The Gustavus football team will host Saint John’s University in a key MIAC matchup on Saturday at 1:00 pm at Hollingsworth Field on the Gustavus campus. It is Homecoming Day for the Gusties. Gustavus enters with a record of 3-2-0 overall and 2-2-0 in the MIAC, while the third ranked Johnnies enter with a mark of 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the MIAC. You can watch and listen to the game through the Gustavus Athletics website by using the live broadcast link on the left side of the main athletics page.
Gustavus welcomes Saint John’s University to Lloyd Hollingsworth Field today for a mid-season Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference match-up. The Gusties enter the game with a record of 3-2 overall and 2-2 in the MIAC after falling to Bethel 38-23 last Saturday, while the Johnnies enter with a record of 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the MIAC after edging St. Olaf 30-29 a week ago.
Gustavus will be looking to derail a Saint John’s squad that is ranked #3 in the nation in the American Football Coaches Association poll. The Johnnies took a big step towards another MIAC title by defeating St. Olaf last week, while the Gusties saw their title hopes all but disappear with a loss at Bethel.
Gustavus is celebrating its 83rd Homecoming today, continuing a tradition that started in 1924 when the Gusties defeated Saint John’s 33-0. Gustavus has experienced great success on Homecoming Day compiling an all-time record of 58-22-2. This will be the 14th time that Gustavus has played the Johnnies for Homecoming with the Gusties posting a mark of 9-3-1 in the previous 13 games. The last time the two met for Gustavus’ Homecoming was 1995 when Saint John’s claimed a 35-24 victory.
Gustavus and Saint John’s will be facing each other for the 74th time today. The Gusties have compiled a mark of 31-39-3 in the all-time series. The Johnnies have definitely had the upper hand in the series lately winning nine straight. The Gusties last win was in 1997 when they beat the Johnnies 24-16 in Collegeville.
Meet the Head Coaches
Gustavus Head Coach Jay Schoenebeck (’80) is in his 14th season at the helm of the Gusties with a career record of 66-69 overall and 58-58 in the MIAC. Schoenebeck helped the Gusties complete the 2006 season with four straight victories to finish with an overall mark of 6-4-0. Saint John’s Head Coach John Gagliardi is in his 55th year directing the Johnnie football program. The winningest coach in college football history, Gagliardi has compiled a career record of 449-120-11.
A Glimpse of the Gusties
The Gustavus football team is hoping that the friendly confines of Lloyd Hollingsworth Field can help them forget two disappointing losses on the road in recent weeks. This is a challenging stretch for the Gusties as they are in the process of facing three opponents undefeated in league play in succession and the results have been humbling. Coach Jay Schoenebeck and his squad face another significant challenge this week as the undefeated Johnnies come to St. Peter. Both teams will be attempting to remain unbeaten, however the streaks are significantly different as Saint John’s will be trying to stay perfect on the season, while Gustavus will be trying to maintain its perfect record in its new stadium. The Gusties have not beaten the Johnnies since 1998 and Coach Schoenebeck and his squad would like nothing better than to stop that streak in front of a large homecoming crowd in their new stadium.
Gustavus will be looking to get off to a better start this week than they did last week in Arden Hills, where Bethel jumped out to a 21-0 lead and forced the Gusties to play catch up all day. Gustavus did battle back and cut the lead to 28-23 in the third quarter, however the Royals used a solid running game to eat up the clock in the fourth quarter and held on for a 38-23 victory. The Gusties have certainly played two good football teams in St. Olaf and Bethel over the past two weeks, however turnovers, penalties, and the inability of the defense to limit big plays have kept them from having a chance to win those games.
Coach Schoenebeck and his squad will need to be firing on all cylinders today to challenge a Saint John’s squad that has found a way to come back and pick up key wins in recent weeks. The Gusties will need to re-establish their running game and control the clock in order to keep the high-powered Johnnie offense off of the field. In addition, the defense will need to force a couple of turnovers if Gustavus is to have a chance to hand Saint John’s is first loss of the season.
Gustavus Game Notes
Stolp Rising to the Top — Last Saturday, Gustavus senior quarterback Jordan Stolp became the all-time leading passer in Golden Gustie football history. Stolp, who completed 21-of-46 passes for 253 yards and one touchdown, pushed his career yards passing total to 7,128 yards which broke the previous record of 7,085 yards set by Bob Southworth from 1995 to 1998. Stolp now holds Gustavus career marks for completions (593) and attempts (1,135), as well as career yards passing. He ranks second all-time in career touchdown passes with 54 and he needs six more TD passes to break the current mark held by Southworth and Joe Thorvig at 59. He also ranks second all-time in average passing yards per game at 203.7 and is on pace to move past Joe Thorvig who ranks first all-time at 208.4 yards per game.
Sieling Nears the Top of the Tackles List – Senior linebacker Jared Sieling became only the third player in Gustavus football history to record 300 career tackles last Saturday against Bethel. He is currently tied for second on the Gustavus all-time tackles list with Shane Thielke at 307 stops. Current defensive coordinator Brian Bergstrom is the all-time tackles leader at Gustavus with 406. Sieling needs 25 solo tackles to pass Bergstrom as the career leader in solo stops. Bergstrom’s current mark is 167, while Sieling has recorded 143.
Arlt Catching the Attention of Opposing Defensive Backs – Junior wide receiver Chad Arlt made 13 catches against Bethel last Saturday and he has now recorded double digit catches three times this season. No other Gustavus receiver had ever compiled 10 catches or more in a game twice in a season. Through five games, Arlt has made 49 catches for 623 yards and six touchdowns. The school record for catches in a season is 58 set by Larry Bodin in 1985. Arlt could break that mark in just six games if he were to make 10 catches against the Johnnies today. He is averaging 9.8 catches per game this season.
1987 MIAC Championship Team Celebrating 20th Anniversary Today — The 1987 Golden Gustie football team that posted a perfect 10-0 regular season record and won the MIAC Championship will be on campus today celebrating the 20th anniversary of that significant accomplishment. During the 1987 season, the Gusties won four of five games in the middle of the season by four points or less including a 38-35 win over Concordia, a 19-17 win over Macalester, a 32-31 win over Saint John’s, and a 19-15 win over St. Thomas. Two members of that team, quarterback Dean Kraus and offensive lineman Marc Iverson have been inducted into the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame, and a third member running back Mike Schumacher will be inducted into the Hall of Fame on November 3.
Home, Sweet Home — After playing three of its first five games of the season on the road, Gustavus will now play four of its final five games of the season at Lloyd Hollingsworth Field. After today’s game with Saint John’s, the Gusties will host Macalester on Oct. 20, travel to Augsburg on Oct. 27, and then return home to face Concordia on Nov. 3 and Carleton on Nov. 10.
A View of the Johnnies
Saint John’s continued its winning ways with a thrilling come-from-behind win over St. Olaf by the score of 30-29 in Collegeville last Saturday. The Johnnies have been in the unusual position of having to rally for wins in the second half three times in their six games this season, however the key for Coach Gagliardi and his squad is that they have managed to salvage a victory each time. Two weeks ago, the Johnnies scored in the final minute of play to defeat Carleton 10-3 and then last week, they trailed 26-17 heading into the fourth quarter before scoring two improbable touchdowns to claim the one-point victory. The Johnnies are rated #3 in the AFCA Coaches Poll and #4 in the D3football.com Poll, which were released earlier this week.
Senior quarterback Alex Kofoed leads a Saint John’s offense that is averaging 433.3 yards per game including 262.2 yards through the air and 171.1 yards on the ground. Kofoed has put together some impressive numbers in his four years as the starting quarterback. He is the school’s all-time leader in total yards (9,251), passing yards (9,193), pass attempts (1,146), and completions (700). Kofoed has continued to impress this season completing 115-of-170 passes for 1,407 yards with five interceptions and 15 touchdowns. His main targets through the air have been Brian Weber who has made 32 catches for 516 yards and four touchdowns and Ben Vanderheyden with 17 catches for 214 yards and four touchdowns. Mike Patnode leads the Johnnies ground attack with 82 carries for 395 yards and five touchdowns.
Defensively, Saint John’s leads the MIAC allowing 269.2 yards per game. Pre-season All-America tackle Nick Gunderson anchors the defensive unit along with end Mike Schumacher, and safeties Kevin Boegel and John Cloeter. Boegel leads the team in tackles with 44 and interceptions with three. Gunderson has recorded 33 tackles including four sacks. The Johnnies limited a St. Olaf offense that had been averaging nearly 600 yards per game to 349 yards last Saturday.
Johnnie Game Notes
Second-Half Advantage – Saint John’s has now had three second-half, come-from-behind wins this season (21-10 at Wis.-River Falls, 10-7 at Carleton, 30-29 vs. St. Olaf). The Johnnies have only had two the past three seasons combined, both against Concordia-Moorhead. The last time SJU needed three such wins was during the 2003 National Championship season (15-12 at St. Thomas, 29-26 vs. Bethel, 31-25 vs. Linfield, Ore.). SJU has outscored its opponents 107-48 in the second half this season.
Gagliardi Gets First Crack at 450 Saturday – Head coach John Gagliardi will get his first attempt at career win No. 450 this Saturday. Since his record-breaking 409th win on Nov. 8, 2003, Gagliardi and the Johnnies have recorded a 40-6 record. Here are Gagliardi’s notable victories:
-100th Career Collegiate Victory: at SJU 34, Hamline 6 (Oct. 9, 1965)
-200th Career Collegiate Victory: at SJU 42, Bethel 10 (Oct. 11, 1980)
-300th Career Collegiate Victory: SJU 77, at Bethel 12 (Oct. 16, 1993)
-400th Career Collegiate Victory: SJU 21, at Linfield, Ore. 14 (Dec. 7, 2002)
-409th Career Collegiate Victory: at SJU 29, Bethel 26 (Nov. 8, 2003)
One More School Record Set to Fall, MIAC Milestone On the Way – Senior quarterback Alex Kofoed (left; Cold Spring, Minn./Rocori) is the school’s all-time leader in total yards (9,251), passing yards (9,193), pass attempts (1,146), completions (700) and wins as a starting quarterback (34). Kofoed needs five touchdown passes (83) to move past 1997 graduate and current Carleton head coach Kurt Ramler (1993-96) for the school’s all-time record. In addition, Kofoed enters this Saturday’s game needing 373 yards thru the air to pass Bethel’s Scott Kirchoff (1999-03) for the MIAC all-time record for passing yardage in conference games.
Gustavus Adolphus College
11 Jordan Stolp