The Gustavus Adolphus football team dropped to 2-2 overall, 1-2 in the MIAC with a 41-13 loss to St. Olaf on Saturday. St. Olaf, which outgained the Gusties 421 yards to 331, moved its record to 5-0 on the season and 3-0 in the MIAC.
The Oles got on the board quickly with an 82-yard touchdown pass from Matt Penz to Horace Gant just five minutes into the game and extended the lead to 14-0 with a 1-yard touchdown run by Ben Roff early in the second quarter. The Gusties cut the lead to 14-7 midway through the second quarter as sophomore running back Ray Wilson (Brooklyn Park, Minn.) plunged in from two yards out. A key play on the 4-play, 72-yard drive was a 39-yard pass from junior quarterback Jordan Stolp (Mankato, Minn.) to senior tight end Patrick Wieneke (Jackson, Minn.).
The Ole special teams stepped up late in the half, as Ryan St. John blocked a Matt Knutson punt attempt at the Gustavus two-yard line, which was recovered in the end zone by Steven Wood for the St. Olaf touchdown.
The Oles added to their lead in the second half as Penz found Andrew Schmiesing for a 28-yard score in the third quarter and Roff added another 1-yard TD plunge on the first play of the fourth quarter. In a day when Gustavus was inducting nine members in to its Athletics Hall of Fame, a pair of current Gustie players entered the record books. With 5:51 remaining in the game and the Gusties backed up their own three-yard line, Jordan Stolp hit senior wideout Kerry Zajicek (Glencoe, Minn.) on a fly route down the right sideline for 97-yard touchdown. The play tied a Gustavus mark for the longest touchdown completion originally set by Joe Thorvig and Ryan Hoag against these same Oles in 2000.
St. Olaf put the game away on their next offensive play as Penz found running back Evan Endsley from 44 yards out to set the final margin at 41-13.
Each helped by long pass plays, Stolp and Penz topped 300 yards passing. Stolp finished 23-of-31 for 315 yards and a touchdown, while Penz was 19-of-32 for 305 yards and three touchdowns. Zajicek caught 10 balls for a game-high 170 yards and a touchdown, while Chad Arlt (So., St. Michael, Minn.) added eight catches for 79 yards. For the Oles, Horace Gant nabbed six balls for 145 yards and Evan Endsley added five catches for 73 yards. Penz was relieved early in the fourth quarter by backup John Haberman, who gained 61 yards on five rushes to lead the Oles. Ray Wilson finished with 26 yards on eight rushes to lead Gustavus.
Gustavus’ Patrick Riordan (Jr., Virginia, Minn.) and St. Olaf’s James Bechdol each recorded a game-high ten tackles, while Gustie defensive tackle Nick David (Sr., Morristown, Minn.) added nine. Charlie Mylrea added eight tackles for the Oles.
The 97-yard touchdown pass may have put Zajicek in the Gustavus record book, but it was also his 100th career reception, which ties Todd Raarup for fifth place on the Gustavus career list. 2006 Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame inductee John Huepenbecker is fourth on the list with 107 career receptions. His 170 receiving yards Saturday also ranks as the sixth best single-game mark in Gustavus history.
Gustavus will host Bethel University (4-1, 2-1 MIAC) next Saturday on Homecoming.