GLVC PICK SIX:
[1 | league leaders in midseason matchup]
Nearing the halfway point of the GLVC football season, a potential title bout could be on the docket Saturday as No. 7 Indianapolis (5-0, 2-0 GLVC) heads to McKendree (4-1, 2-0), while last year’s co-champions Southwest Baptist (2-3, 1-2) and Truman State (1-4, 1-2) will do battle in Kirksville, Missouri. Also in league action Saturday is Quincy (3-2, 1-1) hosting William Jewell (0-5, 0-2). Competing outside of GLVC play this week is another league leader Missouri S&T (3-2, 2-0) at Saint Francis, while Lincoln (1-3, 0-2) heads to Albany State.
[2 | indianapolis achieves record ranking in top 25 poll]
Indianapolis has achieved the program’s highest national ranking in the latest American Football Coaches Association (AFCA) Coaches Poll, it was announced Monday. The No. 7 ranking is also the GLVC’s highest ranking in league history, besting the league’s and Greyhounds’ previous-best ranking of No. 10, which was held by UIndy both last week and on Nov. 18, 2013. Off to its best start in 20 years, UIndy (5-0, 2-0 GLVC) received 616 points in the weekly poll, trailing sixth-ranked Sioux Falls (S.D.) by just 63 points. UIndy moved up three spots after two top-10 squads lost last week – California (Pa.) and Colorado Mesa – while also leapfrogging now-eighth-ranked Grand Valley State, whom the Hounds defeated in the season opener. Up next for the Hounds is an October slate that features three road games, starting this Saturday with a trip to McKendree, which earned one vote outside the top 25 this week.
[3 | uindy, mckendree earn weekly awards]
Indianapolis senior wide receiver Garrett Willis and freshman punt returner Daveon Bell, as well as McKendree sophomore linebacker Ricco Gipson, have been named the GLVC Players of the Week in football, it was announced by the league office Monday. Willis earned Offensive Player of the Week honors after hauling in eight catches for a career-high 190 yards and two touchdowns in the 34-19 home win over Truman State, while Bell, the Special Teams Player of the Week, netted 116 all-purpose yards, including an 86-yard punt return. Gipson garnered Defensive Player of the Week accolades have leading all players with 14 tackles, including nine solo stops, as well as 2.5 tackles for loss and one sack in McKendree’s 28-7 home win against Southwest Baptist.
[4 | defending co-champions to square off on espn3 as part of national showcase]
The NCAA announced July 12 the schedule for the Division II Football Showcase, with this Saturday’s Southwest Baptist at Truman State contest featured as one of the games. The rematch streamed live on ESPN3 with a scheduled kickoff of 1:00 CST features the GLVC co-champions that combined for a 19-4 record last year. The Bearcats advanced to the NCAA Division II playoffs last season, while finishing the regular season 10-1 with their lone loss to Truman State. While the Division II Football Showcase game will be an official conference game, the two teams will return to Stokes Stadium on Nov. 4 for a non-conference battle. The seasonal rematch was arranged due to both teams having difficulties filling the void in their schedule left by former GLVC member Saint Joseph’s, which shuttered its doors last spring.
[5 | youth being served]
A number of GLVC underclassmen are at our near the top of a number of statistical categories heading into week six of the season. Two sophomores rank as the league’s top rushers in Missouri S&T’s Deshawn Jones (102.2) and Truman State’s Jordan Salima (95.0), while Salima (8.4) and S&T’s Ben Styron (7.6) rank second and third in scoring behind UIndy senior kicker Brad Schickel (9.0). In punting, Quincy’s Nathan Kewney (41.2) and McKendree’s Monte Wolke (39.8) are first and third, while a combination of five freshmen and sophomores rank in the top eight in field goal percentage, led by second-place Styron (77.8) of S&T. Defensively, UIndy freshman linebacker Joe Lambright (11.4) and McKendree’s Ricco Gipson (11.0) are first and second, respectively, in tackles per game. S&T sophomore Tershawn Wharton (5) and Truman State sophomore Sam Reeves (5) are tied for the conference lead in total sacks, followed by McKendree’s Gipson (4) tied for third. In tackles for loss, Gipson (9.0), Southwest Baptist sophomore De’shawn Tone (8.5), and S&T’s Wharton (8.0) are second through fourth, respectively. S&T sophomore Ryan Kirkendall leads the league with 11 passes defended and teammate Wharton boasts a conference-best two forced fumbles on the year. As for fumble recoveries, Truman sophomore Bryan Edwards is first with four.
[6 | glvc teams, standouts among ncaa leaders]
A handful of GLVC teams and standouts are found among the NCAA Division II top 10 in select statistical categories. Among the team notables, Lincoln leads the country with five blocked kicks, is fifth in total defense (243.0), and 10th in time of possession (33:47). Truman has yet to lose a fumble, UIndy is second in passing efficiency (200.29) and sixth in sacks allowed per game (0.60), Quincy is fourth in punt returns (24.75), McKendree and Southwest Baptist both own the nation’s sixth-best three defensive touchdowns, and SBU is ninth in tackles for loss per game (10.0). Individually, UIndy’s Brad Schickel is first in the country in field goal percentage (1.000), Truman’s Bryan Edwards is first in fumbles recovered (4), UIndy’s Robert Williams (2.2) and Missouri S&T’s Ryan Kirkendall (2.2) are first in passes defended, Quincy’s Jordan Smith is second in kickoff return average (40.8), and Jake Purichia is third in passing efficiency (200.3), fourth in yards per pass attempt (15.88), and seventh in completion percentage (.705). Missouri S&T’s Tyler Swart is fourth in passing yards (1,654) and sixth in passing yards per game (330.8), while teammate Braxton Graham is sixth in receiving yards (603) and seventh in receiving yards per game (120.6). UIndy’s Joe Lambright is sixth in solo stops per game (7.2) and ninth in tackles per game (11.6). Lincoln’s Phillip Kind is fifth with two blocked kicks, Southwest Baptist’s Cassian Foreman is eighth in yards per reception (23.92), and UIndy’s Daveon Bell (23.3) and McKendree’s Derrick Curry (19.3) are fourth and eighth, respectively, in punt return yardage.