In Week 4 of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference football season, several squads were able to even their Divisional records at 1-1, keeping on track for a playoff spot in October. And, in the case of one MCAC team, an offense came to life at just the right time to put an unbeaten Conference streak into elite territory. Strong individual performances were the fuel for some terrific team play and the best of those have been tabbed as Players-of-the-Week for the fourth weekly edition of MCAC in 2017.
Co-Offensive Player-of-the-Week, Western Division:
Fans of North Dakota State College of Science saw their offense race out to a strong start Saturday, in their 48- 36 victory over Minnesota West. Quarterback Malik Gaillard was a big part of the standout performance, going 26-34 and passing for four touchdowns. Gaillard, a from Osseo, Minnesota, had a 67-yard effort as his longest completion of the day and he racked up 415 yards without an interception against the Bluejays. NDSCS counterpart and rival Dakota College- Bottineau served up an offensive display of their own on Saturday. Dakota College running back Elijah Todd barreled his way to 204 yards rushing on 28 attempts, clocking in at an average of 7.8 yards per carry. Todd, a sophomore from Springfield, Ohio, accounted for two touchdowns for the 'Jacks and also had a reception for 17 yards against Ridgewater. With his dominant running performance, Todd moves into the NJCAA top 5 nationally in yards-per-game and rushing touchdowns. The Wildcats moved to 2-0 in the Division and 3-1 overall on the MCAC season, taking the inside track on the playoff race among Western Division teams. DCB evens their Divisional mark at 2-0 and go to 3-1 overall in the MCAC. For their part in the success of both teams, Gaillard and Todd share the Offensive Player-of-the-Week honors for Week 4 in the Western Division.
Defensive Player-of-the-Week, Western Division:
The NCTC Pioneer offense has been putting up some impressive numbers in 2017; however, in Week 4, Northland defensive lineman Justin Scott put up a host of strong numbers himself in Northland's 42-14 win over M State this past Saturday. Scott, a sophomore from Chicago had 10 tackles for the Northland defensive corps, including four tackles for a loss. Seven of Scott's tackles were solo stops and his tackles behind the line of scrimmage amounted to 14 total yards. Scott and Northland will face Ridgewater College next week, when they travel to Wilmar, Minnesota for a 1:30pm contest against the Warriors.
Special Teams Player-of-the-Week, Western Division:
North Dakota State College of Science kicking specialist Gregory Slade, Jr. performed well across a range of duties on Saturday in the Wildcats wild game against Minnesota West CTC. When things went well for the NDSCS offense, Slade Jr. was called upon to kick PAT's; going a perfect 6-for-6 on the day. When the Wildcat offense sputtered, he came on to punt twice and averaged almost 50 yards a kick, including a 60 yard boot. Slade Jr. was 2-of-4 in the field goal category, connecting from 28 and 36 yards- he also kicked off nine times for over 440 yards. North Dakota State College of Science is sitting 2-0 in the Western Division and 3-1 overall in Minnesota College Athletic Conference play. NDSCS will play local rival M State next Saturday, September 30th at 1:30pm.
Other Notable Performances in the Western Division:
Northland CTC quarterback Shannon Patrick continued his amazing passing success in Week 4, throwing for 416 yards against M State, racking up 5 touchdowns and only one interception. Patrick is second in the nation in attempts (198) and completions (123), and is found within the top 20 NJCAA in pass efficiency rating at 17th, along with MCAC peers Malik Galliard/NDSCS (4th), Peyton Kendrick/Minnesota West (12th) and Debrarie Smith/Mesabi Range College (16th).
NDSCS kick returner Michael Kirkendoll, Jr. nearly hit the century mark with two kickoff returns against Minnesota West; Kirkendoll, Jr. averaged 47 yards a return on two efforts. Teammate Deadrick Jackson had five solo tackles for the Wildcats.
Minnesota West quarterback Peyton Kendrick matched his NDSCS counterpart Malik Galliard with four touchdown passes in the Bluejays 48-36 loss on Saturday. One of his favorite targets was Reginald Colson III, with three touchdown catches and six grabs total for MnWest.
Malik Williams (NCTC), had 10 receptions for the Pioneers, racking up two touchdowns and 175 total yards.
For more information on the 2017 Minnesota College Athletic Conference football season, be sure to bookmark these links:
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference website main page is: http://www.mcacsports.org/landing/index
This release sponsored in part by Gopher Sport.
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About the Minnesota College Athletic Conference
The Minnesota College Athletic Conference is the organizational body for NJCAA-affiliated two-year technical and community college athletic programs in the Minnesota State system. The mission of the Minnesota College Athletic Conference is to advance intercollegiate athletics by providing an engaging and supportive environment for success of our student athletes and competition among member institutions. The MCAC is committed to the guiding principles of encouraging the development and success of student athletes, promoting the integrity, honesty and loyalty to member schools as well as upholding the sustainability of conference athletic programs.