WICHITA FALLS, TX (KAUZ) - Midwestern State moved up one spot to No. 5 in the latest American Football Coaches' Association Top 25 released Monday morning.
The Mustangs claimed its first road victory of the season with a 41-27 win Saturday night at Angelo State. MSU improved to 5-0 for the third consecutive year and for the sixth time since the start of the 2006 season.
The ranking is the highest for the Mustangs since the team reached No. 4 last season for consecutive releases on Oct. 3 and Oct. 10, 2016.
Midwestern is one of 10 teams from a competitive Super Region Four to receive mention in the poll joining No. 4 Minnesota State, No. 9 Central Washington, No. 10 Texas A&M-Commerce, No. 11 Winona State (Minn.), No. 15 Sioux Falls (S.D.), No. 16 Colorado Mesa, No. 22 Humboldt State (Calif.) and No. 24 Eastern New Mexico.
Colorado State-Pueblo is receiving votes.
Northwest Missouri State maintained its unanimous hold on the No. 1 spot with a 42-14 rout of Northeastern State (Okla.) to extend its winning streak to 37 games. The Bearcats are three wins shy of D2's all-time mark for consecutive wins.
Shepherd (W. Va.) remained at No. 2 surviving a challenge by Fairmont State (W. Va.), 28-23, Indiana (Pa.) thumped then-No. 9 Slippery Rock (Pa.), 34-17, to strengthen its grip on the No. 3 spot.
No. 4 Minnesota State ripped Upper Iowa 52-7 to improve to 7-0, while MSU jumped over Indianapolis to move to No. 5. UIndy fell a spot despite blanking Quincy (Ill.), 55-0.
Midwestern State and West Texas A&M renew the Highway 287 Challenge Cup series Saturday night at Memorial Stadium for Homecoming. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m.
Midwestern State sophomore Kevin Hayes provided a defensive spark in helping No. 6 Midwestern State to a 41-27 win over Angelo State Saturday night at Legrand Stadium to earn Lone Star Conference Defensive Player of the Week honors.
The sophomore from Bakersfield, Calif. made a season-high seven tackles including a stop for a loss, but also directly forced three Angelo State turnovers. He stripped and recovered a fumble by ASU leading rusher Josh Stevens in the first quarter then picked off a pass right before halftime.
Hayes stepped in front of a second aerial and returned it 36 yards to the ASU 29-yard line to set up the second of MSU's three touchdowns in the fourth quarter allowing the Mustangs to extend a 19-13 edge into a 41-13 lead with 4:27 to play.
Texas A&M-Commerce senior quarterback Luis Perez claimed top offensive honors passing for 358 yards and five touchdowns in a 52-3 rout of Western New Mexico, while Angelo State's Connor Flanigan made two field goals including a 52-yarder against MSU to earn special teams accolades.
It's the third consecutive week that a Midwestern State players earned league honors as junior quarterback Layton Rabb claimed offensive player of the week acclaim in each of the previous two weeks.