Gustavus Adolphus opened the 2003 Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference football season by hosting Concordia-Moorhead on Saturday in St. Peter. The Cobbers overcame an early 2-0 deficit to post a 24-2 victory.
Gustavus took an early lead by blocking a Concordia punt in the first quarter. The Cobbers recovered the loose football in their own end zone for a safety to give Gustavus a 2-0 lead. It was all Concordia the rest of the way as the Cobbers scored 24 unanswered points to register the victory.
Ed Oehlers led the Concordia scoring attack with two touchdown runs. His four-yard score with three minutes remaining in the second quarter gave the Cobbers a 10-2 halftime advantage. The junior running back scored his second touchdown early in the fourth quarter to cap off the Concordia scoring.
Concordia quarterback Ryan Hebrink went 9-of-20 through the air for 112 yards and a touchdown. Running back Bobby Clark led the ground attack with 92 yards on 18 carries. Oehlers ended the afternoon with 13 yards on seven carries, two of which went for touchdowns.
Gustavus struggled offensively throughout much of the day, failing to move the ball past the Concordia 33-yard line. Quarterback Sean Smith, who went 21-of-37 through the air for 164 yards, was sacked six times. Smith’s favorite target was Tim Nesvig who hauled in 11 receptions for 84 yards. The Gustie ground game was led by Drew Stifter who carried 18 times for 62 yards.
The Cobbers, who improved to 2-0 on the season, out-rushed Gustavus 119 to 32 yards. Last season Concordia carried the ball for 237 yards in its 20-14 win over Gustavus in Moorhead.
Gustavus dropped to 0-2 on the year, marking the first time the Gusties have started the season with two consecutive losses since 1996. The 22-point loss is the worst home defeat for Gustavus since falling to St. John’s 48-16 in 1996.
Gustavus returns to action on September 20 by traveling to Northfield to face Carleton College.