GAME OF THE WEEK
Concordia (Moorhead) at Bethel, 1 p.m. Saturday: A share of first place in the MIAC standings will be at stake for the two unbeaten teams. The Cobbers and Royals each take a 4-0 overall record and 2-0 conference record (St. Thomas also is 4-0 and 2-0) into this week's meeting. Concordia, ranked No. 23 in the AFCA Division III poll, was idle last week after defeating St. John's 31-21 on Sept. 22. The Royals, who are ranked No. 7, stopped a two-point conversion attempt to outlast Augsburg 21-20 last Saturday. Bethel, which has won its past three meetings with Concordia, defeated the Cobbers 27-13 in Moorhead last year.
WEEK 6 STORY LINES
Great (or at least better) Scots: Macalester, which has been an independent in football since leaving the MIAC after the 2001 season, has gone 13-9 -- including 3-1 this season -- since the beginning of the 2010 season. But the Scots, who play at Carleton on Saturday, have gone 2-27 against MIAC teams since 2002. After defeating Carleton 33-16 in 2002, the Scots lost 23 in a row to MIAC teams. The Scots ended that streak with a 17-0 victory over Hamline last October.
Quick study: In just its fifth season of football, St. Scholastica has become one of the UMAC's top programs. The Saints' 17-game winning streak in the league and sole possession of first place will be at stake when the Saints play host to Northwestern (Roseville) in Duluth on Saturday. The Saints (4-1 overall, 4-0 UMAC) defeated Northwestern (4-1, 3-0) 35-7 last year en route to an unbeaten regular-season.
Scholar athletes: Bethel linebacker Gavin Maurer and St. John's running back Stephen Johnson are candidates for the National Football Foundation's annual Scholar-Athlete Award. Maurer also is a semifinalist for the William V. Campbell Trophy, which recognizes the best football scholar-athlete in the nation. Johnson and Maurer are both seniors.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Phillip Klaphake, QB, St. Cloud State: The 6-1 junior from Princeton set one school record and tied another in the Huskies' 51-49 victory over Minnesota Duluth. Klaphake passed for a school-record 461 yards and tied the school record with five TD passes. On the season, Klaphake has passed for 1,328 yards and 10 TDs. He has been intercepted just twice in 159 attempts.
Seth Mathis, LB, Bethel: The 6-3 junior from Anoka is second in the MIAC in interceptions (three) and third in the MIAC in tackles (47) after a solid performance against Augsburg last Saturday. Mathis had 15 tackles (five solo) and intercepted two passes (both in the second half) to help the Royals hold on for a 21-20 victory over the Auggies.
BY THE NUMBERS
4 Times in school history Minnesota State Mankato has started a season 5-0. The Mavericks, who have allowed just 51 points in five games, also started 5-0 in 1926, 1993 and 2009.
48.8 Points per game (fourth-best in Division II) for Minnesota Duluth. The Bulldogs have scored at least 40 points in four of their five games.
53 Career touchdown passes for St. Olaf's Dan Dobson (a school record). Dobson, a senior, passed for 389 yards and five TDs in the Oles' 38-35 victory over St. John's.