Courtesy of the Big Sky Conference
OGDEN, Utah -The Big Sky Conference has selected its football players of the week for games played on Saturday, Sept. 25. Montana quarterback Justin Roper is the offensive player of the week. Montana State's Zach Minter and Northern Arizona's Matt Estrada are Co-Defensive Players of the Week. Sacramento State kicker Chris Diniz is the Special Teams Player of the Week.
Roper, a 6-foot-6, 215-pound senior from Buford, Ga., came off the bench and completed 16-of-19 passes for 189 yards and two touchdowns as Montana rallied for a 28-25 win over Sacramento State, avoiding a rare three-game losing streak. Roper completed his first 10 passes, and led the Grizzlies on three of their four touchdown drives. Roper threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Bryce Carver with 9:34 left in the fourth quarter to put the Grizzlies ahead 28-25. Roper also threw a 54-yard touchdown pass to Antwon Moutra with 9:40 remaining in the second quarter to give his team a 14-13 lead. This is Roperâ€™s first Player of the Week honor.
Minter, a 6-1, 265-pound sophomore from Glendale, Ariz., scored a touchdown for the second straight week, helping No. 17 Montana State snap a seven-game losing streak to No. 9 Eastern Washington with a 30-7 win. Minter picked off a Bo Levi Mitchell pass and returned it 53 yards for a touchdown to give MSU a 13-0 first-quarter lead. Minter also tallied a pair of solo tackles and two pass breakups as the Bobcats held the Eagles to just seven points, their lowest scoring output in 14 games.
Estrada, a 5-10, 185-pound senior from La Habra, Calif., registered a team-high five tackles, intercepted a pass and recovered a fumble in Northern Arizonaâ€™s 32-7 road win over Idaho State. Estradaâ€™s fumble recovery led to an NAU touchdown. His intercepted came in the fourth quarter at the ISU 3-yard line. Estrada led a defense that allowed just 151 total yards and 12 first downs.
Diniz, a 5-9, 195-pound senior from Escalon, Calif., tied a school record with four field goals and scored 13 points in Sacramento Stateâ€™s 28-25 loss to Montana. Diniz made field goals of 50, 42, 28 and 34 yards. The 50-yarder gave Sac State a 3-0 lead and the 28-yarder put the Hornets ahead 16-14.