Mavs jump six spots in football poll
There’s always a shakeup from the preseason to the first regular-season poll, and this year was no different for the Division II American Football Coaches Association rankings on Monday.
The top team, Northwest Missouri State stayed put, but upsets caused all kinds of shifting from there.
Colorado Mesa moved from No. 23 in the preseason to No. 17 after the Mavericks dispatched Western State 49-23. RMAC rival CSU-Pueblo vaulted from No. 12 to No. 7 after an impressive 38-7 win over Colorado Mines, which dropped out of the poll after starting the season No. 16.
The biggest shocker was preseason No. 2 Grand Valley State (Michigan) being upset by Indianapolis, 24-20, dropping the Lakers all the way to No. 14.
Ferris State (Michigan) moved up one spot to No. 2, with Texas A&M Commerce, which knocked CMU out of the playoffs last season, now No. 3 after an 8-7 win over North Alabama. The teams were ranked fifth and sixth, respectively, in the preseason poll. North Alabama fell to No. 11.
Azusa Pacific, Colorado Mesa’s final-week opponent again this season, is No. 8. The other big drop the first week was then-No. 4 Emporia State (Kansas), which fell all the way to No. 15 after being routed 34-0 by Northwest Missouri State.
Player of the week: Eystin Salum was involved in all seven of Colorado Mesa’s touchdowns Thursday night. Monday, he was voted the RMAC offensive player of the week.
The junior quarterback from Denver threw five touchdown passes and ran for TDs of 9 and 23 yards in less than three quarters. He completed 14 of 20 passes with two interceptions for 290 yards and ran the ball 12 times for 53 yards.
Setter of the week: In her first tournament as Colorado Mesa’s starting setter, Samantha Ritter showed she was up to the task, recording 161 assists in four matches in the Oredigger Classic.
The sophomore from Tinley Park, Illinois, had a career-high 47 in the Mavericks’ five-set loss to Cal State-San Bernardino, now ranked No. 11, and on Monday was selected the RMAC setter of the week.
She also had 13 kills, 28 digs, three blocks and two aces.
The Mavericks (2-2) play at the Lubbock Christian Classic this week, opening Thursday night against the host Chaparrals.