2003 MIAC Football Athletes of the Week

November 17, 2003
Offensive
Carleton College senior running back Erik Fisher (Maple Lake, Minn.) rushed for a career-high 205 yards on 34 carries and scored three touchdowns to lead Carleton to its third consecutive victory, 43-40, over host Colorado College. Fisher’s total, the fifth-highest in school history, pushed him past Adam Henry for Carleton’s single-season rushing record at 1,423 yards. Fisher added 146 yards on kickoff returns, giving him 355 all-purpose yards on the afternoon. Fisher scores on runs of 1, 35 and 1 yards on the day and led Carleton’s ground game that racked up 353 yards, the second-highest total in school history. Fisher ended the season leading the MIAC in overall rushing by 40 yards per game and second in all-purpose yards to SJU’s Blake Elliot by six yards. Fisher owned the top four single-game rushing performances by any conference player this season.

Defensive
Concordia College junior linebacker Josh Dietz (Glencoe, Minn. / Glencoe-Silver Lake HS) had 10.5 tackles and 2 sacks inConcordia’s 44-41 loss at Menlo College (CA) on Saturday. Dietz also had 2.5 tackles for a loss of 15 yards. He was part of a defense that limited the Oaks potent running attack to only 93 yards on the ground. Dietz finished the season seventh in the MIAC in tackles per game with a 10.1 average. He helped the Cobbers’ defense rank first against the run, holding opponents to only 115.9 yards

Special Teams
Carleton College junior kicker Pat Barry (Hercules, Calif.) set a new Carleton school record with a 47-yard field goal with 5:34 remaining in the game that proved to be the eventual game winner in Carleton’s 43-40 victory over Colorado College. Barry, who added earlier field goals of 21 and 22 yards, matched the Carleton single-game record with the three field goals. The three successful attempts left his season total at nine, also tying a Carleton school record. For the season, Barry was 9-for-11, including a perfect 5-for-5 from inside 30 yards.

November 10, 2003
Offensive
Saint John's University senior wide receiver Blake Elliott (Melrose, Minn.) caught 15 passes for 163 yards and two touchdowns in a 29-26 win over nationally ranked Bethel on Saturday, Nov. 8, in Collegeville. In all, Elliott had 256 all-purpose yards - 163 receiving yards, 80 kickoff return yards, 12 rushing yards and one punt return yard. Elliott’s 15 catches was the second-most in SJU single-game history and he also extended his NCAA Division III record streak of a catch in 42 consecutive games. Elliott moved into second place on the NCAA Division III career reception list with 297 career receptions. Elliott had a 50-yard kickoff return that set up the game-winning touchdown. SJU, ranked second in the nation, is 9-0 overall and 8-0 in the MIAC.

Defensive
St. Olaf College senior Bill Germscheid (Apple Valley, Minn.) had a career day leading the Oles past Gustavus 41-27 in St. Peter on Saturday. Germscheid dominated the second half with two interceptions and a fumble recovery. Germscheid scooped up a third quarter fumble and rumbled 19 yards for a touchdown to give St. Olaf a 28-13 lead. Later in the third quarter, Germscheid tipped and then intercepted a pass in the end zone and returned it to the twenty to thwart a potential game-tying touchdown. Late in the 4th quarter, Germscheid again came up with a big play by intercepting a tipped pass and taking it 42 yards for a touchdown to put the Oles ahead 41-27. The senior linebacker also had four solo tackles, one tackle for loss, one sack, and two passes defended to go with his one fumble recovery and two interceptions. The two touchdowns on the day gave Germscheid three for the season.

Special Teams
Carleton College first year punt returner Wade Thompson (Peterson, Minn. / Rushford-Peterson HS) tallied 215 all-purpose yards, including a 65-yard punt return for a touchdown in Carleton's 45-13 victory over Macalester. Thompson's return broke open the game, staking the Knights to a 29-7 lead as the Knights scored 30 unanswered points to pull away from the Scots. Thompson added nine rushes for 87 yards, including a 54-yard burst in the fourth quarter, and caught one pass for 35 yards. He also returned one kick for 28 yards.

November 3, 2003
Offensive
Concordia College senior quarterback Ryan Hebrink (Sacred Heart, Minn./R-C-W HS) threw for over 300 yards in Concordia's 47-14 win over St. Olaf on Saturday. Hebrink, who totaled 374 yards of offensive for the game, broke the school record for offensive yards in a career. He now stands at 5,789 total offensive yards and has a chance to break the MIAC all-time offensive yardage record of 6,062 yards held by Kurt Ramler of St. John's. Hebrink threw for two TD's (12, 39) and led the Cobber offense to 531 yards of total offense. That is a season-high for Concordia and ranks in the top five in school history for offensive yards in a game.

Carleton College senior running back Erik Fisher (Maple Lake, Minn.) rushed for a career-high 192 yards on 31 carries to power Carleton past Hamline on Saturday night, 31-7. Fisher's total pushed him over 1,000 yards in eight MIAC games, giving him the MIAC lead with 129.4 yards per game. He is only the fourth Carleton player to break 1,000 yards in a single season. His 1,035 yards leaves him 210 yards shy of breaking Carleton's single-season record, held by Adam Henry at 1,244. Against Hamline, Fisher tallied 110 yards in the first quarter alone as the Knights raced to an early 14-0 lead. On Carleton's first drive, Fisher carried nine times for 44 of the drive's 58 yards, including the last five yards for the score. On Carleton's second drive, he ripped off a 50-yard burst, setting up the Knights' second score. His 192 yards is the seventh-best single-game effort in Carleton history, giving him three of the top nine single-game performances in school history. Fisher has rushed for more than 100 yards in five games and more than 150 yards four times.

Defensive
Bethel College senior strong safety Sam Lacy (Lewisville, Tex.) became Bethel's all-time leading tackler in the Royals' 44-10 win over Augsburg. Lacy finished with 12 total tackles (9 solo/3 assists) which included 7.0 tackles for loss, and 2.0 sacks. He also forced one fumble, defended two passes, and intercepted one pass. Bethel is now 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the MIAC.

University of St. Thomas sophomore linebacker Andrew Ubbelohde (Red Wing, Minn.) had four tackles for loss among his 15 tackles in Saturday's 15-12 loss to St. John's. It was the seventh time in eight games this season Ubbelohde has had a double-digit tackle total. He has 100 tackles on the season (13 tackles for loss), despite missing the UW-Stout game, and needs 14 to set a school single-season record. St. Thomas allowed 35.0 ppg to St. John's in the previous 12 meetings but held the Johnnies to just one TD, 13 offensive points and 347 yards Saturday. They broke the Johnnies' streak of 21 games with 20 or more points scored. The Tommies held St. John's to one or less touchdown for the first time since 1987. The Tommie defense's best effort came in containing SJU All-American Blake Elliott. The senior WR scored four of his 69 career TDs last season against St. Thomas but was kept out of the end zone and held to 88 all-purpose yards Saturday. The Tommies are 3-6 overall with three defeats by a combined eight points.

Special Teams
Saint John's University junior kicker Brandon Keller (Bismarck, N.D./St. Mary's Central) kicked two field goals in the last 3:16 to give SJU a 15-12 win over St. Thomas and head coach John Gagliardi his NCAA record-tying 408th career win on Saturday, Nov. 1, in St. Paul. Keller kicked a 20-yard field goal with 3:16 left to tie the game at 12-12 and then nailed the game-winner from 35-yards out with eight seconds left. With the two field goals, Keller is now 5-for-5 on field goals under 40 yards this season and is third all-time in SJU history with 14 career field goals. SJU, ranked second in the nation, is 8-0 overall and 7-0 in the MIAC.

October 27, 2003
Offensive
St. Olaf College first-year running back Nick Rost (Faribault, Minn.) had a record day for St. Olaf scoring three touchdowns in leading the Oles to a 47-14 non-conference victory over Macalester. Rost had 93 yards rushing and one touchdown, 131 yards receiving and two scores, 64 yards on kickoff returns and 32 yards on punt returns, for 320 all-purpose yards. The 320 all-purpose yards set a school rookie record.

Defensive
Augsburg College senior linebacker Brandon Fox (Springfield, Minn.), in his last collegiate game at Edor Nelson Field, had 14 tackles (four solo), four tackles for loss, a pass breakup and a fumble recovery to lead the Augsburg's defense in a 17-14 win over St. Thomas. The victory was Augsburg's first win over the Tommies since 1995 and just the third Augsburg win over UST in 33 years. Fox currently leads the Auggies with 63 tackles (25 solo), including 12 tackles for loss.

Special Teams
Gustavus Adolphus College sophomore Loren Havemeier (Punt Returner/Defensive Back, Sleepy Eye, Minn.) returned a punt 79 yards for a touchdown in the Gusties 28-7 win over Hamline. It was his first career punt return for a touchdown. Havemeier broke the school record for punt return yards in a game with 95. His 79-yard return is the second longest return in school history.

October 20, 2003
Offensive
Bethel College senior quarterback Scott Kirchoff (Hutchinson, Minn.) led the Royals to their seventh win of the season as he completed 15 of 26 passes for 212 yards and two touchdowns. In the process he became the MIAC's all-time leading passer, breaking the record of Saint John's alum Kurt Ramler. Kirchoff currently has 6,168 career passing yards in MIAC games.

St. Olaf College senior quarterback Brian Senske (Apple Valley, Minn.) had a hot night versus Hamline in a rare MIAC night game at Griffin Stadium. Senske completed 18 of 27 passes for 253 yards and 3 touchdowns in less that 3 quarters of play. Senske led the Oles on scoring drives on 6 of the first 7 drives and left the game in the third quarter with the Oles ahead 43-13. In the first half, Senske completed his first six passes, was 3 for 4 on third downs, and completed 15 of 23 for 225 yards and all 3 touchdowns enroute to a 30-13 lead. Senske added 28 yards rushing on 7 rushes. Senske is St. Olaf's All-Time leading passer with 6,397 yards.

Defensive
Saint John's University junior linebacker Paul Gans (Rice, Minn./Sauk Rapids HS) had four interceptions for 139 yards, nine total tackles and three solo tackles in a 63-9 win over Augsburg on Saturday, Oct. 18, in Collegeville. The four interceptions tied a school record. Gans returned his fourth interception of the game for a 29-yard touchdown. He helped the SJU defense force seven turnovers. Gans is currently fourth on the team with 44 total tackles this season. SJU, ranked second in the nation, is 6-0 overall and 5-0 in the MIAC.

Special Teams
St. Olaf College junior Nate Johnson (K/P, Menomonie, Wisc.) had another big game averaging 44.5 yards on two punts, 57 yards per kickoff on six kicks.

October 13, 2003
Offensive
Concordia College senior running back Bobby Clark (Seeley Lake, Mont./Seeley-Swan HS) rushed for 182 yards on 19 carries and scored two touchdowns in Concordia's 32-13 win at Augsburg. He scored on a 33-yard run to tie the score at 7-7. His second TD of the game came on a 30-yard scamper and gave the Cobbers a 20-14 lead just before the half. Clark was part of on offense that set a school record for rushing yards in a game. Clark's 9.58 yards per carry average for the game is the highest in his career and ranks as one of the school's all-time best for a single game. Clark now has 628 rushing yards for the season, which leaves him 81 yards shy of becoming the third player in school history to rush for over 2,000 yards in a career.

Hamline University freshman running back Ben Dahmes (Redwood Falls, Minn. /Redwood Valley HS) had a tremendous game as Hamline took home the Old Paint Bucket with a 40-0 win over Macalester. Dahmes scored five touchdowns in the contest, four rushing and one receiving, including the first four scores of the game. He scored on a pair of 1-yard scoring dives in the first quarter. He added a 22-yard touchdown reception and 42-yard scoring run in the second quarter. He also scampered 56 yards midway through the 3rd quarter. In all, Dahmes rushed for 133 yards on 19 carries and caught three passes for 50 yards.

Defensive
Saint John’s freshman linebacker Jamie Steffensmeier (Mankato/East HS) had 12 total tackles, nine solo tackles, 2.5 sacks for 19 yards and 2.5 tackles for loss in a 44-0 win at Carleton at Saturday, Oct. 11. Steffensmeier helped the SJU defense limit Carleton to 132 yards total offense in 61 plays. The Knights crossed midfield four times in 15 possessions during the game. Steffensmeier currently leads the team with 44 total tackles and 19 solo tackles in five games.

Special Teams
Saint John's University sophomore defensive back Tony Steffensmeier (Mankato/East HS) blocked two punts, had four tackles and three solo tackles in a 44-0 win at Carleton at Saturday, Oct. 11. One of Steffensmeier's blocked punts led to a safety. SJU, ranked second nationally, is 5-0 overall and 4-0 in the MIAC.

October 6, 2003
Offensive
University of St. Thomas running back Walter Dosh (Soph., Green Bay, Wisc./Notre Dame Academy) had three big-gain plays resulting in second-half touchdowns to rally the Tommies from a 3-0 halftime deficit in Saturday's 27-9 win over St. Olaf. Dosh rushed 10 times for 132 yards. He caught one pass and turned it into a 24-yard scoring reception for a 7-3 lead. Dosh came back with TD runs of 67 and 38 yards to ice the win. Dosh has six TDs in his two home games. The Tommies are 2-1 in the conference and 2-3 overall.

Defensive
University of St. Thomas linebacker Andrew Ubbelohde (Soph., Red Wing, Minn.) had 15 tackles, including four for losses, and made a pivotal interception to rally the Tommies from a 3-0 halftime deficit in Saturday's 27-9 win over St. Olaf. UST trailed 3-0 when Ubbelohde intercepted a pass near midfield. Four plays later the Tommies scored a go-ahead touchdown. Ubbelhode is averaging 13 tackles a game. The Tommies are 2-1 in the conference and 2-3 overall.

Special Teams
Saint John's University senior wide receiver Blake Elliott (Melrose, Minn.) had 141 total yards on kick-off returns and 26 yards on punt returns in a 35-13 win over Gustavus. In total, Elliott had 327 all-purpose yards in the game including a 90 yard kick-off return to open the game. The 90-yard kick-off return was the third longest in SJU history and the 141 yards on kick-off returns was the third most in school history as well. In four games, Elliott is averaging 226 all-purpose yards. SJU is 4-0 overall, 3-0 in the MIAC and ranked second in the nation.

September 29, 2003
Offensive
Saint John’s University sophomore running back Jake Theis had 204 all-purpose yards in a 45-6 win over St. Olaf on Saturday, Sept. 27, in Northfield. Theis had 173 yards rushing on 14 carries and one touchdown and three catches for 31 yards. Theis had a 12.4 yards per carry average in the game. Theis scored on a 67-yard run in the third quarter to put SJU ahead 31-6. The 379 yards rushing for SJU as a team was the most in a single-game since they ran for 469 yards against Macalester on Sept. 18, 1999. In three games, Theis has rushed for 83.7 yards per game and two touchdowns. SJU, ranked second in the nation, is 3-0 overall and 2-0 in the MIAC.

Defensive
Gustavus Adolphus College senior defensive back Matt Diercks returned an incerception 100 yards for a touchdown against Augsburg, tying the NCAA record for longest interception return. Diercks picked off an Auggie pass at the goal line midway through the second quarter and ran it all the way back down the sideline. Diercks is the 33rd player in NCAA Division III history to accomplish this feat, and first since 2000. He also had five pass deflections and four tackles, one of which was for a loss. 

Special Teams
Bethel College senior safety Sam Lacy blocked two punts and one extra point attempt in Bethel’s 50-6 win over Hamline University. His first blocked punt was returned 26 yards for a touchdown which gave Bethel a 22-0 lead midway through the second quarter. Lacy also recorded 11 total tackles (5 solo, 6 assists) on defense with one tackle for loss.


September 22, 2003
Offensive
Saint John's quarterback Ryan Keating (Sr., Minnetonka, Minn.) -- Keating completed a school record 34 passes on 48 attempts for 387 yards, three touchdowns and two interceptions in a 24-10 win over Wis.-Eau Claire on Saturday, Sept. 20, in Collegeville. Keating's 387 yards was the 10th best single-game performance in SJU history and he also went over 4,000 yards passing in his career during the game. Keating threw touchdown passes of 11, 23 and 33 yards in the win. The Johnnies held the ball for over 34 minutes in the game, had five drives over 60 yards, including a 98-yard drive, and completed four double-digit play drives in the game. SJU, currently ranked second nationally, is 2-0 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC.

Defensive
Nick Brokke, Carleton cornerback (So., Roseville, Minn.) -- Brokke tallied three interceptions and nine tackles (seven solo), while forcing a fumble in Carleton's 24-14 loss to Gustavus. Brokke's first pick came early in the contest, stopping a Gustie drive inside Carleton's 20-yard line. He forced a fumble early in the third quarter on the Carleton goal-line, stopping another potential Gustie score. His second interception set up Carleton's first TD, cutting the GAC lead to 24-14. His third and final interception gave the Knights one last chance with 6:30 remaining in the fourth and Carleton trailing by 10.

Special Teams
Walter Dosh, St. Thomas KR/RB (So., Green Bay, Wis./Notre Dame Academy) -- Dosh had 176 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns in his O'Shaughnessy Stadium debut Saturday as the Tommies stopped Hamline 54-0. St. Thomas led 18-0 at halftime when Dosh returned the second-half kickoff 68 yards to set up another TD. Dosh added three fourth-quarter TDs --a 64-yard punt return and runs of 15 and 3 yards. Dosh, a transfer from South Dakota State, returned five punts for 84 yards and had the one kickoff return for 68.


September 15, 2003
Offensive
Erik Fisher, Carleton College running back (Sr. Maple Lake, Minn.) -- Fisher rushed 24 times for a career-high 178 yards in Saturday's 40-16 loss to St. Olaf. The senior paced a Carleton rushing attack that racked up 234 yards on the ground against the Oles. Fisher ripped off a 42-yard TD scamper early in the second quarter, pulling the Knights within two scores. His 26-yard run late in the first half set up a Carleton field goal and his 40-yard run early in the fourth quarter set up Carleton's second TD of the afternoon. It marked the third consecutive game that Fisher has rushed for more than 100 yards. The 178 yards rushing is the eighth-highest total in Carleton history and the most rushing yards in a single game by one back since Tim Nielson ran for 181 yards against Gustavus in 1988.

Defensive
Scott Wessman, Bethel College defensive tackle (Sr., Tomahawk, Wis./Urbandale, Iowa, HS) -- Wessman led a Bethel defense that held St. Thomas to 16 yards rushing and 178 total yards in Bethel's 40-6 win over the Tommies. Wessman led the defense with 5.0 total tackles (3 solo, 4 assists) which included 4.0 tackles for loss (15 yards) and 1.0 sacks (6 yards). He also intercepted a pass four minutes into the first quarter and returned it 24 yards for the Royals first touchdown as well as broke up three passes.

Special Teams
Blake Elliott, Saint John's University returner (Sr., Melrose, Minn.) -- Elliott had three punt returns for 72 yards, including a long of 49 yards, in a 74-7 win over Hamline on Saturday in St. Paul.


September 8, 2003
Offensive
Yarzue Slowon, Augsburg wide receiver (Jr., Crystal, Minn./Robbinsdale Armstrong HS) -- Slowon caught 13 passes for 145 yards and two touchdowns, both coming in the final 61 seconds of play on Saturday, as Augsburg rallied from a 19-6 deficit for a 20-19 win at Jamestown (N.D.). Slowon caught an 11-yard touchdown pass with 1:01 remaining in the fourth quarter, and after Augsburg recovered an onside kick, had a 14-yard sideline pass and a 25-yard diving catch for the eventual game-winning touchdown with 33 seconds left. Slowon caught six passes for 97 yards in the Auggies' final two drives. It's Slowon's third 100-yard receiving game of his two season career, and two yards off his personal-best of 147, set last season against Bethel.

Defensive
Tyler Vrieze, Gustavus senior, Invert, Richfield, Minn./Richfield HS - Vrieze had an outstanding opening day in the Gusties 37-34 double overtime loss to Buena Vista (Iowa). Vrieze recorded a team-high 11 tackles, including a team-best eight solo tackles. Midway through the first quarter he forced and recovered a fumble and proceeded to return the ball 30 yards for a touchdown to give the Gusties a 14-0 lead.

Special Teams
Nick Schlieman, Augsburg punter/kicker (So., Burnsville, Minn.) -- Schlieman had an incredible day punting and kicking, as Augsburg came from behind for a 20-19 win at Jamestown (N.D.) on Saturday. Schlieman had eight punts for 419 yards (a 52.4-yard average), including a school-record 74-yard punt on Augsburg's first drive of the first quarter. Schlieman's punts went for 74, 45, 29, 46, 59, 46, 68 and 52 yards. In addition, he saw his first collegiate action at placekicker, kicking two extra points, including the game-winner with 33 seconds left. He performed all kicking duties (punting, placekicking, kickoffs) for Augsburg for the first time in his college career on Saturday.