McKendree University junior wide receiver Matt Cole (Chicago, IL/Curie) has been named as the Great Lakes Special Teams Player of the Week for his performance in the Bearcats’ home contest on Saturday against Missouri S&T.
Cole had a productive afternoon in the return game in the Bearcats’ 49-20 setback against the Miners. Cole registered 253 all-purpose yards on the day, falling just 16 yards shy of the program’s single-game record of 269, which was set by Brandon Murphy in a 1997 contest against Olivet Nazarene University. Cole excelled in returning kicks for McKendree, bringing back four for 211 yards to average 52.8 yards per effort. He broke through for a 62-yard return just before halftime before adding a 97-yard return for a touchdown in the third quarter. It marked the first career special teams touchdown for Cole in his three seasons in a Bearcat uniform.
Cole also had one punt return for 26 yards and scored McKendree’s first touchdown of the afternoon thanks to a 9-yard run.
Through 10 games this season, Cole is averaging 31.1 yards per kick return, which ranks ninth among all NCAA Division II players. He is currently fourth on the McKendree squad with 18 pass receptions, while he is third with 314 receiving yards. Cole has three touchdown catches for the Bearcats, which is third on the team.
This is Cole’s first career GLVC Player of the Week honor. He is the second McKendree player to receive the league’s weekly special teams award, joining junior punter Monte Wolke (Sigel, IL/Cumberland), who claimed the honor following the Bearcats’ regular-season opener on Sept. 1 against Northern Michigan University.
McKendree is 5-5 overall and 3-3 in GLVC play. The Bearcats will wrap up their 2018 season Saturday on the road against Lincoln University. Kickoff is set for noon in Jefferson City, Mo.
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