Savage Named MIAA Defensive Player of the Week
JEFFERSON CITY -- After intercepting three passes in two different stadiums, Lincoln's Maurkice Savage was selected as one of the MIAA's Football Players of the Week on Monday. He was one of three MIAA players honored this week in a vote by a select panel of conference sports information personnel.
Savage, a freshman defensive back, was named the league's defensive player of the week after helping the Blue Tigers defeat Nebraska-Kearney, 34-27, for LU's first victory of the season last Saturday. Savage made seven unassisted tackles in the win, tying for the team high, and also broke up two passes.
In a game that featured a weather delay that lasted longer than the game itself and that was played in two different venues, Savage's biggest contributions were his interceptions, all three of which came in the red zone. In the first half of the contest, played at Dwight T. Reed, Savage ended the Lopers' first drive by picking off a pass at the LU 20. After the game was moved to Jefferson City High School following a three-hour, 35 minute lightning delay, Savage picked off passes at the Lincoln five and one-yard lines, with the latter ending UNK's final drive with 23-seconds left in the game.
The win, Lincoln's first conference victory since rejoining the MIAA in 2011, was also the first against a current member of the league since an 18-17 win over Northwest Missouri in 1988. It was also the first win over an MIAA opponent since LU defeated Missouri-Rolla, an MIAA member from 1935-2005, 21-14 in 1989, the Blue Tigers' final season in the league before last year.
Savage is the first Lincoln player to claim one of the three weekly football honors since LU rejoined the MIAA. He joins Central Missouri's Colter Smith, the league's offensive player of the week, and Northwest Missouri's Kyle Goodburn, the special teams player of the week, as this week's honorees.
The Blue Tigers (1-6, 1-6 MIAA) will continue their 2012 campaign next Saturday with a trip to Hays, Kan. to play Fort Hays State. That game, scheduled to begin at 2:30 p.m. CT, will be the MIAA Network's Game of the Week and will be televised in select markets.