MIAC Football Athletes-of-the-Week - Sept. 16, 2013
September 16, 2013 - http://miacathletics.com/sports/fball/2013-14/aotw/091613_fb_aow
Bungum, Saint John's
Paynesville, Minn. / Paynesville
Saint John's has successfully started the post-John Gagliardi era, adding a 17-14 win over UW-Eau Claire Saturday to improve to 2-0 in 2013. The Johnnies raced out to a three-score lead thanks largely to the playmaking abilities of wide receiver Josh Bungum (Paynesville, Minn.). The Johnnie sophomore contributed 185 yards from scrimmage despite rainy conditions, including the second-longest TD reception in the MIAC thus far in 2013. For his performance, Bungum was named the MIAC Football Offensive Player-of-the-Week.
In Saturday's victory, Bungum caught eight passes for 158 yards and a touchdown, and added 27 yards rushing on two carries. He averaged 19.8 yards per reception and 13.5 yards per carry in an impressive display of big-play ability. Bungum's biggest play was an 84-yard touchdown catch to put the Johnnies up 17-0, which is just a yard short of the longest reception in the MIAC this season. So far in 2013, Bungum's 15 catches lead the MIAC, and his 221 yards rank second.
The Johnnies' win Saturday was their second by the same score (17-14) over a WIAC opponent. SJU is one of three MIAC teams to start the season 2-0 as the league has started 12-1 overall against nonconference competition. Saint John's and Bungum will open conference play with a tough test as they travel to face three-time defending MIAC champion and second-ranked St. Thomas to start league play Saturday. The annual Johnnie-Tommie game will start in St. Paul at 1:10 p.m.
Burnsville, Minn. / Burnsville
The sixth-ranked Bethel football team started its season with a 30-17 victory over Wartburg in front of the Royals' home fans, with senior Josh Treimer (Burnsville, Minn.) turning in quite the defensive highlight reel. The Bethel cornerback intercepted three passes - all in the first half - and returned one for a touchdown as he led Bethel to its first victory of 2013. For his performance, Treimer was named the MIAC Football Defensive Player-of-the-Week.
Treimer made three tackles to contribute to Bethel's defensive effort, but it was his work against the Wartburg passing game that stole the show. He halted the visitors' first drive with a pick at the Bethel 41-yard line, which led to a Royals' field goal. He struck again in the second quarter, this time picking off a pass at the Wartburg 27-yard line and returning it all the way for a touchdown. His third interception came just before halftime to help Bethel take a 16-0 lead into the locker room. Treimer's three interceptions lead the MIAC after two weeks of the season, and he also added a pass breakup to his incredible stat line.
Bethel, which was ranked as high as No. 6 in the preseason, moved up to No. 7 in the D3football.com poll following Saturday's victory. The Royals will have one more nonconference tune-up this week as the rest of the MIAC starts conference play. Bethel hits the road for its first game away from Arden Hills Saturday when it visits Buena Vista for a 1 p.m. kickoff. The Royals open MIAC play on Sept. 28 at Carleton.
Graupner, St. Thomas
Minnetonka, Minn. / Benilde-St. Margaret's
The second-ranked St. Thomas football team earned its second-straight convincing win over a WIAC foe Thursday with a 25-7 win at UW-River Falls. The Tommies' special teams - especially kicker Paul Graupner (Minnetonka, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret's) played a big role in the win. The UST sophomore was perfect in the kicking game, making his only field goal try and two PATs, and supplied great field position on kickoffs. For his performance, Graupner was named the MIAC Football Special Teams Player-of-the-Week.
Graupner's only field goal try - a 41-yard attempt in the final quarter- was good to give the Tommies their final margin of victory as they held off the Falcons on the road. The field goal was just one yard shy of Graupner's career long, and the longest make in the MIAC thus far in 2013. The St. Thomas kicker also converted both extra point attempts to improve to 40-for-41 in his career. Graupner was also impressive in four kickoffs, sending one into the end zone and the other three inside the 10-yard line. He also had a successful onside kick attempt that St. Thomas got to first, but couldn't secure possession. So far in 2013, Graupner's 12 points lead all MIAC kickers.
After two weeks, the Tommies are among three teams in the MIAC to start 2-0, as the league has a 12-1 collective record against nonconference competition. St. Thomas is ranked No. 2 by D3football.com, just two points behind No. 1 Mount Union. Graupner and the Tommies start their quest for a fourth-straight MIAC title with a big rivalry contest to open MIAC play Saturday. UST will host Saint John's in the annual Tommie-Johnnie game in St. Paul at 1:10 p.m.