Gustavus football player Joe Welch (Sr., Hastings, Minn.) has been named MIAC Special Teams Player of the Week for his efforts as a kick returner in the Gusties 28-21 win over Carleton last Saturday.
Welch (Hastings, Minn.) made several game-changing plays against Carleton including an 87-yard kick return for a touchdown to help the Gusties edge the Knights on Saturday. On the day, Welch returned three kicks for 145 yards and one touchdown including the 87-yard return, a 45-yard return, and a 13-yard yard return. Welch’s 45-yard return in the second quarter gave Gustavus the ball at the Carleton 39-yard line and led to a touchdown five plays later. In the third quarter with Gustavus trailing 21-6, Welch’s 87-yard TD return sparked the Gusties to 21 straight points and a thrilling 28-21 come-from-behind victory. Welch’s TD return was the third longest in school history. He has made 14 returns this season for 321 yards with an average of 22.9 yards per return. His 87-yard return is the longest in the MIAC this season as well as the only kick returned for a touchdown in MIAC play.