LA VERNE, Calif. — The University of La Verne football team landed six players on the 2017 All-SCIAC team the Southern California Intercollegiate Athletic Conference announced Tuesday morning.
Defense lineman Austin Brown and punter Russell Boucher both earned first team honors. Offensive linemen Michael Brown and Tyler Baeza, and defensive backs Torii Hilbert and Jose Aguero all earned spots on the All-SCIAC Second team.
Austin Brown finished the year with 28 tackles, 17 in SCIAC play, 7.5 tackles for losses, and 1.5 sacks on a defense that gave up the fewest yards per game in the SCIAC (383.3), tied for second in the conference in total sacks (16), and ranked third in rush defense. Brown forced a safety against the Panthers when he sacked quarterback Ricky Bautista.
Boucher proved to be one of the best punters in the nation this season. The senior, who also finished the year with 149 receiving yards and three touchdowns, ranks fifth in the nation with an average punt of 41.8 yards. Boucher landed nine punts inside the 20 yard line throughout the course of the season. Boucher made his biggest impact on field position in the Leopards' 28-27 win over Cal Lutheran when he pinned three kicks inside the 20, including a coffin corner kick, and another 68 yard bomb to help protect a one point lead with under four minutes to play.
Michael Brown and Beaza led the way for the Leopards' offensive unit that rushed for over a 1000 yards and 14 touchdowns in SCIAC play. They capped off the season by dominating the Whittier front seven, clearing the way for 423 yards on the ground.
Hilbert and Aguero created headaches in the secondary for opposing quarterbacks. Hilbert's biggest play came on a pick-six against the Kingsmen that set up a La Verne comeback. Aguero ranked second on the Leopards' squad with 46 tackles and tied for first with two interceptions. The Los Angeles native had his biggest individual performance against Pomona-Pitzer where he picked off a pass and blocked a field goal that he took back to the house.
The Leopards finished their 2017 campaign 3-5 overall and 2-4 in SCIAC play.
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