The Gustavus football team stayed close to eighth ranked Saint John’s in the first half, but the Gusties struggled in the second half and lost to the Johnnies 41-14 in Saint Peter. Running back Mitch Anderson and wide receiver Patrick Weinecke scored touchdowns for Gustavus which falls to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the MIAC.
The game was close throughout the first half as both teams moved the ball up and down the field. St. John’s struck first when Casey Haugen caught a 2-yard pass from Alex Kofoed with 9:22 remaining in the first quarter. Anthony Schmidt converted the extra point giving Saint John’s a 7-0 lead. Gustavus countered on its next drive as Mitch Anderson ran into the end zone from three-yards out with 7:06 remaining in the opening quarter. Jordan Stolp converted the extra point to tie the score at 7-7.
The Johnnies would score the next 10 points off of a 21-yard field goal by Schmidt and a 61-yard interception return for a touchdown by John Cloeter. Saint John’s extended its lead to 20-7 on another field goal by Schmidt, this one from 35 yards, with 3:48 left before halftime. The Gusties would get back into the game with a five-play, 70-yard drive that ended with Patrick Weinecke catching a 13-yard touchdown pass from Jordan Stolp with 1:41 left in the second quarter. Saint John’s would take the 20-14 lead into the lockerroom.
After the Saint John’s defense stopped Gustavus on its first possession of the second half, the Johnnie offense marched down the field and scored on a two-yard run by Corey Weber to take a 27-14 lead. The Johnnie defense forced the Gustie offense to punt three more times in the third quarter before the Saint John’s offense added another touchdown on an 11-yard halfback option pass from Chase Beaudry to Brett Saladin. Schmidt added the extra point to give the Johhnies a 34-14 lead with 3:56 left in the third quarter.
Saint John’s would close out the scoring on a four-yard touchdown run by Corey Weber with 5:39 remaining in the game. Schmidt’s fifth extra point of the game made the final score Saint John’s 41, Gustavus 14.
Gustavus compiled 288 yards of total offense in the contest. Quarterback Jordan Stolp completed 11-of-32 passes for 178 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions. Running back Mitch Anderson carried 12 times for 37 yards and one touchdown, while Clint Riegelman made three catches for 67 yards. Defensively, Gustavus was led by linebacker Jared Sieling, with 17 tackles (11 solo). The Gusties defense did manage to force four turnovers in the game including three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
The Johnnies compiled 433 yards of total offense in the game. Quarterback Alex Kofoed completed 26-of-39 passes for 331 yards and one touchdown with three interceptions. Kyle Gearman was the Johnnies leading receiver with five catches for 63 yards. The defense, which was led by senior nose tackle Damien Dumonceaux with nine solo tackles, forced four turnovers including three interceptions and a fumble recovery.
Gustavus will travel to Concordia next Saturday to face the Cobbers, while Saint John’s, which has now beaten Gustavus seven consecutive times dating back to 1998, will return home to host Hamline.