McPherson (1-0) at Avila (1-0)
About McPherson College: McPherson opened their 2018 season with a conference win, beating Bethany College by a score of 30-13. The Bulldogs' rushing attack was a major part of their offense, with senior running back Armond McCray (22 rushes for 75 yards) and redshirt junior quarterback Ed Crouch (12 rushes, 70 yards, one TD) leading the way. Crouch also went 10-19 for 90 yards and two touchdowns through the air, but surrendered one interception. Three interceptions highlighted a big day for McPherson's defense, with one interception each for Brett Sykes, Brandon Wright, and Diego Cantu.
About Avila University: The Eagles got a big win in their first KCAC conference game, defeating #17 Sterling 38-34, to start the season 1-0. Avila overcame a fourteen point deficit in the fourth quarter, led by John Jacobs III (8-12, 96 yards) and his two touchdowns in that final period. Jacobs III was part of a trio of quarterbacks that played on Saturday, along with Jakob Jordan (9-15, 190 yards, 2 TDs) and starter Tristan Askan (3-7, 58 yards). All three quarterbacks targeted Theo Berry a great deal, as Berry ended up with eight catches for 137 yards. On the defense, Jamad Thomas led Avila with 14 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, and one forced fumble.
History: This is the first meeting between McPherson College and Avila University.
Friends (0-2) at #21 Kansas Wesleyan (1-0)
(ESPN3 Game of the Week)
About Friends University: The Falcons lost a thriller to Southwestern College, losing 28-21 on Saturday. Friends overcame a 21-point halftime deficit, but Southwestern scored in the final seconds to pull out a victory. Dan Dawdy and the Falcon passing attack led the way for the offense, as Dawdy went 27-46 for 235 yards and two touchdowns. Jordan Fuchs was one of his favorite targets, catching the ball four times for 54 yards and one touchdown. Sophomore defensive lineman Robert Garcia had a big impact, recording five tackles and two tackles for loss.
About Kansas Wesleyan University: Kansas Wesleyan had a big win to open their season, defeating Texas Wesleyan 42-7 in Fort Worth, Texas. Quarterback Johnny Fueto led the Coyote offense through the air (17-31, 291 yards, four touchdowns), with Trenton Poe-Evans (three catches for 99 yards, one touchdown) being a major factor. On the KWU defense, sophomore defensive back Scott Helsper had a big game, accounting for five tackles and one interception.
History: Since 2005, Kansas Wesleyan leads the series 7-6. Last season's matchup was a 26-13 victory for Kansas Wesleyan in Salina.
Saint Mary (1-0) at Ottawa (1-0)
(KCAC Radio Network Game of the Week)
About University of Saint Mary: The Spires came out on the winning end of a defensive battle against #18 Tabor College, winning 13-10 on Saturday. Saint Mary's offense was led by a two-player running attack, with freshman running back Demontrel Wilson (ten rushes for 130 yards, one touchdown) and sophomore running back Nic Roller (twelve rushes for 88 yards, one touchdown) both having productive days. Saint Mary's defense picked off Tabor passes four times, with Nicholas Holmes (3 INTs) and Zachariah Harris (1 INT) recording all of those takeaways.
About Ottawa University: Ottawa defeated Bethel College 42-12 on the road to start out their 2018 season on a good note. Junior quarterback Connor Kaegi scored five times for the Braves, going 15-24 for 277 yards and two touchdowns passing and also rushing for three touchdowns. One of his favorite targets was senior wide receiver Darrion Dillard, who caught eight receptions for 157 yards and two touchdowns. Linebacker Colby Johnson led Ottawa's defense with 12 tackles, including one tackle for loss.
History: Ottawa leads the series since 2005, going 10-3 against the Spires. The Braves beat USM 38-24 last season.
#17 Sterling (0-1) at Southwestern (2-0)
About Sterling College: Despite a prolific day on offense, #17 Sterling College (0-1) was upset by Avila University in their first game of the season, 38-34. Quarterback Eric Butler had a huge day, going 20-34 for 205 yards and three touchdowns through the air and rushing 18 times for 160 yards and one touchdown. Running back Cevon Mitchell-Ford (21 rushes for 104 yards, 1 TD) and wide receiver Darryl Terrell (seven catches for 115 yards, 1 TD) also had big performances. Defensively, freshman linebacker Brayden Lock tied for the team lead in tackles with seven, including one tackle for loss.
About Southwestern College: The Moundbuilders survived a tough test in the conference opener against Friends University, winning 28-21. Senior quarterback Christian Gordon (10-25 for 118 yards, three touchdowns) connected with wide receiver Tanner Spencer with three seconds left to seal the win for Southwestern. Sophomore running back Keyshawn Wyatt had a big day for the offense, rushing 20 times for 151 yards and a touchdown. Sophomore linebacker Clayton Downum set the tone for the defense, recording ten tackles, three tackles for loss, and one sack.
History: Sterling has a major advantage in the head-to-head series since 2005, going 11-2 against Southwestern. The Warriors beat the Moundbuilders 28-14 in last season's game.
#18 Tabor bye