MSU Football Up to #12 in AFCA Poll

Midwestern State leaped ahead eight spots to No. 12 in the latest American Football Coaches' Association Top 25 released Monday morning.
 
The Mustangs upended No. 6-ranked Angelo State 29-20 Saturday night at LeGrand Stadium in San Angelo.
 
MSU, which has won eight of its last nine games against nationally ranked opponents during the regular season, soared to its highest ranking since landing the No. 8 spot on Nov. 12, 2012.
 
Super Region Four boasts half of the first 16 teams in the poll as MSU joins No. 4 Ferris State (Mich.), No. 7 Colorado State-Pueblo, No. 8 Colorado Mines, No. 9  Ashland (Ohio), No. 14 Michigan Tech, No. 15 Texas A&M-Commerce and No. 16 Angelo State.
 
Grand Valley State (Mich.) also received a national ranking coming in at No. 24 while Colorado Mesa, Indianapolis (Ind.), West Texas A&M and Findlay (Ohio) are receiving votes.
 
Minnesota State-Mankato retained the top spot receiving 30 of the 32 first-place votes followed by West Georgia (2 first-place votes), Northwest Missouri State, Ferris State and Sioux Falls (S.D.).
 
Midwestern State and West Texas A&M face off in a Highway 287 Challenge Cup game Saturday night at Memorial Stadium. Kickoff is set for 7 p.m.

Stewart Earns LSC Defensive Player of the Week

Midwestern State's Calvin Stewart garnered Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors as released by league officials Monday afternoon.
 
The senior from Rialto, Calif. delivered a career performance in his first start of the season while helping the Mustangs upset sixth-ranked Angelo State 29-20 Saturday night at LeGrand Stadium.
 
Stewart made 12 tackles including 0.5 for loss, scored a defensive touchdown and nearly had another against the top-rated offense in NCAA Division II.
 
Stepping in for the injured Daniel Laudermilk, Stewart chased down a fumble in the end zone in the first quarter to give MSU the first score of the game.
 
His interception with 3:33 remaining in the fourth quarter allowed the Mustangs to drain the clock, but he was unable to tightrope the sidelines before stepping out at the Angelo State 27-yard line.
 
Stewart has accounted for 30 tackles over the last three weeks of the season going for nine tackles in wins over Eastern New Mexico and Tarleton State.

Ford Named Top LSC Special Teams Performer

Midwestern State's Sir'Vell Ford had a hand in delivering momentum and points in a decisive third quarter allowing the Mustangs to upend No. 6 Angelo State 29-20 Saturday night at LeGrand Stadium.
 
The redshirt-freshman from Rosenberg proved to be Johnny-on-the-spot in earning Lone Star Conference Special Teams Player of the Week honors by covering up a fumble on a kickoff return before running down a blocked punt for a touchdown just over a minute later to give MSU a 23-13 lead heading into the final quarter.
 
Ford jumped on a fumble after teammate Marqui Christian stripped the ball loose from ASU return man Tyler Middleton with 2:39 to go in the third.
 
The turnover resulted in a season long 41-yard field goal by Andy Alkhazshvilly to give MSU a 16-13 lead.
 
MSU forced Angelo State to go three and out on the possession as Michael Gerst came clean through the center of the Rams line to block Sam Fowler's punt. Ford chased the ball down at the 12-yard line before sprinting into the end zone.
 
Ford was one of many MSU players to deliver standout performance on special teams. Alkhazshvilly recovered from a rough start to convert three field goals in the second half chipping in a pair of 30-yard efforts to go along with his season long.
 
Sophomore Don Jerry, who leads all Mustangs with 10 tackles on special teams, made solo stops on punts inside the ASU 10-yard line in the first and fourth quarters.