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Missouri Valley Football Conference Press Release

2 Penguins named Missouri Valley Football Players of the Week

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This week's Missouri Valley Football Conference players of the week include QB Kory Faulkner of Southern Illinois, FS Jameel Smith of Youngstown State, P/PK Miles Bergner of South Dakota and TB Martin Ruiz of Youngstown State.


QB Kory Faulkner, Southern Illinois

6-4, 227, Sr., Ste. Genevieve (Mo.) High

 Faulkner accounted for all three of SIU's TDs in Saturday's 27-24 upset of No. 7 South Dakota State. The senior captain threw for 185 yards. His lone touchdown pass was a 59-yard completion to John Lantz to tie the game at 17-17 on the first drive of the second half. Faulkner also added a pair of rushing touchdowns, his first two of the season.


FS Jameel Smith, Youngstown State

6-0, 205, Fr., Miami (Fla.) Norland High

 Smith returned an interception 95 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter of the Penguins' 35-24 win at Indiana State. Smith's INT return tied for the second-longest in school history. YSU led 7-3 at the time of Smith's pick before he returned it up the sideline, followed some blocks and had some nifty moves for the score. Smith finished the game with six total tackles.

Special Teams

P/PK Miles Bergner, South Dakota

6-1, 215, Fr., Longmont (Colo.) High

 With 1:24 remaining, Bergner made a career-long and game-winning 41-yard field to give South Dakota its first-ever MVFC victory in a 17-14 win against Missouri State. Bergner also had three touchbacks on four kickoffs and averaged 43 yards on six punts. His six punts netted 39.5 yards. He had a 51-yard punt and pinned on kick inside the 20.


TB Martin Ruiz, Youngstown State

5-11, 195, Sr., Tampa (Fla.) Robinson High

 Ruiz led the Penguins' ground attack with a career-high 141 yards on 23 carries and scored three touchdowns in a win at Indiana State. He had scoring runs of 44 (on YSU's first offensive play from scrimmage), 13 and six in the win. Ruiz had 65 yards on just six carries in the first half before helping the Penguins churn out the win with 17 carries in the second half. YSU has won five straight conference games dating back to last year and is off to its first 2-0 start since 2006. Ruiz now has 10 rushing TDs on the year.

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