ESU Kicker Among MIAA Weekly Award Winners

By: ESU Sports Information (Posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)
By: ESU Sports Information (Posted by J.B. Bauersfeld)

Kansas City, Mo. -- Lindenwood's Ben Gomez, Fort Hays State's Layton Hickel and Emporia State's Eli Kuhns earned this weeks MIAA Football Athlete of the Week Awards for the fifth week of play.

MIAA Offensive Athlete of the Week
Ben Gomez, QB, Lindenwood
Gomez had one of the best passing days in MIAA history as he tied an MIAA record by throwing six touchdown passes against Nebraska-Kearney. He had the third most passing yards in a single game and most against a conference opponent in MIAA history as he threw for 480 yards and finished just 13 yards shy of the MIAA record despite not playing in the fourth quarter. His numbers tied the Lindenwood single game touchdown record and broke the school's passing yardage record by 35 yards and was the fifth most completions in a single game. He becomes just the third Lindenwood quarterback to have two 400 yard passing games in his career, something he has done in just five games played. The 6-0 junior quarterback is a native of San Juan Capistrano, Calif. where he attended San Clemente High School and played two years at Saddleback Community College prior to joining the Lions.

Others Nominated: Trevor Adams, Northwest Missouri; Tarean Austin, Fort Hays State; Derwin Hall, Emporia State; Ronrei Lloyd, Central Missouri; Travis Partridge, Missouri Western; Landon Zerkel, Missouri Southern.

MIAA Defensive Athlete of the Week
Layton Hickel, DB, Fort Hays State
Hickel had a career high 15 tackles as Fort Hays State earned their first win of the season. He had a half sack and forced a fumble in the game as well. His biggest play came after the start of the second half just after FHSU Quarterback Tarean Austin was sacked and fumbled deep in their own territory. Hickle returned the favor when he forced a fumble on the very next play to give FHSU the ball back denying TSU an excellent scoring opportunity deep in Tiger territory. This kept the lead for the Tigers at 21-10 as they would hold on for victory. The 6-3 senior defensive back is a native of Claflin, Kan. where he attended Claflin High School.

Others Nominated: Bryce Atagi, Washburn; Ben Pister, Missouri Western; Zach Quines, Central Missouri; Jordan Sanders, Emporia State.

MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week
Eli Kuhns, K, Emporia State
Kuhns tied the Emporia State single game record and long distance record with four made field goals including a 51 yarder in the Hornets 37-26 victory over Lincoln. He was one of three Hornets to hit a field goal on the day as Emporia State broke the MIAA record of six made field goals set in 1985 by Central Missouri against Southeast Missouri. Primarily the long distance kicker for ESU he made field goals of 38, 37, 43 and 51 yards to tie Justin Gray's 2004 record and Matt Perry's 2008 record. His 51 yards tied Gray's school record first set against Pittsburg State in 2002 and tied again by Gray in 2003 and 2004. It is the only field goal in the MIAA of over 50 yards on the season and he is now six of eight on field goals this year with his shortest attempt being from 37 yards. The 6-2 freshman kicker is a native of Copperas Cove, Texas where he attended Copperas Cove High School.

Others nominated: Aaron Hummert, Washburn; Cameron Owens, Fort Hays State.

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