Story courtesy of the Missouri Valley Conference
Photo courtesy of Illinois State Athletics
This week's Missouri Valley Football Conference players of the week are RB Zach Zenner of South Dakota State; S Ben Ericksen of Illinois State; CB/RS Marcus Williams of North Dakota State; and RB Jonathon Miller of Illinois State.
RB Zach Zenner, South Dakota State
6-0, 215, So., Eagan (Minn.) High
For the second week in a row, Zenner established new career highs by carrying the ball 34 times for 278 yards and a touchdown in the Jackrabbits’ 31-14 win at Southeastern Louisiana. Zenner reached the 100-yard mark before halftime and added a 35-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to help the Jackrabbits pull away for the victory. Zenner’s yardage total was the most by an SDSU player in the Division I era (previous record 259 by Cory Koenig against Cal Poly in 2007) and was the third-most in school history – 13 yards shy of the school record. In two games, Zenner has gained 461 yards and is averaging 8.1 yards per carry.
S Ben Ericksen, Illinois State
6-1, 200, Sr., Greendale (Wis.) High
Ericksen led the way for Illinois State in a dominating defensive effort in the 31-14 victory over Eastern Michigan. He recorded the first two interceptions of his career, added four tackles and broke up a pass that resulted in a third interception in the win against the Eagles. Ericksen’s interception in the second quarter helped preserve a 10-7 lead at the time and his pick in the fourth quarter sealed the victory. He was also credited with a pass breakup in the fourth, which he deflected to Mike Zimmer who returned it to the EMU 30 yard line and Darrelynn Dunn would eventually score on the ensuing drive to secure the victory.
CB/RS Marcus Williams, North Dakota State
5-11, 194, Jr., Minneapolis (Minn.) Hopkins High
Williams recorded his first interception of the season and rolled up 139 all-purpose yards in North Dakota State’s 22-7 win over Colorado State in Fort Collins, Colo. He returned a kickoff 53 yards to set up NDSU’s first touchdown in the first quarter and added a career long 64 yard punt return. Williams returned three punts for 78 yards and two kickoffs for 57 yards. He has 12 career interceptions and is tied for No. 5 all-time at North Dakota State. Williams was part of a defense that allowed only 11 first downs, 243 yards and forced the Rams into 1 of 10 third down conversions. After CSU’s opening 80-yard drive, the NDSU allowed only 163 yards.
RB Jonathon Miller, Illinois State
6-0, 205, Jr.-TR, Garland (Texas) Naaman Forest High [Oklahoma]
Junior transfer running back Jonathon Miller made an immediate impact in his first game for the Redbirds. The Oklahoma transfer, who missed most of the preseason and the first game due to a shoulder injury, scored a 58-yard touchdown on his second carry of the game and finished the day with 81 yards on nine carries in the 31-14 upset win at Eastern Michigan. Miller’s first carry went for eight yards and picked up a first down for ISU and his second came on the next play, when he broke a 58-yard touchdown run to put the Redbirds up 7-0 early in the first quarter. Miller finished the day averaging 9.0 yards per carry.