Zach Debeltz makes one of his two INT's against Willamette on his way to being named MIAC Defensive Player of the Week.
Should Have Been Two!

MOORHEAD, Minn. (9/08/09) -- Concordia junior defensive back Zach Debeltz was named the MIAC Defensive Player of the Week it was announced by the league office on Tuesday.

Debeltz intercepted two passes and had a team-high 11 tackles in Concordia's 24-17 win over No.8-ranked Willamette on Saturday. Debeltz was also the leader of a defense that did not allow the high-powered Bearcat offense to gain a first down in the second and third quarters and only allowed 52 yards of total offense during that stretch.

For the game the Cobbers held Willamette to only 229 yards of total offense which is the lowest total for the Bearcats in 22 games dating back to the opening game of the 2007 season. Concordia also limited the Bearcats to only 3-of-14 on third down chances. Debeltz' second interception came in the fourth quarter as Willamette was driving for a score. Debeltz picked off a pass in the end zone after the Bearcats had the ball at Concordia's 6-yard line.

The most shocking news for
Debeltz came when he was overlooked as Special Teams Player of the Week. Debeltz turned in the play of the game, and possibly the season, when he returned a punt 74 yards for a touchdown at the end of the first half. The touchdown was the winning score in the game. It also helped the Cobbers keep the momentum in the game heading into the second half. It was the second longest punt return for a touchdown in school history and first by a Concordia player since the 2002 season when Boby Clark returned a punt 70 yards against Hamline. It was the first time since the 2006 season that Willamette had allowed a kick return of any kind for a touchdown.

Debeltz' return was one of the best in Jake Christiansen Stadium history as he received the punt in the middle of the field and then cut left. His initial break went with the blockers but then Debeltz had to improvise over the final 60 yards as he cut back into the middle of the field. Breaking free of his blocking support, Debeltz had to beat three Bearcat players by heading to the near sideline and then cutting the ball up the field for the final 35 yards. All told, Debeltz covered around 100 yards to complete the 74 yard return.

The Player of the Week committee gift wrapped the Special Teams Player of the Week award to Fritz Waldvogel of St. Thomas who returned two punts for a touchdown against Macalester. The two scores proved to be inconsequential as the Tommies ended up winning the game by 40 points over the Scots who dropped out of the the MIAC after the 2001 season.