BURNSVILLE, Minn. – Junior kicker/punter Zach Pulkinen (Minot, N.D.) of the Bemidji State University football team has been selected Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference Special Teams Player of the Week after his performance in the 23-6 home victory against Northern State University Oct. 13. The league award is the first in Pulkinen’s career and the first special teams laurel for BSU since Jesse Sundby was awarded the honor Oct. 25, 2010 after a BSU victory against University of Mary.
Pulkinen was good on all three extra point attempts, pinned the Wolves inside the 20 on all three of his punts that totaled 131 yards (43.7 yards per punt) – including a 55 yard punt that tied a career-high – and posted 246 yards on four kickoffs to average 61.5 yards per kick in the victory against NSU. He also added a special teams tackle for the Beavers (4-3; 4-3 NSIC), who have won three straight and are a perfect 3-0 in the NSIC North Division.
In his first season of full punting duties, Pulkinen has totaled 1,151 punting yards and ranks tied for third in the NSIC in punting average with 39.7 yards per game. Of his 29 punts, he has placed 12 inside the 20, six punts have traveled 50 or more yards and five have been fair caught. He has 26 points this season and is averaging 62.6 yards per kickoff.
The NSIC Offensive Player of the Week is Taylor Perkins from University of Sioux Falls and the league’s defensive player of the week is St. Cloud State University’s Jack Moro.
Earlier this season, senior quarterback Lance Rongstad (Eleva, Wis.) was named NSIC Offensive Player of the Week, becoming the first BSU player to earn a weekly offense award from the conference since Anthony Schreiber in 2006.
The Beavers enter their toughest two-game stretch of the season, as they take to the road for the next two contests, starting Oct. 20 with a 1 p.m. contest at No. 7 University of Minnesota Duluth (6-1; 6-1 NSIC, 2-1 NSIC North).
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Nestled in Northern Minnesota’s wooded region and located on the shore of Lake Bemidji, Bemidji State University sponsors 15 varsity athletic programs with NCAA Division I men’s and women’s hockey membership in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association, while its 13 NCAA Division II programs hold membership in the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC).