MIAC-champion Johnnies headline 2014 MIAC Football awards

MIAC-champion Johnnies headline 2014 MIAC Football awards

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- Saint John's University emerged from an intense battle atop the standings to claim the 2014 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) football championship and, Tuesday, the Johnnies received further reason to celebrate as they headlined the 2014 MIAC Football Awards.

Saint John's star running back Sam Sura (Jr., South St. Paul, Minn.) took home the conference's top honor, as he was named the Jim Christopherson MIAC Most Valuable Player, and Johnnie Head Coach Gary Fasching fittingly received the award named for his predecessor as he was vote the John Gagliardi MIAC Coach-of-the-Year. Augsburg defensive lineman Chris DeVet (Sr., Shoreview, Minn. / Mounds View) claimed the league's other top individual honor - the Mike Stam Award - as the league's top interior lineman.

In addition to the top individual honors, the MIAC also announced the All-Conference First Team, Second Team and, for the first time, Honorable Mention selections. The league also recognized one student-athlete from each team on the All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team.

Sura not only led the MIAC in rushing in 2014, but the junior star also finished the regular season as the nation's leader in rushing yards. Heading into the second week of he NCAA Division III Playoffs, Sura has amassed the most single-season rushing yards in Saint John's storied history with a total of 1,752 yards to go along with 19 touchdowns on 298 carries (5.9 average). He has broken seven total SJU school rushing records this season, and will break an eighth if he adds six more carries in Saturday's second-round Playoff game.

Overall, Sura leads the MIAC in yards, carries, rushing TDs, rushing yards per game (159.3), all-purpose yards (1,881), all-purpose yards per game (171.0), points, (120), points per game (10.9) and total touchdowns (20). In eight conference games, Sura was the only back to break the 1,000-yard barrier, as he led the MIAC with 1,156 yards, 144.5 yards per game, 210 carries and shared the league lead with 11 rushing TDs. He was also the MIAC leader in all-purpose yards in conference play (1,234 yards, 154.2 per game) and finished third in scoring (12 touchdowns, 72 points). Nationally, Sura currently ranks second in rushing yards, third in rushing yards per game and fifth in rushing touchdowns.

Sura's latest major individual honor comes just a day after he was named one of the 10 semifinalists for the 2014 Gagliardi Trophy, which is awarded to the most outstanding football player in NCAA Division III by Jostens and the J-Club of Saint John's University. In addition to his MIAC MVP award, Sura also headlined the All-MIAC First Team Offense.

Like Sura, Fasching was also honored by the MIAC coaches' for his role in the Johnnies' championship season. Fasching replaced Gagliardi - the all-time NCAA leader in football coaching victories - prior to the 2013 season, after playing for Gagliardi from 1977-81 and coaching under him for 17 years. So his selection as the Gagliardi Coach-of-the-Year is certainly fitting after guiding SJU to a dramatic two-year rise to the top of the MIAC.

Fasching took over a team that had gone 5-5 in 2012 and led the Johnnies to a 7-3 mark (5-3 MIAC) in his first season (2013) before ascending to the MIAC championship with a 7-1 MIAC record this season, and SJU will enter Saturday's second-round NCAA Playoff game at Wartburg with a 10-1 overall record. The MIAC championship was SJU's first since 2009 and 32nd overall, which is the most in MIAC history. This year, Saint John's led the MIAC in scoring defense (13.5) and takeaways (24) while riding a stout defense and a powerful running game to the conference title. This season, Fasching coached the MIAC MVP, eight All-Conference First Team selections, five Second Team picks and four Honorable Mention selections.

Augsburg's DeVet made life difficult on MIAC offenses all season en route to his selection as the Mike Stam Award winner and he caps his career with his third All-Conference honor. DeVet was named a First Team selection for the second-straight season after earning Second Team honors in 2012.

DeVet dominated along the defensive line in 2014 en route to a MIAC-leading 5.5 sacks and he ranked second with 11 tackles-for-a-loss in conference play. In eight MIAC games he also racked up 45 tackles (17 solo, 28 assists), one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries. Overall, DeVet finished with 54 tackles (30 solo, 24 assist) and he finished second in both sacks (5.5) and tackles-for-a-loss (12) and he had two forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries and a pass breakup.

The MIAC All-Conference teams were made up of 37 selections on both the First and Second Teams, 17 each on offense and defense and three on special teams. New in 2014, each team was able to select up to four additional players to receive Honorable Mention honors. The All-MIAC First Team was heavy on upperclassmen, as it included 20 seniors, 13 juniors and four sophomores.

MIAC champion Saint John's led the way with eight First-Team selections, and St. Thomas and Bethel were close behind with seven First Team selections apiece. Gustavus placed five players on the First Team, Concordia had four, Hamline and two and St. Olaf had one.

Sura wasn't the only junior offensive star of note on the First Team Offense. Augsburg quarterback Ayrton Scott earned a spot on the First Team for the third-straight season, and he'll have a chance to be a rare four-time selection next fall. Concordia QB Griffin Neal, Augsburg WR Joey Sonnenfeld, Hamline RB Austin Duncan, Bethel OL Bubba Friedlund were all repeat First Team selections on the offensive side of the ball, while DeVet and Concordia DL Nate Adams earned their second-straight First Team nods on defense.

As part of a conference-wide sportsmanship initiative, the MIAC announced the ninth annual All-MIAC Sportsmanship team for football. Members of the All-MIAC Sportsmanship team are selected by their coaches and teammates as individuals who demonstrate ideals of positive sportsmanship both on and off the field of competition.

2014 MIAC Football Awards

Jim Christopherson MIAC MVP - Sam Sura, RB, Saint John's (Jr., South St. Paul, Minn.)

Mike Stam Award - Chris DeVet, DL, Augsburg (Sr., Shoreview, Minn. / Mounds View)

John Gagliardi MIAC Football Coach-of-the-Year - Gary Fasching, Saint John's (Second season)

2014 MIAC Football All-Conference First Team Offense

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Mitch Hendricks Gustavus Jr. QB Bemidji, Minn.
Griffin Neal Concordia  Sr. QB Fargo, N.D. / South
Ayrton Scott Augsburg Jr. QB Minneapolis, Minn. / Southwest  
Gabriel Boyce
Gustavus Jr. WR  Excelsior, Minn. / Minnetonka
Matt Boyce Gustavus Jr. WR Excelsior, Minn. / Minnetonka 
Joey Sonnenfeld   Augsburg Jr.  WR  Maple Grove, Minn. / Osseo
Charlie Dowdle St. Thomas  Jr. TE Glenview, Ill. / Loyola Academy
Austin Duncan Hamline  Jr. RB New Orleans, La. / Jesuit
Marshall Klitzke   Bethel Jr. RB Annandale, Minn. / Providence
Sam Sura Saint John's Jr. RB South St. Paul, Minn. 
Josh Berg Concordia So. OL Moorhead, Minn. / Fargo (N.D.) Shanley  
Ross Carlson Saint John's Sr. OL Farwell, Minn. / Alexandria 
Bubba Friedlund Bethel  Sr. OL
Farmington, Minn.
Alex Jarosz Saint John's   Sr. OL White Bear Lake, Minn. / Totino-Grace 
Marcus Kelly  Gustavus Jr. OL Woodbury, Minn. / East Ridge 
Ulice Payne III St. Thomas Sr. OL Greenfield, Wis. / Pius XI 
T.J. Woodrow St. Thomas Sr. OL Eden Prairie, Minn. 

2014 MIAC Football All-Conference First Team Defense

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Nate Adams Concordia  Sr. DL Litchfield, Minn.
Colin Brown St. Olaf Sr. DL Orlando, Fla. / Timber Creek 
Chris DeVet Augsburg  Sr. DL Shoreview, Minn. / Mounds View  
Sam Pokornowski St. Thomas Sr. DL Cokato, Minn. / Dassel-Cokato 
Will Van Duzer Bethel  Sr. DL Owatonna, Minn.  
Carter Hanson Saint John's  So. ILB Blue Earth, Minn.
Rutger Heffelfinger St. Thomas Sr. ILB Edina, Minn. 
Landon Mathis Bethel  Jr. ILB Anoka, Minn. 
Kevin Flaherty Bethel Sr. OLB Hugo, Minn. / Mounds View
Ben Wahlquist Bethel Sr. OLB   Eden Prairie, Minn. 
Matt Workman Saint John's Sr. OLB Minneapolis, Minn. / Holy Angels 
Christian Erickson     Concordia  Sr. DB Viking, Minn. / Warren-Alvarado-Oslo  
Sean Hamlin St. Thomas  Sr. DB Wayzata, Minn. 
Anthony Hill Hamline So. DB Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Champlin Park  
Mozus Ikuenobe St. Thomas  Jr. DB Eden Prairie, Minn. 
Andrew Norri Saint John's   Sr. DB Virginia, Minn.
Josh Treimer Bethel Sr. DB Burnsville, Minn. 

2014 MIAC Football All-Conference First Team Special Teams

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Alexi Johnson Saint John's   So. K Shakopee, Minn.  
Thomas Scheusener   Gustavus  Sr. P Rapid City, S.D. / Stevens
Josh Bungum   Saint John's Jr. Ret.   Paynesville, Minn. 

2014 MIAC Football All-Conference Second Team Offense

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Erik Peterson Bethel Sr. QB Orono, Minn.
Josh Bungum Saint John's  Jr. WR  Paynesville, Minn. 
Bryce Marquardt Bethel So. WR  Champlin, Minn. / Champlin Park
Brandon Zylstra Concordia Jr. WR Spicer, Minn. / New London-Spicer 
J.T. Ford Saint John's Sr. TE Stevens Point, Wis. 
Jack Kaiser St. Thomas  Jr. RB  Prior Lake, Minn.
Brandon Marquardt   Bethel  Sr. RB Champlin, Minn. / Champlin Park 
Luke Martinez Gustavus Jr. RB Lenexa, Kan. / Saint Thomas Aquinas  
Alex McLean Concordia Sr. RB Hillsboro, N.D. 
Jerise Washington Augsburg Sr. RB Roseville, Minn. / Mounds View 
Ben Brown Saint John's Jr. OL Ceylon, Minn. / Fairmont 
Dillon Crum Bethel Jr. OL Kirkland, Wash. / Juanita 
Alec Grimm Hamline Sr. OL
Bainbridge Island, Wash. / Bainbridge  
Will Hilbert St. Thomas So. OL Mequon, Wis. / Milwaukee Marquette 
Scott Newby Gustavus Jr. OL Lakeville, Minn. / South 
Cody Pederson Concordia Sr. OL Buffalo, Minn. 
Zach Swingen Augsburg Jr. OL Cross Plains, Wis. / Middleton 

2014 MIAC Football All-Conference Second Team Defense

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Kyle Asmus Bethel  Sr. DL Isanti, Minn. / Cambridge-Isanti
Josh Corbin St. Thomas  Sr.  DL Northfield, Minn.
Carl Nelson Concordia Sr. DL Rolla, N.D. 
Ben Rossini Saint John's  Sr. DL Inver Grove Heights, Minn. / Rosemount  
Zach Severson Gustavus  Sr. DL Savage, Minn. / Burnsville 
Erik Bye Concordia Jr. ILB Moorhead, Minn. 
Levi Hintermeister   Concordia  Jr. ILB Garfield, Minn. / Brandon
Zack Martinez Gustavus Jr. ILB Lenexa, Kan. / Saint Thomas Aquinas  
Anthony Boyce Gustavus Sr. OLB Excelsior, Minn. / Minnetonka
Corey Touchette Hamline Sr. OLB Bainbridge Island, Wash. 
Colten Yahn St. Olaf  So. OLB Longwood, Fla. / Bishop Moore 
Felix Coleman Augsburg Sr. DB Alexandria, Minn. / Jefferson
Coleman Foley St. Olaf So. DB Edina, Minn.  
Nick Frandsen Gustavus Jr. DB North Oaks, Minn. / Totino-Grace 
Xavier Fust Gustavus Sr. DB Colubmia Heights, Minn. / Totino-Grace  
Mike Hintze Gustavus Sr. DB Brooklyn Park, Minn. / Park Center 
David Morgan Bethel Sr. DB Rosemount, Minn.

2014 MIAC Football All-Conference Second Team Special Teams

Name Team Year Pos. Hometown / High School
Ben Wagner Concordia   Sr. K St. Aubin de Medoc, France / Siuslaw (Ore.)  
Griffin Toomey   Saint John's   So. P Anchorage, Alaska / South 
Nick Waldvogel St. Thomas So. Ret.  Mendota Heights, Minn. / St. Thomas Academy  

2014 MIAC Football All-Conference Honorable Mention

Augsburg - Denzel Anderson (Jr., DB, Plymouth, Minn. / Robbinsdale Armstrong), Hunter Friesen (Fr., WR, Mankato, Minn. / West), Alan Medina (Jr., LB, Woodbury, Minn. / Tartan), Bob Rose (Jr., OL, Minnetonka, Minn.)
Bethel - Daniel Leidall (Jr., DB, Maple Grove, Minn. / Heritage Academy), Stein Johnson (So., OL, Minnetonka, Minn.), Drew Neuville (So., TE, Green Bay, Wis. / Bayport), Bridgeport Tusler (Fr., RB, Maple Grove, Minn. / Osseo)
Carleton - Brandt Davis (So., K, La Verne, Calif. / Bonita), Chris Madden (So., RB, Kenosha, Wis./St. Joseph), Alex Polk (Sr., DB, Crystal Lake, Ill. / Central), Eric Wittenburg (Sr., OL, Eagan, Minn.)
Concordia - , Jon Asprey (So., OL, Brainerd), Jon Baune (Jr., WR, Fargo, N.D. / South), Domenic Fraboni (Sr., RB, Princeton, Minn.), Nick Leen (Sr., DL, Sauk Centre, Minn.)
Gustavus - Andrew Lonneman (Sr., DL, Adrian, Minn.), Travis Pepper (Sr., DL, Overland Park, Kan. / Blue Valley West), Mitch Snare (Sr., DL, Rosemount, Minn.), Joe Theiler (So., OL, Maple Grove, Minn. / Totino-Grace)
Hamline - Tim Bona (Jr., QB, Columbia Heights, Minn.), Juan Burciaga (Sr., OL, Laveen, Ariz. / Caesar Chavez), Naji El-Araby (So., WR, Blaine, Minn.), Philip Sherman (Jr., TE, Fort Walton Beach, Fla. / Choctowhatchee)
Saint John's - Ben Eli (Jr., OL, Avon, Minn. / Albany), Andrew Rose (Sr., LB, Stillwater, Minn.), Sean Tillman (Sr., DL, Sartell, Minn. / Sartell-St. Stephen), Trevor Warner (Jr., DB, Murrieta, Calif. / Vista Murrieta)
St. Olaf - Nate Penz (Jr., QB, Rochester, Minn. / Mayo), Joel Reinhardt (Sr., WR, Eagan, Minn. / Minnehaha Academy), J.J. Strnad (Jr., RB, Palo Alto, Calif. / Gunn), Chad Wagner (Sr., DL, Oak Grove, Minn.),
St. Thomas - Kyle Coyne (Sr., DB, Maple Grove, Minn.), John Gould (Jr., QB, Mendota Heights, Minn. / St. Thomas Academy), Paul Grapuner (Jr., K, Minnetonka, Minn. / Benildge-St. Margaret's), Zac Novaczyk (Sr., LS, Richfield, Minn. / Minnehaha Academy)

2014 Football All-MIAC Sportsmanship Team

Augsburg - Bryce Nelson (Jr., New Brighton, Minn. / St. Anthony Village)
Bethel - Cory Hansen (Sr., Albert Lea, Minn.)
Carleton - Eric Wittenberg (Sr., Eagan, Minn.)
Concordia - Steffen Morical (Jr., Garfield, Minn. / Jefferson)
Gustavus - Zach Vine (Sr., Lino Lakes, Minn. / Centennial)
Hamline - Ryan Ferkinhoff (Jr., St. Anthony, Minn. / St. Anthony Village)
Saint John's - Bryce Jeppesen (Sr., Sauk Rapids, Minn. / Sauk Rapids-Rice)
St. Olaf - Seamus Walsh (Jr., St. Paul, Minn. / Central)
St. Thomas - Cole Kelly (Sr., Red Wing, Minn.)

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