Oct. 16, 2006
There is a definite pattern.
Eastern Washington University linebacker David Eneberg and kicker Brett Bergstrom both earned Big Sky Conference Player of the Week honors for the second time this season after helping Eastern defeat Northern Colorado 34-0 last Saturday (Oct. 14) in Greeley, Colo.
Both were also honored three weeks ago after Eastern's only other victory this season at Montana State on Sept. 23. Eneberg is from Mukilteo, Wash., and is a 2002 graduate of Kamiak High School. Bergstrom is from North Bend, Wash., and graduated the same year from Mount Si High School before playing two seasons at Shasta Junior College in California.
"It's awesome and a little bit ironic," said Eagle head coach Paul Wulff of the twin honors for the pair. "In our two conference road wins, David and Brett have played big, big roles in those victories."
Eneberg had six tackles, an interception, a forced fumble and had two passes broken up in EWU's first shutout in 20 years against Northern Colorado. All of his statistics except for one tackle came during a near-perfect first half when Eastern opened a 31-0 lead at halftime.
"David played one of his best games," said Wulff. "He made a lot of big plays and tackled very well. He's a great leader."
Bergstrom made long field goals of 56 and 47 yards against the Bears. His 56-yard field goal is the second-longest in school history, ranking behind the 57-yarder Eric Stein had 20 years ago against Montana State on Sept. 25, 1987.
"We try not to make them too long," laughed Wulff. "But we feel confident -- and I know he does -- that he can make them from there. And he did.
"We still have four games left," said Wulff after Saturday's game, "and we need him to continue to help us win."
Eastern takes its 3-2 Big Sky record and 2-5 overall mark into its game this Saturday (Oct. 21) at Portland State. The game begins at 6:05 p.m. at PGE Park in Portland, Ore., as the Vikings, ranked 23rd in this week's Sports Network NCAA Division I-AA, enter the contest 4-3 overall and 2-2 in the conference.
"They have played really good football in those two conference games on the road," added Wulff of the pair of seniors. "I know they will come back and play good this week along with all of our players. We've made some improvement and now we need to go on the road again against a very, very good football team in Portland State."
Eastern's win over UNC was Eastern's first shutout in 215 games dating back to a 3-0 win over Stephen F. Austin in 1987. The Bears ended drives in Eastern territory just three times, including two inside the 26. Both of those ended in interceptions -- one by Eneberg -- with the deepest penetration to Eastern's 17.
Eneberg is on the verge of breaking into the top 25 in career tackles in EWU history. With a team-leading 53 this season, he now has 197 in his career. He needs just two to move into 25th. At his current pace of 7.6 per game (currently sixth in the Big Sky), he would finish with 83 this season and 230 in his career to rank 14th.
Although he is no longer perfect, Bergstrom more than made up for a missed 39-yard attempt in the first half against the Bears. He has now made 11-of-12 field goal attempts and all 11 extra points as he ranks sixth in I-AA with an average of 1.57 field goals per game. He is also averaging 60.1 yards on 28 kickoffs this season, including 13 touchbacks.
His 11 field goals made already ranks eighth in school history with four games left to play. He is just four from the school record shared by three players -- Josh Atwood in 1997, Alex Lacson in 1991 and Jason Cromer in 1990.
In Eastern's 19-10 league victory at Montana State, Eneberg had 13 tackles and Bergstrom kicked four field goals. Bergstrom's field goals included a 53-yarder that at the time was the fourth-longest in school history (now fifth).
Those honors were the first player of the week honors for both players. Eneberg was an honorable mention All-Big Sky selection last year and Bergstrom is in his first year as Eastern's placekicker after previously spending time at safety, wide receiver and defensive end in the Eagle program.