Findlay, Ohio – On Wednesday, Jan. 17, the 2017 Don Hansen Super Region 1 teams were announced. Andrew Alten, Daouda Sylla, Johnny Hopkins, and Aaron Ivory were named first team performers while Jason Moore and Luke Stuffel earned spots on the second team. Michael Campbell and Chiebuka Chukwuneke rounded out the selections as they each found themselves on the third team.
Findlay ranked fourth in the region and led the Great Midwest Athletic Conference (G-MAC) with four first team selections and tied for fourth in the region with eight overall selections, the most Don Hansen All-Region selections in a single season in school history. Super Region 1 is compiled of universities from four conferences (PSAC, MEC, NE10, G-MAC). 40 teams and 145 players are represented on three teams.
Senior Andrew Alten, the Great Midwest Offensive Lineman of the Year and AFCA, Associated Press, D2CCA, D2Football.com All-American, adds to what is already one of the most decorated seasons in school history. He anchored an offensive line that, prior to his injury in week nine, protected its quarterback better than any o-line in the country, allowing just 0.33 sacks per game at that time. In Alten's nine games, Findlay rushed for 292.3 yards per game (fourth in the country), scored 47.7 points per game (third in the country), and picked up 248 first downs (second in the country).
Senior running back Daouda Sylla, a first team all-conference pick and Harlon Hill nominee, carried the ball 243 times for 1,554 yards and scored 19 touchdowns this season, both the fifth-best single-season marks in school history. Sylla led the G-MAC in attempts, yards, yards per carry, and touchdowns. He was a major factor in the Oilers playoff win over no. 2 Shepherd when he rushed for 205 yards.
Senior Johnny Hopkins saved his best year for last and adds to his list of accomplishments for 2017 that includes G-MAC Defensive Lineman of the Year, first team all-G-MAC, and second team all-region from the D2CCA. Hopkins recorded 50 tackles, 13.5 tackles for a loss and 5.5 sacks during his final season at Findlay.
The final first team selection is another senior, Aaron Ivory who was the 2017 G-MAC Defensive Back of the Year, first team all-region from the D2CCA, and second team all-American from the Associated Press. Ivory, a native of Cleveland, Ohio, earned second team honors after putting together one of the seasons of any safety in the country. The senior recorded 36 tackles and had three tackles-for-loss, but it was his pass defense that made him stand out. Ivory recorded six pass breakups including five interceptions over the course of the season. He also tied a school record with three interception returns for touchdowns all while helping lead a defense that held opponents to an eight-year program low, 19.2 points per game.
Junior Jason Moore and sophomore Luke Stuffel, both first team all-G-MAC selections, earned second team honors. Moore, Findlay's all-time leader in receiving yards and receiving touchdowns, caught 65 passes for 980 yards and scored 14 touchdowns this season. Stuffel caught 11 balls for 120 yards and one touchdown this season and helped block for an offense that was one of the best in the country.
Junior Michael Campbell and junior Chiebuka Chukwuneke took third team honors. Campbell, a first team all-G-MAC selection, rushed 136 times for 870 yards and found the endzone 15 times. Chukwuneke, who played in all 13 games for the Oilers, made 57 tackles and had four interceptions, none bigger than his pick in the fourth quarter against Shepherd which helped secure the road victory.