Findlay, Ohio - The Don Hansen Football Committee released their NCAA DII All-Super Region 1 team on Friday, Jan. 18. The Don Hansen team carries out the legacy of small college football advocate, Don Hansen, who passed away at age 75 in 2010. Hansen, from Brookfield, Ill., started and published Don Hansen's National Weekly Football Gazette began selection Division II all-region squads in 2003.
Findlay had five players make the all-region team. Sophomore Brian Benson, sophomore Kyle Gibson, junior Neal Davis, and junior Logan Bailey were each named second team honorees while senior Cyle Skidmore was named to the third team.
Earning his first playing time at Findlay this season, sophomore running back Brian Benson won the starting job for the Oilers who all season long boasted the best rushing attack in the league. He ended his season with a flurry out other-worldly performances as he averaged 205 yards and 3.3 touchdowns in his final three games of the season. In 2018, Benson rushed 130 times for 963 yards for an average of 107.0 yards per game. The Mansfield, Ohio native also found the end zone 16 times. Benson's total yards, yards per game, touchdowns, and yards per carry (7.4) were all tops in the league. At 7.4 yards per carry, Benson, who was named G-MAC Player of the Week on Nov. 5, broke the conference record for yards per carry in a season, surpassing the 2017 mark of Findlay graduate Daouda Sylla who rushed for 6.4 ypc last season.
Gibson had a breakout year in 2018 and has earned his first all-region honor of his career. A native of Newark, Ohio, Gibson started in all 11 games this season and had 51 stops. He was tied for second in the conference with 7.5 sacks and was solo-second in the league with 16 tackles-for-loss. Gibson earned Findlay's lone Defensive Player of the Week award after a 3.5 TFL and 1.5 sack performance against Charleston on Oct. 13. The 6-2, 248-pound lineman had a career-high four tackles-for-loss and two sacks against Lake Erie on Sep. 29.
A pair of junior offensive lineman were key to the Oilers producing the league's top producing offense for the second consecutive season. For their efforts, Neal Davis and Logan Bailey were both named second team all-region. Davis, who has started in 32 out of 34 games since he stepped on campus as a freshman, spent his season at center while Bailey held his position at left tackle. The duo were imperative to the success of an offense that scored a league-best 41.2 points per game, churned out a league-best 494.2 yards per game, and produced 2,938 rushing yards, more than 1,200 rushing yards more than the next-best rushing offense in the league. Findlay also led the league and ranked second in the nation with 292 first downs this season and protected their quarterback better than any team in the league, and were ninth in the country, allowing just seven sacks all season.
Senior Cyle Skidmore made his impact felt on the defensive line and earned a spot on the third team all-region defensive squad. In 2018, Skidmore totaled 35 tackles and had 13.5 tackles-for-loss which ranked third in the league. He also recorded 7.5 sacks this season which was tied for second in the league. When the Bucyrus, Ohio native got to the ball carrier, his hands were active which led him to force a league-high four fumbles this season. His four fumbles forced ranked seventh in the country.