ABILENE - The Lone Star Conference Monday selected Abilene Christian football players Mitchell Gale and Justin Stephens as its players of the week. The ACU quarterback and linebacker were honored for their efforts during Saturday night's 24-12 win at Incarnate Word.
Gale and Stephens are the fourth and fifth Wildcats to receive this conference's weekly distinction in 2012, joining previous winners Taylor Gabriel, Nick Richardson and Cade Stone.
Gale, a senior from Alva., Okla., was named Co-Offensive Player of the Week along with Tarleton State signal caller Jake Fenske and Midwestern State running back Chauncey Harris.
In the final game of his remarkable four-year ACU career, Gale completed 25 of 36 passes for 408 yards and two scores as he became the all-time leading passer and total offense leader in both Lone Star Conference and ACU history. He finished his career with conference and program records for passing completions (931), attempts (1,483), yards (12,109) and total offense (12,177).
Gale threw two long touchdown passes against the Cardinals, one for 87 yards to Charcandrick West, and the other 80 yards to Darian Hogg in the second quarter to give his record quest a solid boost. His 408-yard effort is tied for the fourth-best single-game effort of his career and gave him 18 career 300-yard passing days, the second-best total in ACU history behind Billy Malone's 20.
Gale's effort also makes ACU just the third school in NCAA history (joining Hawai'i and Houston) as the only schools to feature back-to-back starting quarterbacks who have thrown for at least 12,000 career yards. Malone accumulated 12,012 passing yards from 2005 to 2008.
Stephens, a sophomore from Keller, Texas, finished with 14 tackles (11 solo) and one sack for a 19-yard loss as the Wildcat defense limited the Cardinals to just 285 yards of total offense, including just 104 passing yards.
The Wildcats' final 7-4 mark on the season gave them the ACU football program its 25th season of at least seven wins, including seven straight (2006-12).