A Rare MIAC Weekly Award Sweep

Matt Bye, Sam Michel and Willie Julkes all earned MIAC Player of the Week honors after the Cobbers' win over #4 St. John's.
Matt Bye, Sam Michel and Willie Julkes all earned MIAC Player of the Week honors after the Cobbers' win over #4 St. John's.

MOORHEAD, Minn. (11/04/19)---Concordia earned a rare clean sweep of the MIAC Player of the Week awards for its win over No.4-ranked St. John's on Saturday. Matt Bye, Sam Michel and Willie Julkes III were all recognized by the league office as this week's award honorees.

The sweep of the conference awards marks the first time this season that one school has claimed the MIAC Offensive, Defensive and Special Teams awards in the same week. It is the first time that one school has earned all three awards in one week since Carleton swept pulled off the feat in 2008. The weekly sweep has only occurred five times since the awards started in 1999 and the Cobbers are the only school to have swept the award more than once.  The last time Concordia swept the weekly honors was in 2004 when Brian Schumacher, Brody Clarke and Brian Halverson all claimed the honor after CC beat St. John's.   

Bye was named the MIAC Offensive Player of the Week while Michel walked away with Defensive Player of the Week honors and Julkes earned his second Special Teams Player of the Week award this year.

Bye only made three receptions against St. John's but his touchdown catch in overtime was one of the biggest plays of the game. Facing a 4th-and-9 situation at the 24-yard line, quarterback Blake Kragnes tossed a pass towards Bye and a Johnnie defender. Bye was able to come up with an unbelievable, juggling grab with the SJU player draped all over him. As he fell to the ground, Bye tumbled to the ground in the end zone to tie the game and set up the game-winning extra point.

Bye is second on the Cobbers in receiving this year. He is averaging 21.3 receiving yards per game this season and has a 15.5 yards per catch average.

Michel had a game-high 13 tackles and made one interception against the Johnnies. His 13 tackles represent a new season-high and are the second most in his 4-year career at Concordia. Michel made one of the key defensive plays in the game when he picked off a pass in the second half on a 4th-and-goal situation with the game tied at 12-12.       

The interception was Michel's second of the season. His 61 total tackles is second on the team and in the Top 10 of the MIAC.  

Julkes has been a kick-blocking machine this season. He added to his Division III-leading total on Saturday. He was responsible for two of the team's three blocked extra points at St. John's including the decisive PAT block in overtime. Julkes also set the tone for the game by returning the opening kickoff 78 yards.

Julkes was also named the MIAC Special Teams Player of the Week on Sept. 9 when he bloxked a pair of punts against Wis.-La Crosse. Julkes now has five blocked kicks on the year which is a school record and the most in the nation.

Bye, Michel and Julkes will be looking to continue with their success when they lead the Cobbers against St. Olaf on Saturday, Nov. 9 at 1 p.m. in the annual Lefse Bowl with the winning team receiving The Troll trophy – the ugliest rivalry trophy in all of college football.