Decker Named MIAC Football All-Conference, Four Others Named To Second Team Posted on November 21st, 2017 by

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. – The Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference released its 2017 Football Postseason Awards Tuesday, with Casey Decker (Sr., Mapleton, Minn.) earning a spot on the First Team Defense, four on the Second Team, and three honorable mentions.

Casey Decker earns his second consecutive First Team Defense accolade after guiding the Gustavus defensive unit. The Gustie outside linebacker started in all 10 games, compiling 55 tackles, breaking up four passes, and forcing one fumble. The co-captain led the defense with 10 tackles for loss (4th/MIAC) and five sacks (7th/MIAC) – both career-high totals. In addition to making a difference as an edge rusher, Decker was also a vital member of the special teams unit as the team’s punter. He tallied career-best numbers with 2,021 yards off 54 punts, averaging 37.4 yards per punt (2nd/MIAC) while placing 11 inside the 20-yard line. His career average of 36.7 yards per punt is a Gustavus punting record. Decker twice earned MIAC Player of the Week accolades, once for defensive play and once for special teams.

Second team members include Brayton Finch (So., Mount Morris, Ill.), Kevin Krohn (Sr., Richfield, Minn.), Matt Berkner (Jr., Sleepy Eye, Minn.), and Brendan Boche (Sr., Lakeville, Minn.).

Tight end Brayton Finch started in nine of 10 games for the Gusties, Finch was an important member of the Gustavus receiving core, totaling 28 catches for 412 yards. Finch tallied a season-high five receptions in three games, headlined by a 143-yard game versus Hamline. His sole touchdown of the season came against the Pipers, a career-high 81-yard score.

Kevin Krohn played in all 10 games for the Gusties, starting in seven on the defensive line. Krohn notched career-best numbers with 42 tackles, 6.5 tackles for loss, three sacks, one pass breakup and two fumble recoveries. Versus St. Olaf, Krohn had season-high totals with three tackles for loss and two sacks.

Linebacker Matt Berkner started in each game for the Black and Gold, leading the team with 69 tackles, 32 solo (11th/MIAC) and two interceptions. Additionally, Berkner recorded 6.5 tackles for loss, two pass breakups, 1.5 sacks, and one MIAC Defensive Player of the Week honor.

Kicker Brendan Boche was a constant source of points from the Gustie special teams unit. Boche led the MIAC with eight field goals made and has made at least one field goal in all but three games. Boche also ranked third in the MIAC with 58 points, having made 34-of-37 extra point attempts for a 92 percent completion rate. Boche broke the all-time extra points made record with his 99th career PAT in the homecoming victory over Hamline to pass Hall of Famer Ryan Boutwell (1995-98). Boche finished his career with nearly every extra point record, including career extra points made (120), most extra points made in a season (55), most extra points made in a game (9), most attempted in a career (127), most attempted in a season (58), highest career PAT percentage (94.4), and most consecutive extra points made (49).

Honorable mention recipients include Hunter Johnson (Sr., Cannon Falls, Minn.), Karim Ortiz (Sr., Cancun, Mexico), and Michael Veldman (Jr., Becker, Minn.). In addition, Nathan Hajder (Sr., Rogers, Minn.) was named to the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.

Co-captain Hunter Johnson earns honorable mention recognition after helping guide the Gustie aerial attack as a receiver and a quarterback. Johnson played in all 10 games and caught 38 passes for 371 touchdowns with three touchdowns receptions, while completing 35 passes for 403 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson had been filling the void of injured quarterback Michael Veldman, who was limited to six games in 2017. The Gusties were 4-2 when Veldman did play, as he averaged 321.8 passing yards per game. Despite missing four games, Veldman ranked among the top-five quarterbacks in the MIAC, totaling 143 completions for 1,931 passing yards and 18 touchdowns. Karim Ortiz led the Gustie ground game, totaling 577 yards with six touchdowns. Ortiz’s 1,596 career rushing yards ranks 16th all-time on the Gustavus football career rushing leaderboard.

MIAC Release


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