Kansas City, Mo. -- Emporia State's Tyler Eckenrode and Ben Carlson join Fort Hays State's Anthony Sheppard as the week eight MIAA Football Athletes of the Week.
MIAA Offensive Athlete of the Week
Tyler Eckenrode, QB, Emporia State
Eckenrode threw for a career high 422 yards and in the process broke the Emporia State single season record for total offense and career record for passing yards and touchdown passes in the Hornets 52-26 win at Truman. He went 23 of 32 for 340 yards in the first half as ESU built a 31-12 lead. It was his MIAA leading second 400 yard passing game and fifth game with at least 300 yards passing this season. He has helped the Hornets to an 8-0 record for the first time since 1988 and just the second time in school history. The 6-0 senior quarterback is a native of Houston, Texas where he competed at The Woodlands High School.
Others nominated: Trevor Adams, Northwest Missouri; Shaquille Cooper, Fort Hays State; Michael Hill, Missouri Western; Denodus O' Bryant, Lindenwood; Joel Rockmore, Northeastern State; Ricky Trinidad, Nebraska-Kearney.
MIAA Defensive Athlete of the Week
Ben Carlson, LB, Emporia State
Carlson had a career high 17 tackles, 11 of which were solo in Emporia State's 52-26 win over Truman to move to 8-0 for the first time since 1988. He intercepted a pass on TSU's third play of the second half and returned it 41 yards to the Bulldog 10 yard line. This set up an ESU score that put the Hornets up 38-12 in the game. Truman had first and goal from the Emporia State six yard line at the end of the third quarter. Carlson had tackles on rushes on first and second down before TSU threw two incompletions to turn the ball over. It was the third straight game that the Hornets defense had held an opponent scoreless after they started with a first and goal. The 6-3 senior linebacker is a native of Topeka, Kan. where he played at Topeka Seaman High School. He played at Missouri State and in the Cleveland Indians farm system prior to transferring to Emporia State.
Others nominated: David Bass, Missouri Western; Joe Day, Lindenwood; Keke Paul, Fort Hays State; Cayle Shambaugh, Northeastern State; Kellen Werner, Nebraska-Kearney.
MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week
Anthony Sheppard, QB, Fort Hays State
Sheppard had two punt blocks returns for touchdowns in the first quarter of a 28-26 win over Lincoln. Down 6-0, he recovered a blocked punt by Shaquille Copper in the end zone, which gave FHSU a 7-6 lead. He then scooped up a punt blocked by Seth Klausmeyer on the next Lincoln possession and dashed 25 yards for the score to give FHSU a 14-6 lead. The touchdowns were the first special teams scores for the Tigers since the 2009 season. The 6-2 senior quarterback is a native of Pahokee, Fla. where he played football at Pahokee High School before attending Hinds Community College.
Others nominated: Scott Groner, Missouri Western; Jeremy Linn, Washburn; Drew Patton, Northeastern State.