This week's Missouri Valley Football Conference players of the week include QB Kurt Hess of Youngstown State; DE Cole Jirik of North Dakota State; CB/RS Marcus Williams of North Dakota State; QB Sawyer Kollmorgen of UNI; and OG Chris Elkins of Youngstown State.
QB Kurt Hess, Youngstown State
6-3, Jr., 220, Dayton, Ohio (Chaminade-Julienne H.S.)
Hess completed 20-of-28 passes for 248 yards and two touchdowns in the Penguins 27-6 win over nationally ranked Indiana State on Saturday. He had an exceptional second half completing 11-of-12 passes for 175 yards and two scores as the Penguins outscored the Sycamores 21-3. With his 30-yard scoring toss to Andrew Williams in the third quarter he set the school record for career touchdown passes. He finished the season with 53.
DE Cole Jirik, North Dakota State
6-4½, 250, Jr., Northfield, Minn. (Northfield H.S.)
Jirik recorded eight tackles including a career-high three sacks and two forced fumbles in No. 1-ranked North Dakota State’s 38-20 win at No. 11 Illinois State on Saturday. Jirik added a pair of QB hurries. The Bison trailed 17-14 at halftime, but came back in the second half to limit Illinois State to 78 yards of total offense. His sack and forced fumble led to a Mike Hardie recovery to setup a fourth quarter TD that put NDSU ahead 31-20 with 9:52 left.
CB/RS Marcus Williams, North Dakota State
5-11, 194, Jr., Minneapolis, Minn. (Hopkins H.S.)
Williams returned a kickoff for a career long 98 yards and a touchdown in No. 1-ranked North Dakota State’s 38-20 win at No. 11 Illinois State on Saturday. NDSU trailed 10-0 in the first quarter when Williams broke free for the touchdown to cut into the deficit and stop the Redbirds momentum. It was the second career kickoff return for a TD for Williams, a Buck Buchanan Award candidate, who returned one 90 yard against Missouri State last season. Defensively, Williams added three tackles and a pass breakup.
QB Sawyer Kollmorgen, UNI, 6-2, 215, R-Fr., Jenks, Okla. (Jenks HS)
Kollmorgen went 20-for-25 passing for 265 yards and two touchdowns in helping UNI to a 38-13 win over Missouri State. Kollmorgen and Terrell Sinkfield hooked up for an 8-yard scoring strike with nine seconds left before halftime. Kollmorgen connected with Carlos Anderson for a 60-yard scoring strike in the fourth quarter to give UNI a 38-0 lead.
#66 OG Chris Elkins, Youngstown State
6-4, 290, Jr. Beaver Falls, Pa. (Beaver Falls)
Elkins played all 69 offensive snaps for the Penguins in the season-finale win over Indiana State. YSU had 248 yards passing and 146 yards rushing in the impressive victory against one of the nation's top defenses. TB Jamaine Cook rushed for 124 yards while quarterback Kurt Hess threw for 248 yards in the victory. YSU had 394 yards of total offense in the contest. Elkins was the team's Offensive Line of the Game for his performance. He had an overall grade of 88 percent, a technique grade of 100 percent and led the way with five knockdowns. The 27 points scored by the Guins were the most allowed by the Sycamores in a game this season.