt State, Lloyd has caught 16 passes for 320 yards and two scores, contributing to 37 catches for 598 yards and four TDs on the season.
    Lindenwood senior running back Denodus O’Bryant rushed for 96 yards on 16 carries and gained 49 yards on 10 catches for an all-purpose day of 145 yards against Fort Hays State. O’Bryant led the Lions in rushing yards and catches.
    Northeastern State running back Joel Rockmore gained 131 yards and scored three TDs against Missouri Western, helping Northeastern State stay relatively close with a top 5 nationally-ranked opponent. Five of the six opponents the RiverHawks have played are nationally-ranked: Pittsburg State, Missouri Western, Northwest Missouri, Washburn and Emporia State.
    All impressive offensive performances, right? Right. However, Northwest Missouri quarterback Trevor Adams won MIAA Offensive Player of the Week honors for Week 6 by tying a single-game school record with five TD passes against Central Oklahoma. Adams and his favorite receiver, senior Tyler Shaw, hooked up on back-to-back 61-yard TD passes in the first quarter and later would connect on a third score from 43 yards out. Adams completed 10 passes, five went for TDs, and Shaw caught four passes for 175 yards and three TDs.
    Page 2 of 2 - Two Pitt State offensive players, senior running back Jason Spradling and sophomore wide receiver Luke Rampy, enjoyed career-best days Saturday.
    Spradling ran for 134 yards on 18 carries and Rampy caught nine passes for 144 yards.
    On Monday, in the American Football Coaches Association Division II poll, four of the five MIAA schools moved up in the top 25 and the fifth, top-ranked Pitt State, remained No. 1 with 29 of 30 first place votes. Missouri Western advanced to No. 4, Northwest Missouri No. 7, Washburn No. 19 and Emporia State No. 21, making the biggest leap forward after entering the top 25 at 25 last week.
    NATIONAL RANKINGS
    Pittsburg State team statistics: first in sacks (4.6 per game), 10th total offense (485.0 yards per game), 18th total defense (298.8 ypg), tied for 10th third down conversion percentage (34-68, 50 percent), tied for sixth in third down conversion percentage defense (20-74, 27.03 percent), tied for 28th fourth down conversion percentage (3-5, 60 percent), tied for 37th fourth down conversion percentage defense (3-9, 33.3 percent), 43rd fewest penalties per game (6.4), tied for 43rd fewest penalty yards per game (56), eighth first downs defense (15.2 per game), 26th first downs offense (23.2 per game), 19th kickoff returns (24.75 yards per return), 11th passing efficiency (163.75), ninth passing efficiency defense (96.0), 17th passing offense (307.4 yards per game), 27th punt returns (13.9 yards per return), tied for 25th red zone offense (88 percent), 20th rushing defense (98.8 yards per game), 19th scoring defense (17.2 points per game), ninth scoring offense (43.2 points per game), fourth tackles-for-loss (9.8 per game) and tied for 20th time of possession.
    John Brown leads the nation in all-purpose yards per game (233.0) and his 1,165 yards (third-highest total) have been accumulated through 543 receiving, 266 kick return, 265 punt return and 91 rush yards. Running backs make up the next five all-purpose spots: Klay Fiechter of Indianapolis, Michael Hill of Missouri Western, Brian Marshall of Tusculum, J.B. Matthews of Colorado State-Pueblo and Jordan Roberts of Charleston (W.Va).
    Brown ranks eighth in receiving yards per game (108.6) and tied for 35th in receptions per game (6.2).
    Anthony Abenoja ranks seventh in passing efficiency and his 165.5 rating leads the MIAA.
    Gus Toca now ranks tied for 16th in sacks with his 5.0 total and 1.0 per game average, and both Patrick Blackwell of Truman State and Latavious Davis of Central Missouri have the same average per game. Toca ranks 15th in tackles-for-loss, averaging 1.9 per game.
    Connor Frazell ranks tied for seventh in field goals and tied for 13th in scoring with 9.6 points per game; his 48 points arise from 7-for-9 field goals and 27-28 extra points.
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