The Gustavus football team lost to #6 Saint John’s University 38-10 at Hollingsworth Field in St. Peter on Saturday afternoon. The Johnnie defense limited the Gusties to 190 yards of total offense and forced four turnovers. Gustavus battled to stay close and pulled to within 14 points at 24-10 when Jordan Becker hit Eliott Herdina with a 26-yard pass midway through the third quarter, but Saint John’s pulled away in the fourth quarter and stayed unbeaten on the season (4-0) with the win.
The Gusties got off to a solid start driving 45 yards in 11 plays on their second series of the game and took a 3-0 lead when Tom Huepenbecker made a 42-yard field goal at 8:34 of the first period. The Johnnies answered right back and took a 7-3 lead when Joe Boyle threw a two-yard touchdown pass to Josh Overman just before the end of the first quarter.
Saint John’s broke the game open in the second quarter when it scored on three of four possessions and took a 24-3 lead into the locker room at the intermission. The Johnnies scored on an 8-yard run by Jakob Redding, a 12-yard pass from Boyle to Overman, and a 33-yard field goal by Russell Gliadon. Gustavus was only able to manage 19 yards on 12 plays in the quarter.
At the beginning of the third quarter, Gustavus marched 70 yards on 12 plays and cut the lead to 24-10 when Becker hit Herdina with a 26-yard TD pass followed by Huepenbecker’s PAT. Saint John’s answered the Gusties drive with a four-play, 65 yard drive that ended with a 19-yard TD pass from Boyle to Jimmy Loonan. Gliadon’s extra-point made the score 31-10.
Saint John’s closed out the scoring late in the fourth quarter when Boyle hit Harry Awe with a 21-yard TD pass. Gliadon’s extra point made the final score 38-10.
The Gustie offense just never really got on track managing only 190 yards of total offense on 68 plays with four turnovers (all fumbles). The inability of the Gustavus offense to move the football gave the Johnnies very good field position throughout the game. The Gustie defense struggled at times, but did not play badly shutting the Johnnies down for stretches in the first and third quarters.
Offensively, Gustavus was led by statistically by wide receiver Elliott Herdina who made six catches for 52 yards and one touchdown. Jordan Becker completed 18-of-40 passes for 158 yards and one touchdown with no interceptions.
Defensively, the Gusties were led by linebackers Tony Palma and Zach Lundquist who registered 15 tackles each. Joe Welch also had a big day with nine tackles and an interception.
Gustavus (1-2, 1-1) will travel to St. Paul to face St. Thomas next Saturday at 1:00 pm.