College football: Hobart’s Mike Josifovski in national spotlight after NAIA title run
By John Mutka Post-Tribune senior correspondent December 17, 2012 11:12PM
Mike Josifovski John Hasty
Updated: January 19, 2013 6:20AM
Home for Christmas, Marian’s Mike Josifovski deserves time off for consistent heroics under stress.
You’d be hard pressed to find a kicker who has impacted his team more than the senior from Hobart.
In the last two games of Marian’s successful run for the NAIA championship he kicked a whopping seven field goals.
Two came on the final play in regulation time, the first a game-winning 51-yarder against Missouri Valley College in the semifinals, and the second a 35-yarder which he followed with a 26-yarder Thursday in an overtime victory against Morningside, Iowa.
“It was a roller coaster ride, a little nerve-wracking,” he admitted, “but definitely easier after the previous two weeks.
All the hard work and a never-give-up attitude paid off.”
The Knights came from behind in both games to cap a 12-1 season with a championship in just the sixth year for football at the Indianapolis campus.
Canadian Football League and New England talent scouts have been tracking him and will check out game films this week, according to coach Ted Karras Jr.,
Still relishing a championship victory, Karras referred to Josifovski as “megafoot.”
His composure in the playoffs convinced the former Andrean coach of his professional potential.
“Incredible, considering where he started in (Harper) junior college, then connecting with us,” Karras said. “After the last two weeks he’s sure to get a shot at the next level.”
After the holidays Josifovski will try to strengthen his case at a senior kickers combine in Phoenix, Arizona run by Coach Gary Zauner.
“I received an invitation so I’m going to show up and do my best,” he said.
Josifovski, finished with 15 field goals, including a school-record 54-yarder. He also converted 55 of 56 extra points and kicked off.
“He took Marian to a national stage,” said Karras, “but any exposure he gets will help.”
Karras took some time off after the four days in Rome, Georgia to savor the 30-27 overtime victory against Morningside, which has been playing football for 114 years and routinely qualified for the NAIA playoffs.
“We were definitely the underdogs,” he said, before noting Morningside’s favorable schedule. “They were unbeaten, but played most of their games (10) at home.”
A solid senior class propelled Marian to the title, but quarterback Adam Wiese and tight end Nate Jones will be difficult to replace.
“They were dynamic leaders as was Mike,” said Karras. “Fortunately, we’ve got a good nucleus coming back and already have 15 commitments on board.”
He expects redshirts like Michigan City’s Josh Gondeck (tight end) and Trent Ornsby (defensive end), Lowell’s Scott Mitrisin and Chesterton’s Sean Matheny (offensive linemen) and Wirt’s Kevin James (defensive line) to step up.
“They’ve been with us four months and witnessed what it takes to win a national championship,” said Karras, who played his football at Hobart and Northwestern.