Unbeaten Royals, Johnnies clash Saturday
GAME OF THE WEEK
Bethel at St. John's, 1 p.m., Saturday: For the second consecutive season, both teams bring unbeaten records into the contest. Bethel (4-0, 2-0 MIAC), is ranked No. 6 in Division III, while the Johnnies (4-0, 3-0) are ranked No. 4. The Johnnies, who have won the past five meetings between the two, have the top-ranked rushing defense in Division III (22.8 yards per game).
WEEK 6 STORY LINES
• Martin Luther's offensive line of Sam Boeder, Carrington Cunningham, Derek Gulrud, Andrew Owczarzak and Alexander Quist was named to the D3football.com team of the week. The quintet helped the Knights rush for a season-high 402 yards (in 75 attempts) in a 27-6 victory over previously unbeaten St. Scholastica. It's the first time a UMAC offensive line has been named to the team.
• St. Thomas (3-1, 2-0 MIAC) will try to avoid looking ahead to next week's showdown with St. John's when it travels to Augsburg (1-4, 0-3) on Saturday. The Tommies, ranked No. 11 in Division III, have defeated the Auggies 10 consecutive times. The Tommies won 73-14 last season.
• The top three spots in both the AFCA and D2football.com polls remained unchanged this week — No. 1 Valdosta State, followed by Ferris State and MSU Mankato. MSU Mankato is 31-2 since the beginning of the 2017 season. One of those losses was to Ferris State in the Division II semifinals last season.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Danny Laudet, K/P, Concordia (St. Paul): The senior from Cabas, France, leads the NSIC in field goals made (10) and FG percentage (90.9), is second in punt average (43.0) and third in total points (41). Laudet, in his first season as the Golden Bears' regular kicker, was 5-of-5 on FGAs last week.
Alex Taylor, LB, St. Thomas: The senior from Glenbard, Ill., in his first season as a starter, leads the Tommies defense with 14 solo tackles and 12 assists. Taylor also has four tackles-for-loss and 2½ sacks. In the Tommies' 51-6 victory over Concordia (Moorhead) last week he had eight tackles, one sack, a forced fumble, and 1.5 tackles for loss in less than three quarters.
BY THE NUMBERS
0 Rushing touchdowns allowed (in five games) by the MSU Mankato defense. The Mavericks have allowed five touchdowns.
35 Margin of victory for Crown — 35-0 over Iowa Wesleyan — last week for its largest since 2009.
2,168 Career rushing yards — seventh on SW Minnesota State's career list — by Max Simmons, a senior from Bloomington.