Week one of football in the Minnesota College Athletic Conference provided fans, families and followers some strong early season performances by first-year student-athletes and some notable returners. The best of those efforts have been tabbed as the various Player-of-the-Week for the Western Division.
For MCAC statistical leaders, go to: http://www.mcacsports.org/sports/fball/2018-19/leaders
MCAC Western Division
Fr. / Albuquerque, NM
Minnesota West CTC
Andrew Ortiz led the Minnesota West CTC BlueJays to a 36-12 opening week win on the road at Central Lakes College. The freshman quarterback from was in control from start to finish for MnWest, connecting on a pair of early TD strikes to Reginald Colson III to open the first quarter.
For the game, Ortiz was 13-of-23 passing and accounted for four total touchdowns, including an 85 yard effort. His 252 yards in the air were combined with 47 yards rushing on 11 attempts, good for a 4.3 yard average per carry. Ortiz's 13 completions were spread out among four receivers, with Colson III collecting three touchdowns and Gary Smith III snagging a score as well.
Minnesota West CTC will face Mesabi Range College on Saturday, September 8 at 11am in Virginia, Minnesota in week two MCAC football action.
MCAC Western Division
So. / Clermont, FL
Jonathon Pickett has a strong start to his 2018 season for Northland CTC, leading the Pioneers in a stalwart defensive effort against Rochester Community & Technical College. The sophomore defensive lineman from Clermont, Florida was a part of a stifling NCTC defense in the week one opener for both teams.
Pickett's seven total tackles included six solo stops, a quarterback sack and three tackles behind the line of scrimmage. He also collected a pass breakup on the day, and was a key factor in holding the Yellowjacket offense to six points and only 146 yards of total offense.
Pickett and Northland will host Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College on Saturday, September 8. Kickoff is slated for 3pm in Thief River Falls.
MCAC Western Division
Special Teams Player-of-the-Week
Punter / Quarterback
Ridgewater College punter Bryant Walker did his part to help the Warriors compete on Saturday, consistently handing the Fond du Lac Tribal & Community College offense challenging field position in the MCAC opener for both teams.
Walker, punted six times for a total of 265 yards and placed two of his kicks inside the 20 yard line. He uncorked a 71 yard punt and had an average kick of 44.2 on the day.
Walker also handled the quarterbacking duties for RCC, completing 15 passes for 179 yards and a touchdown.
Ridgewater will play at Itasca Community College in week two, traveling to Coleraine, Minnesota for a 1:30pm kickoff against the Vikings.
A pair of NCTC running backs came close to a 100 yard game on Saturday, with Jarel Youree and Craig Wells rushing for 96 and 92 yards, respectively. Placekicker Simeus Rockley hit a 39 yard field goal and was 2-of-3 in PAT's against Rochester CTC.
Minnesota West receivers Gary Smith III and Reginald Colson III combined for four BlueJay touchdowns at Central Lakes College on Saturday, while Jayvon Green had seven total tackles (6 solo), one sack and two stops behind the line of scrimmage.
North Dakota State College of Science head coach Eric Issendorf collected his first Wildcat win thanks in part to Jay-Len Brown's strong rushing performance of 139 yards on 27 carries, good for a 5.1 average. Grant Brown took a punt return 80 yards for a touchdown.
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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.