Nate Warnock

Kent State’s Nate Warnock (54), a LaPorte product, has started 26 straight games at center. The senior is also on the Rimington Trophy watch list. 

There’s a reason Kent State’s Nate Warnock wears No. 54.

“It’s because he’s our best offensive lineman,” coach Sean Lewis said.

Warnock, a LaPorte product, is a 6-foot-4, 300-pound center for the Golden Flashes (2-2).

The No. 54 carries a lot of weight at the school. Former Kent State center Jason Bitsko died of an enlarged heart during the 2014 season, so the school honors Bitsko by having his No. 54 worn by the team’s top O-lineman.

“Nate’s our anchor upfront and his game experience is huge for us,” Lewis said. “He gets the guys on the same page on the line and he really gives me confidence as a coach knowing he’s out there.

“His guidance for the younger guys up front is one of the reasons we’ve been playing so well.”

Warnock is also on the watch list for the Rimington Trophy. The award is presented to the premier centers in the FCS, Division II, Division III and NAIA divisions.

Warnock should earn the nickname “Ironman” before it’s all said and done. The durable former Slicer has started 26 straight games at center for Kent State.

“The OL line has been consistent and that has a lot to do with Nate being on the inside,” Lewis said.

In other college football news:

• Grand Valley State’s Aryuan Cain-Veasey (Michigan City) rushed 27 times for 101 yards and three touchdowns in a 21-16 victory over Michigan Tech. On Saturday, Cain-Veasey ran for 116 yards in the team’s 20-17 loss to Ashland.

• Marian’s Charles Salary (LaPorte) had 109 yards on the ground and three TDs in a 49-7 romp of Robert Morris (Ill.). On Saturday, Salary had a game-high 183 yards and three TDs as the NAIA No. 8-ranked Knights (4-0) beat No. 3 Saint Francis (Fort Wayne) 28-10. Ethan Darter (Lake Central) threw for 169 yards and score.

Nick Lucas (Lake Central) had a team-high nine tackles in the loss for the Cougars (3-1).

• Tiffin University’s Charlie Cleveland (EC Central) is first on the team in sacks (three) and tackles for loss (7 1/2) and second in tackles (31).

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• Wabash’s Patrick Kelly (Valparaiso) was named to the D3football.com Team of the Week by Scoutware.

Kelly had two interceptions in the Little Giants’ 34-20 victory over Denison.

Women’s volleyball

St. Mary-of-the-Woods’ Alexis Woodburn (Crown Point) was named United States Collegiate Athletic Association’s Division I Player of the Week.

The sophomore tallied 36 kills in five games, including a career-high 20 against Knox.

Women’s golf

Indiana’s Alexis Miestowski (Lake Central) tied for seventh overall at the East-West Match Play in Madison, Wis.

Miestowski, a sophomore, birdied three times and led the field in par-3 scoring (-2), averaging 2.80. The Hoosiers tied for fourth out of eight teams.

Women’s cross country

DePauw’s Jenny Noll (LaPorte) was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Athlete of the Week.

At the John McNichols Invitational, the sophomore was the top Division III finisher and 108th overall on the 5,000-meter course in 19:23. The meet featured several Division I powerhouses, including seven teams ranked in the top 10.

• Montana’s Hannah Wylie (Crown Point) was 23rd overall to help the team take runner-up honors at the Montana State Cross Country Classic.

Wylie’s effort helped the Grizzlies edge rival Montana State for the first time in three years. Utah State won the meet.

The Times welcomes information about local athletes for inclusion in Region Collegians. E-mail Brian Waddle at bjwaddle@comcast.net.