Ethan Eid, Saint John's
Week of: 2008-11-17
Saint John's University junior linebacker Ethan Eid (Arden Hills, Minn./Cretin-Derham Hall) posted 10 tackles (six solo), a fumble recovery and an interception in the Johnnies' 14-10 win at Carleton Saturday. Eid intercepted a Shane Henfling pass on the Knights' first offensive play after SJU took a 7-0 lead and gave SJU an opportunity for more (on Carleton's 40-yard line). On third-down and one yard to go from the SJU two-yard line early in the fourth quarter (7-3 in favor of SJU), Eid stuffed Henfling on the quarterback keeper to force fourth down. The Johnnies then stopped Henfling on another keeper to force a turnover on downs. Eid sealed the win for SJU by recovering a fumble on Carleton's final play of the game. Saint John's earned its MIAC-record 30th conference championship, the 26th title under head coach John Gagliardi, and the 13th in the last 18 seasons with the win. The Johnnies are making their 23rd postseason appearance (and 10th in the past 11 seasons) under Gagliardi.
Kane Bechstein, Carleton
Week of: 2008-11-17
Carleton College senior cornerback Kane Bechstein (Apple Valley, Minn./Eastview) totaled nine tackles (five solo stops) in Saturday's contest with Saint John's. He also intercepted two passes in the endzone to halt Johnnie scoring chances. The first interception kept the game scoreless midway through the second quarter, the other came with less than a minute remaining before halftime. Carleton finished the season at 7-3 overall (5-3 MIAC), tied for second in the conference standings. This was Carleton's best season in 16 years. The seven games the Knights won this year equals the program's second-highest win total over the last 50 seasons.
Neil Kolstad, Carleton
Week of: 2008-11-10
Carleton College sophomore safety Neil Kolstad (Saint James, Minn.) had 10 tackles (five solo) and two interceptions in Carleton's 41-28 victory over Concordia. The Knights turned both interceptions into touchdown-scoring drives. In the second half on Saturday, the Knight defense limited Concordia to only 89 yards rushing. Carleton will now host Saint John's this Saturday to determine the MIAC Champion.
Tony Palma, Gustavus
Week of: 2008-11-03
Gustavus Adolphus College junior linebacker Tony Palma (Lino Lakes, Minn./Centennial) played a key role in the Gusties' 17-10 win over Bethel on Saturday in Arden Hills. Palma had 12 tackles, six solo and six assists, and an interception in the winning effort. His interception sealed the victory as he picked off a pass at the Gustavus seven-yard line with 00:48 remaining as Bethel threatened to tie the game. Gustavus moved into a tie for first place in the league standings at 4-2 and are 6-2 overall. It was the first win for the Gusties at Arden Hills since 1997.
Bobby Klint, Saint John's
Week of: 2008-10-27
Saint John's University junior defensive back Bobby Klint (Minneapolis, Minn./Totino Grace) tallied eight tackles (five solo), in addition to an interception, forced fumble and a blocked field goal in the Johnnies' 20-14 overtime win at St. Olaf. Klint's interception on the Oles' third play of the second half gave the Johnnies prime field position on St. Olaf's 15-yard line. Seven plays later, running back Jakob Reding gave the Johnnies a 14-7 lead. After the Oles reached the Johnnies' five-yard line with one second left in regulation, Klint blocked a 22-yard field goal attempt, which sent the game to overtime. On St. Olaf's first play of overtime, John Haberman hit Ryan St. John on a pass to the Johnnies' nine-yard line, but Klint jarred the ball loose where linebacker Ryan Wimmer fell on it for SJU. Klint is currently fourth on the team in tackles with 42 (19 solo) and leads the squad with two interceptions and two forced fumbles.
Tom Flynn, Concordia
Week of: 2008-10-20
Concordia College senior defensive back Tom Flynn (Shelby, Mont.) was the leader of the Cobber defense that held Augsburg to only 18 points and 275 yards of total offense on Saturday. It is the fewest points scored and least amount of offensive yards gained by the Auggies all season long. Flynn played a linebacker role in Concordia's dime package that spent most of the day on the field against Augsburg's high-powered pass attack. He finished the day with a team-high 10 tackles, including seven solo tackles. Flynn also scored a touchdown as he recovered a fumble in the end zone in the second quarter. He also had one forced fumble and two pass break ups on the day.
Drew Ziller, Carleton
Week of: 2008-10-13
Carleton College senior safety Drew Ziller (Byron, Minn./Rochester Lourdes) blocked a fourth-quarter punt, which he returned 25 yards for the game-winning touchdown in Carleton's 49-41 victory over #22 Augsburg. Ziller also had the game-clinching interception in the final minute of the game, which secured the Knight's second win over a nationally-ranked opponent this season. He also finished the game with nine tackles, including seven solo stops, and a pass breakup. The Knights are now 5-0 for the first time since 1992 and sit alone atop the MIAC standings.
Nathan Holm, Bethel
Week of: 2008-10-06
Bethel University senior cornerback Nathan Holm (Gillette, Wyo./Campbell County) had eight tackles, a fumble recovery, an interception, and two pass break-ups in Bethel's 14-9 win over Saint John's on Saturday. Holm's fumble recovery came early in the third quarter on the Johnnies second play from scrimmage. The very next Saint John's possession, Holm intercepted a pass in the end zone on third-down and six, thus ending another Johnnie scoring opportunity in the red zone. Bethel's defense limited #16 Saint John's to just nine points and stopped them on fourth and goal on the Royal 1-yard line early in the first quarter.
Andrew Larson, Concordia
Week of: 2008-09-29
Concordia College junior safety Andrew Larson (Fergus Falls, Minn.) led the Cobber defense as they held Bethel to only 179 yards of total offense on Saturday in Concordia's 24-7 win over the Royals. Larson had a team-high eight total tackles and team highs in solo tackles (6) and assisted tackles (4) and made a key interception in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Cobbers. Concordia's defense did not allow a touchdown in the game (BU's only score came on a kickoff return) and have only allowed six points in their first two MIAC games again preseason favorites Saint John's and Bethel. Larson was a huge part of the CC defense that has helped Concordia to a 2-0 league start and a three-game winning streak.
Drew Ziller, Carleton
Week of: 2008-09-22
Carleton College senior safety Drew Ziller (Byron, Minn./Rochester Lourdes) had 10 tackles (9 solo) and blocked a game-tying field goal attempt in the fourth quarter as Carleton notched one of the biggest victories in the program's history, posting a 17-14 triumph at #13 Bethel University. Ziller led a Carleton defense that held Bethel to a 2-for-11 performance on third downs and forced four turnovers.
Paul Stommes, Gustavus
Week of: 2008-09-15
Gustavus Adolphus College sophomore linebacker Paul Stommes (Richmond, Minn./Eden Valley-Watkins) played a key role in the Gusties' defensive effort in a 27-19 win over Coe College in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on Saturday. Stommes tallied 15 tackles with seven solo stops, including a pivotal tackle for a loss on a third-and-1 play resulting in a missed Kohawk field goal early in the second quarter. Stommes also intercepted a pass in Coe's first drive of the second half with the score tied 13-13. Gustavus is 1-0 this season after defeating its first Iowa Conference opponent since 2001.
Ryan Wimmer, Saint John's
Week of: 2008-09-08
Saint John's University junior linebacker Ryan Wimmer (St. Cloud, Minn./Cathedral) totaled 10 tackles (four solo), including 1.0 tackle for loss and an interception as Saint John's defeated East Texas Baptist 29-15 last Saturday to improve its record to 67-28-3 (.699) all-time in season openers, including a 37-16-3 (.688) record at home. Wimmer led an SJU defense that held ETBU to 31 yards rushing on 22 carries in the game.