Jon Lien Runs Away With MIAC Player-of-the-Week Honors

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – It’s fitting that the winner of Saturday’s non-conference rivalry game between Carleton College and Macalester College claimed “The Book of Knowledge” traveling trophy, because Knights’ senior Jon Lien (Lindstrom, Minn./Chisago Lakes) helped his team retain the prize while rewriting the record books in the process. Lien broke a 48-year-old Carleton school record for rushing yards in a game, he scored all three Knights’ touchdowns—including the game-winner in overtime—and surpassed 2,000 rushing yards in his career. For his incredible performance, Lien has been named the MIAC Football Offensive Player-of-the-Week.

Lien—a 2010 All-MIAC first-team selection—didn’t even need a full game to do his considerable damage, as his first carry didn’t come until midway through the second quarter, but from there on out he ran wild on the Scots for 259 yards and three scores on 28 carries. Lien averaged 9.3 yards per rush attempt, and his touchdowns were from 46, 58 and 25 yards. The first two are Carleton’s two longest plays from scrimmage this season, and the third came on the Knights’ first play of overtime to lead his team to victory. That final run pushed him beyond the 243 yards accumulated by Jack Bestrom versus Monmouth College on Nov. 9, 1963. This also marks the 10th time in Carleton history that a player ran for at least a trio of touchdowns.

Lien’s single-game rushing total is tops by a MIAC player this year—the previous high was “only” 180 yards—and the fourth-best figure posted by a conference player over last seven seasons. In fact, there were only two better single-game rushing performances in Division III coming into the week and only a dozen better across all NCAA divisions in 2011.

Lien was limited by injury to a combined 22 yards on just seven carries the last two weeks but proved he was healthy once again. In the process, he took pressure off Danny Shields (So./Richfield, Minn./Academy of Holy Angels), who was making his first collegiate start at quarterback.

Lien first long touchdown run allowed him to surpass the 2,000-yard barrier for his career, becoming just the seventh Carleton player to reach that mark. He is just the sixth Carleton player to exceed 200 rushing yards in a game, and the first to do so since R.J. Jackson raced for 228 against Hamline on Nov. 13, 2004.

Lien becomes the third Knight recognized by the conference via a weekly award. Kicker Eric Murphy (Sr./Stillwater, Okla.) garnered the honor Sept. 26, following Carleton’s 34-0 triumph over Hamline. Jordan Soteros (So./Scottsdale, Ariz./Pinnacle) earned special teams distinction on Oct. 17 and defensive player-of-the-week award accolades on Oct. 24.

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