Eau Claire, Wis. / Memorial
Prior to the season, Saint John's senior kicker Jimmie Mattson (Eau Claire, Wis./Memorial) was named to the prestigious watch list for the Mitchell Award, which is given to the best kicker in the country. In Saturday's 52-7 season-opening win, Mattson certainly proved why he was worthy of the distinction, nailing all seven PATs and drilling a field goal from nearly 50 yards to help SJU roll to victory. For his performance, Mattson has earned yet another honor - the first MIAC Football Special Teams Athlete-of-the-Week award of the 2012 season.
Not only did Mattson go a perfect 7-for-7 on PATs , as the Johnnies crossed the goal in each of their six trips to the red zone, but he also booted all seven kickoffs to the back of the end zone for touchbacks, negating the Northwestern return game. Mattson also connected on a 49-yard field goal, while just missing a 47-yarder into the win, which was the first field goal miss (16-for-17) of his stellar Saint John's career. This is the fourth time Mattson has been named the MIAC Special Teams Player-of-the-Week in his career.
The Johnnies hope their kicker continues to split the uprights this weekend, as they hit the road for their final nonconference test. SJU will travel to UW-Eau Claire for a 1 p.m. kickoff Saturday. The Blugolds nearly upset St. Thomas Saturday, which should give the Johnnies a good idea where they stand before hosting the rival Tommies the following week in the MIAC opener in Collegeville.