The Gustavus football team suffered its second consecutive loss with a 38-23 setback at Bethel on Saturday afternoon. The Gusties got down 21-0 at the start of the game and could not recover in losing for the second time this season. Wide receiver Chad Arlt had a big day for Gustavus as he made 13 catches for 163 yards and one touchdown.
A very slow start hindered the Gusties as several key penalties, turnovers, and a sluggish offensive attack led to three Bethel touchdowns and a 21-0 deficit in the first 11 minutes of the game.
Gustavus got on the board late in the first quarter when Jake Bohnen picked up a Bethel fumble and returned it 27 yards for a touchdown. John Ostertag’s extra point made the score 21-7.
The Gusties put together an impressive drive late in the second quarter marching 80 yards in 14 plays and scoring on a four-yard run by Mitch Anderson with :21 left before the intermission. The extra point was missed and Gustavus trailed 21-13 at halftime.
Bethel extended its lead to 28-13 when Dan Einerson completed a 69-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Lee early in the third quarter.
Gustavus marched the full length of the field on its next drive, however the Gusties were not able to get into the end zone after a first down and goal from the three yard line and settled for a 21-yard field from Ostertag making the score 28-16.
Early in the fourth quarter, Jordan Stolp hit Chad Arlt with a 27-yard pass in the corner of the end zone and then converted the extra point to make the score 28-23.
Things were looking up for the Gusties when Jared Sieling intercepted a tipped pass on the Royals next possession giving Gustavus the ball on its own 38-yard line. Unfortunately, the Gusties were unable to take advantage of the turnover and were forced to punt three plays later.
Bethel drove 66 yards in 12 plays and registered a 23-yard field goal from Nate Gutshall to extend its lead to 31-23.
Gustavus threw three incomplete passes on its next possession forcing a Gustie punt.
The Royals then shut down any hopes of a Gustavus comeback by driving 64 yards on eight plays and scoring on a five-yard pass from Einerson to Lee making the score 35-23.
The Gusties inability to run the football limited their chances to score against Bethel. The Gustavus offense carried 23 times for only 42 yards. The Gusties compiled 327 yards of total offense on the day compared to 389 for Bethel.
Gustavus quarterback Jordan Stolp completed 24-of-49 passes for 285 yards and one touchdown with two interceptions. Stolp became the all-time leading passer in the game surpassing current quarterbacks coach Bob Southworth who totalled 7,085 yards from 1995 to 1998. Stolp has now thrown for 7,169 yards in his career.
The Gusties, who are now 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the MIAC, will face undefeated Saint John’s for homecoming next Saturday at 1:00 pm.