SATURDAY'S GAMES TO WATCH
Winona State (2-0, 1-0 NSIC) at Bemidji State (1-1, 0-1 NSIC), 1 p.m.
Winona State, which was picked to finish fourth in the NSIC South preseason poll, is ranked No. 20 in the Division II poll after opening the season with victories over Carson-Newman (17-12) and Northern State (52-17). Freshman Rayon Simmons, who rushed for more than 100 yards in each game, rushed for 153 yards and two touchdowns against Northern State. Bemidji State is coming off a 37-34 overtime loss at Minnesota State Mankato. Beavers quarterback Derek Edholm, a junior from Anoka, rushed for 116 yards and three touchdowns. The Beavers opened the season with a 47-20 victory over Minot State.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire (1-0) at St. John's (1-0), 1 p.m.
Wisconsin-Eau Claire, which was picked to finish third in the WIAC preseason poll, opened it season with a 21-7 nonconference victory over Bethel (Tenn.). Blugolds quarterback Kyle Paulson passed for 172 yards and three touchdowns, and the Blugolds defense, which has just three returning starters, limited Bethel to 176 yards. St. John's, ranked No. 11 in the Division III poll, rallied from an 17-point first-half deficit for a 28-24 victory over Wisconsin-River Falls. The Johnnies were led by quarterback Joe Boyle, who passed for 278 yards and three touchdowns, and Nick Gunderson, who had 10 tackles and forced two fumbles.
Minn. Duluth (1-1, 1-0 NSIC) at SW Minn. State (2-0, 1-0), 6 p.m.
Minn. Duluth, which opened it season with a 56-0 victory over Concordia (St. Paul), had a 17-game winning streak ended last week by Central Washington, 13-10. The Bulldogs, who are ranked No. 9 in Division II, were without starting receiver Noah Pauley and starting back Brad Foss, and quarterback Jon Lynch suffered an elbow injury three plays into the game and missed the rest of the game. SW Minnesota State is off to a 2-0 start (victories over Minnesota-Crookston and Black Hills State), and its four-game winning streak (dating to last season) is its longest since 1999. Quarterback Ryan Ratekin, a junior from Chico, Calif., passed for 310 yards and four touchdowns last week against Black Hills State.
PLAYERS IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Zach Tarter, Northwestern (Roseville) QB
Tarter, a senior from Crystal Falls, Mich., became Northwestern's all-time career leader in completions (453) and passing yards (6,419) by completing 20 of 29 passes for 301 yards in Northwestern's 44-27 victory over Wisconsin Lutheran.
Fred Williams, St. Cloud State receiver
Williams, a junior from Milwaukee, caught 15 passes (a school single-game record) for 171 yards in the Huskies' 34-27 overtime loss at Maine last week. Williams caught 49 passes for 659 yards and six touchdowns last season.
BY THE NUMBERS
1 Overtime victories in school history for Minnesota State Mankato. The Mavericks defeated Bemidji State 37-34 last week for their first overtime victory in six attempts.
180 Punt return yards for St. Thomas sophomore Fritz Waldvogel in the Tommies' 54-14 victory over Macalester. Waldvogel returned punts 68 and 74 yards for touchdowns and another for 38 yards.
2,383 Career receiving yards (a school record) for Northwestern (Roseville) senior Kyle Thomforde. Thomforde, from Northfield, caught six passes for 79 yards in Northwestern's 44-27 victory over Wisconsin Lutheran.