Nolan Lortz, Saint John's

Nolan Lortz, Saint John's

St. Cloud, Minn. / Tech

The Saint John's football team pulled off one of the biggest upset in Division III Saturday when it knocked off second-ranked rival St. Thomas 20-18 in front of 10,800 fans on the Tommies' home field. The Johnnie defense came up big in the game, holding UST to 18 points and creating several crucial turnovers. Leading the way was senior defensive back Nolan Lortz, who led the Johnnies in tackles and picked off a pass to set up for the game-winning field goal. For his performance, Lortz was named the MIAC Football Defensive Player-of-the-Week.

Lortz finished with 10 tackles - eight solo - to lead Saint John's to the big victory. However, his biggest play came late in the third quarter when he intercepted a pass and returned it 22 yards to the St. Thomas 21-yard line. That set up a 34-yard field goal that ended up being the difference in the two-point win. Lortz - who made his first career start a week earlier - now has 14 tackles and two interceptions in 2013. His two picks rank second in the MIAC and his 10 solo tackles are the 15th most thus far.

The win helped the Johnnies improve to 3-0 (1-0 MIAC) under new Head Coach Gary Fashing, and they entered the Top 25 rankings at No. 21 in both the AFCA Coaches' Poll and poll. SJU and Lortz hope to continue their spectacular start Saturday when they host (RV) Concordia in a huge matchup of 3-0 teams. The game kicks off in Collegeville at 1 p.m. 

2013 MIAC Football Athletes-of-the-Week

DATE       NAME       SCHOOL       AWARD      
11/18/2013       Anthony Kemper       Carleton       Offense      
        Landon Mathis       Bethel       Defense      
        Hakeem Bourne-McFarlane       Augsburg       Special Teams      
11/11/2013       Jeffrey Dubose       Gustavus       Offense      
        Mitch Heflin       Carleton       Defense      
        Thomas Schleusener       Gustavus       Special Teams      
11/04/2013       Joey Sonnenfeld       Augsburg       Offense      
        Michael Juberian       Augsburg       Defense      
        Thomas Schleusener       Gustavus       Special Teams      
10/28/2013       Griffin Neal       Concordia       Offense      
        Matt Mehlhorn       Bethel       Defense      
        Ben Wagner       Concordia       Special Teams      
10/21/2013       Erik Peterson       Bethel       Offense      
        Seth Mathis       Bethel       Defense      
        Jack Gilliland       St. Thomas       Special Teams      
10/14/2013       Tim Bona       Hamline       Offense      
        Anthony Hill       Hamline       Defense      
        Griffin Toomey       Saint John's       Special Teams      
10/7/2013       Jeffrey Dubose       Gustavus       Offense      
        Josh Treimer       Bethel
        Andrew O'Reilly       Bethel       Special Teams      
9/30/2013       Griffin Neal       Concordia       Offense      
        Zach Dilger       Gustavus       Defense      
        Andrew O'Reilly       Bethel       Special Teams      
9/23/2013       Austin Duncan       Hamline       Offense      
        Nolan Lortz       Saint John's       Defense      
        Bryce Hentges       Concordia       Special Teams      
9/16/2013       Josh Bungum       Saint John's       Offense      
        Josh Treimer       Bethel       Defense      
        Paul Graupner       St. Thomas       Special Teams      
9/9/2013       Griffin Neal Concordia       Offense      

      Josh Estes Carleton       Defense      
        Alexi Johnson       Saint John's         Special Teams