Football Hosts Bethel In Season Finale

Posted on November 8th, 2005 by

The offense huddles before a play in last week’s game against Carleton in St. Peter

The offense huddles before a play in last week’s game against Carleton in St. Peter

Gustavus welcomes Bethel University to Lloyd Hollingsworth Field today in the 2005 season finale for both teams. The Gusties enter the game with a record of 2-7 overall, and 2-5 in the MIAC, while Bethel enters with a mark of 5-4 overall and 4-3 in the MIAC. Both teams will be attempting to build momentum for the off-season by finishing this season on a positive note. The Gusties, who defeated Carleton 31-12 last week, would like to finish with two consecutive wins which would give them a 3-2 mark in the final five games of the season. Bethel, which defeated Augsburg 17-14 last week, could finish with three consecutive victories which would give them a 4-1 record in the second half of the season.
As is tradition at Gustavus, the final home game of the regular season is dedicated as Senior Day and a special tribute is made to the individuals who have committed themselves to Gustavus football for the past four years. This year, the athletics department, Coach Schoenebeck and his staff, parents, and fans salute the 12 seniors who have represented the Gustavus football program with pride and class from 2002 to the present. We thank them all for their efforts and wish them the very best in the challenges ahead.

The Series
Gustavus will be facing Bethel for the 27th time today. Gustavus holds a slim 14-12-0 advantage in the all-time series. Bethel has had the upper hand in the series lately winning five consecutive games and eight of the last ten dating back to the 1995 season. Bethel defeated Gustavus 28-17 in Arden Hills last year. The last time the Gusties knocked off the Royals was in 1999, when Coach Jay Schoenebeck’s squad handed the Royals a 26-20 defeat in St. Peter.

Meet the Head Coaches
Gustavus Head Coach Jay Schoenebeck (’80) is in his twelfth season directing his alma mater. Schoenebeck has compiled a record of 55-61 overall, and 50-51 in the MIAC. Schoenebeck’s squads have placed in the top four in the MIAC in six of the past seven seasons. Steve Johnson is in his 17th season as the head coach at Bethel. Johnson is the all-time winningest coach at Bethel with a record of 111-59-1. He graduated from Bethel in 1979 with a major in physical education.

A Look at Today’s Game

A Glimpse of the Gusties
Gustavus will wrap up its 2005 season today against Bethel and the Gusties have a chance to finish the second half of the season with a 3-2 record, after struggling to an 0-5 mark in the first half of the season. A young and inexperienced Gustavus squad was unable to play smart, consistent football for 60 minutes against a very demanding schedule early in the season. The team has improved in several different areas after the initial struggles and the result has been more competitive games and improved team play.
Offensively, the Gusties produced an average of 222.0 yards per game in the first half of the season, while scoring an average of 7.6 points per game. In addition, quarterback Jordan Stolp was sacked 29 times, the offense rushed for an average of 54.0 yards per game, and turned the ball over 15 times. In the second half of the season, Gustavus has averaged 336.0 yards per game, while scoring an average of 25.1 points per game. Quarterback Jordan Stolp has been sacked five times in four games and the Gusties have turned the ball over four times, while rushing for an average of 122.25 yards per game.
Defensively, the team has played well despite suffering several serious injuries. The defensive line was the hardest hit with tackle Kory Wermerskirchen knocked out for the season with a broken foot, end Chris Cornwell missing three games with a knee injury, end Jared Chapman missing three games with a broken hand, and tackle Nick David playing through a painful ankle injury. Coach Lance Taylor’s crew has continued to force turnovers at a pace of 2.5 per game in the second half. The defense has forced at least two turnovers in six games this season and a total of 25 in nine games. Last week, the Gusties forced four turnovers, including two inside the Gustavus 10-yard line. Adam Miron forced a fumble at the seven-yard line that was recovered by Kevin Hegland, and Wade Vrieze intercepted a pass at the Gustie one-yard line. The offense responded by turning two of the four turnovers into touchdowns for 14 points.
This young Gustavus team has struggled at times, while its talented young players mature into seasoned veterans. The coaching staff has patiently allowed the squad to learn from its mistakes, while a dedicated senior class has set an important example through its work ethic and positive attitude every day at practice. The 78 Gustie underclassmen on this year’s squad would like nothing better than to send its 12 seniors off in style today with a win over Bethel, while also taking a step forward towards a successful 2006 season.

Gustavus Statistics

A View of the Royals
Much like Gustavus, Bethel University is looking to finish the 2005 season on a high note after a disappointing first half of the season. With a win today, the Royals could finish with three straight wins and an overall mark of 6-4, after posting a record of 2-3 in their first five games. Bethel’s only loss in the second half of the season has been a 30-12 setback to Concordia. Coach Steve Johnson’s squad recorded a convincing 41-0 win over Carleton two weeks ago in Arden Hills, and then held on to defeat Augsburg 17-14 in the Metrodome last Thursday.
Against the Auggies, Royal running back Phil Porta was all the offense Bethel needed as he carried 44 times for a school record 289 yards and one touchdown. The Royals dominated the game statistically, compiling 494 yards of offense to 213 for Augsburg and possessing the football for 37:21 compared to 22:39 for the Auggies, but some critical turnovers by the Royals (two fumbles and one interception) allowed Augsburg to stay in the game. Bethel led 7-6 at halftime as a result of a one-yard Porta touchdown run and the extra point by Jason Holmertz. The Royals took a 10-6 lead on a 31-yard field goal by Holmertz with 10:25 left in the third quarter and then extended the lead to 16-6 when quarterback Ben Wetzell hit Kyle Lee with a 10-yard touchdown pass as time expired in the third quarter. Holmertz’s point-after-attempt made the score 17-6. Bethel fumbled a punt early in the fourth quarter that Augsburg recovered at the Bethel 26-yard line. The Auggies scored a touchdown six plays later and added a two-point conversion to make the score 17-14, but the Royals would hold on for the victory.
Heading into today’s final regular season game, the Royals rank fifth in the MIAC in total offense with an average of 390.0 yards per game, and third in total defense allowing 297.4 yards per game. Individually, Porta leads the league in rushing with an average of 141.6 yards per game, while safety Kirby Carr ranks sixth in total tackles with 71 (43 solo, 28 assists). Junior Zach Danielson leads the league in solo tackles for loss with nine for an average of 1.5 tackles for loss per game.

Bethel Statistics


Gustavus Adolphus College

11 Jordan Stolp QB
05 Drew Stifter RB
03 Clint Riegelman WR
72 Michael Klayum LT
79 Mark Iverson LG
68 Dan Tiegen C
73 Jared Thelemann RG
63 Ian Ruppel RT
85 Jamie Germscheid TE
07 Kerry Zajicek WR
43 Chad Arlt WR

31 Blake Theisen LE
66 Andy Klaers LT
53 Nick David RT
91 Chris Cornwell RE
04 Jared Sieling OLB
52 Adam Miron MLB
12 Wade Wietgrefe OLB
21 Brian Evans CB
28 Neil Petrash SS
16 Kevin Hegland FS
32 Wade Vrieze CB

16 Kevin Hegland LS
32 Wade Vrieze KR
02 Isaac Perry PR
11 Jordan Stolp K
22 Mike Leonard P
17 Kraig Olson H

Bethel University

10 Ben Wetzell QB
25 Phil Porta TB
42 Josh Holm FB
86 Eric Fornshell TE
58 Andrew Ratzlaff LT
73 Pat Corcoran LG
63 David Schuler C
70 Brad Dahlman RG
75 Kels Shockey RT
02 Kyle Lee SE
09 John Croyle FL

37 Zach Danielson LE
51 Kris Johnson NT
11 Jake Schneider RE
45 Robbie Ellis OLB
07 Chris Zdon ILB
47 Darin Schwarze ILB
44 Matt Ammerman OLB
27 Jamie Wagner CB
02 Kirby Carr SS
22 Brandon Carr FS
23 John Evans CB

20 Bret Bollweg LS
80 Nate Porter KR
09 John Croyle PR
16 Jason Holmertz K
81 Brett Einerson P
04 A.J. Parnell H

MIAC Standings

MIAC Statistics


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