Emporia State’s Braxton Marstall has been named the MIAA Football Offensive Athlete of the Week while Fort Hays State’s Nathan Shepherd earned Defensive Athlete of the Week. Pittsburg State’s Josh Hornback has been named the Special Teams Athlete of the Week.
MIAA Football Offensive Athlete of the Week
Braxton Marstall, QB, Emporia State
Marstall threw for 435 yards and four touchdowns as #15 Emporia State defeated Neb.-Kearney 45-13. It took just two plays for Marstall to find Louis Dailey for a 61-yard touchdown only 40 seconds into the game. He completed 12 of his first 14 passes for 162 yards as the Hornets scored 21 first quarter points on Marstall touchdown passes of 61 yards, 34 yards, and 15 yards. He would add a three-yard scoring strike to Justin Brown on ESU’s first possession of the fourth quarter. His 435 yards were the second most in his career behind the 481 yards against UMD in the playoffs last year. He now has 38 career passing touchdowns in only 20 games to rank fifth all-time at Emporia State. He is currently leading the MIAA in total offense, passing yards and yards per pass. The 6-2 junior quarterback is a native of Emporia, Kan. where he competed at Emporia High School.
MIAA Football Defensive Athlete of the Week
Nathan Shepherd, DL, Fort Hays State
Shepherd had a strong performance at defensive tackle in a 35-6 win for FHSU over No. 13 ranked Central Missouri. He recorded seven tackles, including three for loss, along with a sack and a forced fumble. His biggest play of the night was a fumble he forced on a 10-yard sack, which stalled a UCM drive inside the red zone just before halftime. After UCM recovered the fumble, it turned the ball over on downs two plays later, leaving the score at 21-3 in favor of FHSU. Shepherd was part of a defense that recorded eight tackles for loss and limited the Mules to just 31 rushing yards. By halftime, FHSU held UCM to -2 yards rushing. Overall the Tigers allowed 304 yards of total offense to the No. 13 ranked Mules, forcing pass situations the majority of the second half. The 6-5 senior defensive lineman is a native of Ajax, Ontario, Canada and competed at Simon Fraiser University before coming to FHSU.
MIAA Football Special Teams Athlete of the Week
Josh Hornback, S, Pittsburg State
Hornback blocked a fourth quarter punt which was returned for a PSU touchdown against Central Oklahoma Saturday (Sept. 9). The touchdown proved to be the decisive points in the Gorillas 31-28 victory over the Bronchos. Hornback blocked UCO punter Jay Tedescos attempt at the UCO 36 yard line, and teammate Kaden Roy scooped up the ball at the UCO 25 and returned it for a score, which gave Pitt State a 31-21 lead with 9:35 to play. Hornback also made a team-leading eight tackles on defense for the Gorillas. The Wichita, Kan., native prepped at Kapaun Mt. Carmel High School before coming to Pitt State.