The Gustavus Adolphus College football team made big plays on offense, defense, and special teams on its way to recording an impressive 31-12 win over Carleton in St. Peter on Saturday. Quarterback Jordan Stolp led the big play offense with four pass completions over 40 yards, while Jared Sieling led the defense with 16 tackles, one interception, and a blocked field goal. Special teams also blocked a punt and recovered an onside kick. The Gusties posted their ninth consecutive win over the Knights and evened the all-time series at 14-14-2.
Gustavus struck first with 4:01 left in the first quarter when Stolp found tight end Jamie Germscheid for his third receiving touchdown of the season. Germschied’s touchdown grab capped a four-play, 68-yard drive to give the Gusties a 7-0 lead. First-year wide receiver Chad Arlt blocked Carleton’s punt on the ensuing possession, but Gustavus was unable to capitalize leaving the score at 7-0 Gustavus after one quarter.
Stolp struck again early in the second quarter as he connected with freshman wide receiver John Retka for a 25-yard reception and his first touchdown catch of the season. Stolp added the extra point to give the Gusties a 14-0 lead with 12:26 remaining in the second quarter. Carleton would counter Gustavus’ touchdown with a 41-yard field goal by kicker Matt Bond to pull the Knights to within 14-3 with 7:55 remaining in the first half. Gustavus added three more points to end the half on a Stolp 20-yard field goal to cap a 13-play, 54-yard drive, which utilized 4:47 of the clock. Neither team would score again as the Gusties took a 17-3 lead into halftime.
Gustavus defensive back Kevin Hegland made a big play to start the third quarter when he intercepted a Carleton pass, which gave the Gusties the ball on the Knights’ 37-yard line. Gustavus capitalized on its following offensive possession as running back Drew Stifter scampered in for a touchdown from two yards out giving the Gusties a 24-3 advantage with 9:51 left in the third quarter. Carleton scored its first offensive points of the second half when quarterback John Hollowed scrambled for a 13-yard touchdown run. Hollowed’s touchdown run ended a nine-play, 66-yard drive. Bond added the extra point to pull the Knights to within 24-10 with 5:54 left in the quarter. Gustavus drove the ball downfield late in the third quarter and Arlt, who was making his first collegiate start for the Gusties, scored his first touchdown of the season on a 10-yard pass from Stolp. He then added the extra point to give the Gusties a 31-10 lead to end the third quarter.
The Gustavus defense had an important final quarter making two interceptions, one by Wade Vrieze and the other by Sieling. The Gusties would surrender a safety early in the fourth quarter, but neither team would score again as the Gusties claimed the 31-12 victory.
Stolp led the Golden Gustie offense, completing 17-of-29 passes for 253 yards, with three touchdowns, and one interception. Riegelman led all Gustavus receivers with four receptions for 113 yards, while Drew Stifter led all rushers with 14 carries for 78 yards and one touchdown. Stifter became only the 13th running back in Gustavus history with over 1,500 rushing yards and currently has 1,512 for his career.
Hollowed led the Carleton offense, completing 21-of-35 passes for 208 yards with three interceptions. Kootsikas led all receivers with nine receptions for 128 yards.
The Gustavus special teams had a big day with a blocked punt, a blocked field goal, and a recovered onside kick. Arlt blocked a Carleton punt late in the opening quarter, Jared Sieling blocked the Knights’ field goal late in the second quarter, and Isaac Perry recovered the onside kick midway through the fourth quarter.
Sieling also had an impressive day defensively leading all tacklers with 16 and also recording an interception. Sieling pushed his season tackle total to 103 and becomes the sixth Gustie linebacker in the past seven seasons to compile 100 tackles in a season.
The Gusties, now 2-7 overall and 2-5 in the MIAC, will wrap up their season next Saturday at home against the Bethel Royals at 1 p.m. The Knights, who are now 3-6 overall and 1-6 in the MIAC, will play their final game of the season at home against Hamline University at 1 p.m.