Kansas City, Mo. – Pittsburg State’s Anthony Abenoja was the MIAA Offense Athlete of the Week, Brandon Dixon of Northwest Missouri earned the defensive award and Washburn’s Justin Linn was the MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week.
MIAA Offensive Athlete of the Week
Anthony Abenoja, QB, Pittsburg State
Abenoja accounted for 314 total yards and four touchdowns in leading No. 21 ranked Pittsburg State to a 45-6 victory over Northeastern State in the season opener for both schools Saturday. Abenoja completed 18 of 24 passes for 228 yards and three touchdowns and rushed the ball 11 times for 86 yards and a score. He led the Gorillas to scores on seven of their first nine possessions in the game and helped the offense finish the contest with 582 total yards. The 6-3 sophomore quarterback is a native of Overland Park, Kan. where he competed at Blue Valley High School.
Others nominated: Joshua Birmingham, Central Oklahoma; Jordan Hart, Washburn; Jay McDowell, Missouri Southern; Dillon Miller, Lindenwood; Willie Tindal, Southwest Baptist; Clint Utter, Northwest Missouri; Brent Wilson, Emporia State.
MIAA Defensive Athlete of the Week
Brandon Dixon, DB, Northwest Missouri
Charged with defending one of the nation's top receivers in Jeff Janis of Saginaw Valley, Brandon Dixon and the Bearcat defense held the All-America performer to just three catches as Northwest won its season opener on Thursday evening, 45-24. Dixon, who had three tackles, was credited with just one pass breakup but spent most of the night denying throws to Janis. Up by 11 late in the second quarter, Dixon recovered a fumble as Saginaw Valley was attempting a field goal and returned it 70 yards for a touchdown. Dixon is a 6-0 senior defensive back from Pompano Beach, Fla., and previously attended Joliet Junior College.
Others nominated: Deveon Deinwiddie, Emporia State; Nate Dreiling, Pittsburg State; Connor Harris, Lindenwood; Janis Matulis, Missouri Western; Justin McPhail, Fort Hays State; Evan Ray, Southwest Baptist; DJ Wakes, Washburn.
MIAA Special Teams Athlete of the Week
Justin Linn, K, Washburn
Linn went three for three in field goals and seven for seven in extra points as the Ichabods won their season opener 58-13 over Nebraska-Kearney. He had field goals of 23, 51 and 40 yards on the night. His 51-yard field goal was one shy of the school record and he became only the third Ichabod to hit a field goal over 50 yards. He was responsible for 16 points overall and he averaged 62.5 yards per kickoff with four touchbacks in 11 kickoffs. The 6-1 freshman kicker is a native of Abilene, Kan. where he attended Abilene High School.
Others nominated: A.J. Chapelle, Lindenwood; Kyle Goodburn, Northwest Missouri; Scott Groner, Missouri Western; Eli Kuhns, Emporia State; Sean Seefeldt, Missouri Southern.