After a four-year run in Football Championship Subdivision, Winston-Salem State (N.C.) is back in Division II and makes an appearance in the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll for the first time since 2002. The Rams moved their record to 5-0 after a 31-14 victory over Fayetteville State (N.C.) and enter the poll at No. 23.
Grand Valley State (Mich.), Minnesota-Duluth, North Alabama, California (Pa.) and Abilene Christian (Texas) still hold down the Top 5 places. There will be three Top 25 matchups in this week’s games, including a pair of Top 10 games. No. 5 Abilene Christian (Texas) will travel south to face conference rival, No. 6 Texas A&M-Kingsville, while No. 7 Northwest Missouri State plays host to No. 8 Missouri Western State. In the final Top 25 matchup, No. 15 West Alabama will travel to No. 19 Delta State (Miss.) in a Thursday night showdown in the Gulf South Conference.
1. Grand Valley (1 last week)
2. Minnesota Duluth (2)
3. North Alabama (3)
4. California, PA (4)
5. Abilene Christian (5)
6. Texas A&M-Kingsville (6)
7. Northwest Missouri (7)
8. Missouri Western (8)
9. West Texas A&M (9)
10. Midwestern State (10)
16. Central Missouri (21)
21. Central Washington (22)
Three Lone Star Conference teams - Abilene Christian, Texas A&M-Kingsville and Midwestern State - remain undefeated after victories last week. This week, No. 5 ACU will travel south to face No. 6 Kingsville in a top-10 match-up.
FOUR LSC TEAMS RANKED IN TOP-10
Four LSC squads remain ranked in top-10 of the AFCA Division II Coaches’ Top 25 Poll (Sept. 27). ACU leads the way at No. 5, while Kingsville is ranked sixth, West Texas A&M ninth and MSU 10th.
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DIVISIONAL PLAY CONTINUES
Division play continues in week six with six contests. A lone crossover game will be played as well. The league has played 15 crossover contests this season with the South Division holding a 12-3 advantage.
In week five, the LSC had three quarterbacks throw for 300-plus yards, two receivers and five rushers over the century mark and eight double-digit tacklers. Top performances included:
Passing: 437, Wesley Wood (44-73-2), ENMU vs A&M-C
Rushing: 18-183, Josh Birmingham, UCO vs MSU
Receiving: 8-126, Trey McVay, NSU at SE
Tackles: 15, Tillman Stevens, ENMU vs A&M-C
PLAYERS OF THE WEEK
Trey McVay, Northeastern State University, JR, WR, Muskogee, Okla./Fort Gibson HS
McVay caught eight passes for 126 yards and two touchdowns (64 yards and 6 yards) as Northeastern State edged Southeastern Oklahoma 26-24 in Durant in the LSC North opener for both schools. Three of his receptions came during the RiverHawks’ game-winning drive where he hauled in catches of seven, nine and 11 yards. He leads Northeastern State in receptions (19), yards (308) and average/game (77.0) this season. The RiverHawks are 2-2 overall, 2-1 in the LSC and 1-0 in LSC North action.
Armonty Bryant, East Central University, JR, DE, Wichita Falls, Texas/Wichita Falls HS
Bryant led ECU with six tackles, including four solo efforts, and returned an interception 65 yards for a touchdown late in the game during the Tigers’ 23-0 home win over Southwestern Oklahoma State on Saturday. Two of Bryant’s tackles led to minus 15 yards as he also had 1.5 sacks which led to 10 yards in losses.
NORTH SPECIAL TEAMS
Drew Patton, Northeastern State University, FR, K, Fayetteville, Ark./Fayetteville HS
Patton made two-of-three field goals, including a 20-yarder as time expired, to lift Northeastern State to a 26-24 win over Southeastern Oklahoma in Durant on Saturday night. Patton’s other field goal was from 37 yards in the third quarter to bring the RiverHawks to within 14-10 with 11:32 to play in the period. His other attempt was blocked in the first quarter. Patton, a true freshman, is 5-of-6 on field goals this season and 7-of-8 on PATs.
Keidrick Jackson, Midwestern State University, R-FR, RB, Arlington, Texas/Bowie HS
Jackson single-handedly sparked No. 10 Midwestern State to a come-from-behind 30-24 win over Central Oklahoma Saturday night at Wantland Stadium. The redshirt freshman from Arlington broke 69 yards to tie the game with 13:56 remaining in the fourth quarter before carrying the ball five straight times for 46 yards on the Mustangs’ go-ahead drive later in the stanza. Jackson ran for 127 of his team- and career-high 136 yards to key Midwestern to a 4-0 start for the fifth straight season.
Kevin Washington, Abilene Christian University, SR, LB, Sugar Land, TX/Sugar Land Austin HS
Washington was all over the field for the Wildcats, leading a defensive charge that held Tarleton State to just 196 yards of total offense Saturday in No. 5 ACU’s 65-3 win over the Texans. ... Washington finished the night with 12 total tackles, including five tackles for loss that resulted in 10 yards in losses. ... ACU’s defense finished the night with 17 tackles for loss and five sacks. ... Washington also had one sack for a four-yard loss. ... Washington was a big part of a defensive effort that only allowed 60 rushing yards on 31 carries (1.9 yards per attempt).
SOUTH SPECIAL TEAMS
Morgan Lineberry, Abilene Christian University, SO, K, Dallas, TX/Lakehill Prep Academy
Lineberry put his name in the ACU football record book with his performance in Saturday’s 65-3 win over Tarleton State. ... Lineberry didn’t miss a kick, hitting all 8 of his PAT tries and all three of his field goal tries to give him 17 kicking points in the victory. ... That tied the single-game ACU record for kicking points in a game, matching the mark of Matt Adams in a 2008 win over Midwestern State.