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 QB Matt Brown of Illinois State, DB Johnny Towalid of Indiana State; RS/WR Julian Burton of Missouri State and DE Connor Underwood of Indiana State.
QB Matt Brown, Illinois State
6-4, 235, Sr., Marion (Ill.) High
Brown bounced back from the worst game of his career to lead the Redbirds to a come-from-behind victory over No. 8 Youngstown State Saturday at Hancock Stadium. The Marion, Ill., native threw for 225 yards and three touchdowns and scored the game-winning touchdown on a quarterback sneak in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for ISU. With his 225 yards passing, Brown surpassed the 9,000 yards passing plateau and now has 9,028 in his career. Brown now sits just 61 yards behind UNI’s Ryan Helming (9,089) for the top spot on the Missouri Valley Football Conference all-time list.
DB Johnny Towalid, Indiana State
5-11, 170, Sr., Indianapolis (Ind.) Southport High
Towalid scored both of the Sycamores’ touchdowns as Indiana State secured a thrilling 17-14 victory over No. 1 North Dakota State at the Fargodome. Towalid staked the Sycamores to a 10-3 advantage in the second quarter with a 27-yard interception return for a touchdown and then gave the Sycamores a 17-6 advantage early in the fourth quarter with a 31-yard touchdown off his second interception of the contest. His first interception broke a string of 140 consecutive passes for NDSU quarterback Brock Jensen without allowing one. Towalid is the first Sycamore to ever record two interception returns for a touchdown in a single game and now has three for his career which ties the Sycamore school record also held by John Karazsia, which was set between 1970-72. He also tied Karazsia’s record of interception returns for a touchdown in a season with two set in 1971. Towalid also had six tackles in the game with a pass breakup and the two interceptions for 58 yards.
RS/WR Julian Burton, Missouri State
5-10, 189, So., Cordova (Tenn.) White Station High
Burton helped set up Missouri State's game-winning field goal in the deciding seconds of Saturday's home win over South Dakota with a 30-yard punt return in the final minute of the game. His effort set the Bears up at the USD 42 yard line with 53 seconds to go. Five plays later, the Bears kicked a 33-yard field goal as time expired to win the game. Burton finished with 3 punt returns for 68 yards (22.7) and a game-high 166 all-purpose yards. He also had 98 receiving yards on 4 catches, including a career-long 60-yard TD grab with 5:27 left in the fourth quarter to pull the Bears within 24-17 at the time.
Connor Underwood, Indiana State
6-3, 230, Fr., Washington (Ill.) Washington Community High
Underwood continued his stellar initial campaign for the Sycamores with a career-high 10 tackle performance as the Sycamores earned a 17-14 road victory over No. 1 North Dakota State. Underwood posted a pair of quarterback sacks in the contest (also a career-best), including one on the Bison’s first play for scrimmage which pinned them back on their own one-yard line. He had five assisted and five solo tackles on the day and added another quarterback sack in the third quarter which stopped another Bison drive as ISU hung on to a 10-3 lead.