St. Paul – Gustavus Adolphus junior cornerback Zach Dilger (South St. Paul, Minn.) has been named the MIAC Football Defensive Player-of-the-Week for the week of Sept. 30th following his performance in last Saturday’s 45-19 win over St. Olaf. Dilger played an integral role in holding the Ole offense to 282 yards of total offense (207 passing, 75 rushing), pulling down two interceptions to go along with five tackles.
After committing a penalty on fourth down that kept St. Olaf’s opening drive alive, Dilger made up for his mistake on the very next play, bringing down a pass that had been tipped up into the air for his first of two interceptions on the day. The interception would lead to Gustavus’s first touchdown of the game and an early 7-0 lead.
Zach’s next pick came at a key moment late in the first quarter. With the score now 13-7 in favor of the Oles, St. Olaf threatened to score for a third straight possession after holding Gustavus to a three-and-out. On the Gustavus 15-yard line, the Oles were knocking on the door of another touchdown when Dilger went up high to intercept a jump-ball in the endzone to squash any chance St. Olaf might have had to extend its lead. He also recorded five tackles (3 solo) and broke up two passes on the day.
“Zach had a great day on Saturday,” stated Head Coach Peter Haugen of Dilger’s performance against the Oles. “He is an unbelievable competitor, and it’s that competitive nature that makes him so great. We have a lot of confidence in him and you saw why last week with his two picks and a couple of break-ups. We put him out on the boundary without much help a lot of the time, but that is because we have so much trust and faith in him.”
Dilger is now tied for third in the MIAC with two interceptions this season, while his five pass break-ups ranks tied for second.
The Gustie football team will be back in action this Saturday when it travels to St. Paul for a conference showdown with Hamline at Klas Field. Kick off is set for 1:00 p.m.