The Gustavus football team broke open a tight game with two third quarter defensive touchdowns and then added two more scores on its way to a convincing 37-14 win over Carleton at Lloyd Hollingsworth Stadium on Saturday afternoon. The Gustie offense compiled 399 yards of total offense, while the defense forced three turnovers and limited the Knights to 255 yards of total offense. Gustavus finishes the season at 5-5 overall and 3-5 in the MIAC.
The Knight defense sacked Gustavus quarterback Jordan Stolp on the Gusties first possession of the game forcing Gustavus to punt from deep in its own territory. As a result, Carleton gained possession on the Gustie 30-yard line. Six plays later, Knight quarterback Shane Henfling threw a five-yard touchdown pass to Chris Gardner. Tim Kane made the point-after attempt and Carleton led 7-0.
Late in the first quarter, Gustavus took possession on the Carleton 43-yard line after a 21-yard punt return by Ethan Armstrong. Eight plays later, the Gusties scored a touchdown on a three-yard run by Adam Lukes. John Ostertag added the extra point and the score was tied at 7-7.
The two defenses controlled play for most of the second quarter until the Gusties drove down to the Carleton 13-yard . Three tries to get into the end zone failed and Gustavus settled for a 30-yard John Ostertag field goal. Ostertag’s tenth field goal of the season gave the Gusties a 10-7 lead. Gustavus took its 10-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
On Carleton’s first possession of the second half, Gustavus linebacker Jared Sieling picked off a Shane Henfling pass and returned it 37 yards for a touchdown extending the Gusties lead to 17-7. Two series later, the Gustavus defense struck again as Joe Welch snagged another Henfling aerial and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown. The extra point attempt failed, but the Gusties had quickly jumped to a 23-7 lead.
On the final play of the third quarter, Gustavus quarterback Jordan Stolp threw a 60-yard touchdown pass to Cody Sukalski giving Gustavus a 30-7 lead. The 20-point third quarter, sparked by the Gustie defense, allowed Gustavus to pull away from the Knights.
Midway through the fourth quarter, the Carleton offense put together a 12-play, 57-yard drive that ended with an 11-yard touchdown pass to Chris Gardner. Kane converted the point-after attempt and the Knights cut the lead to 30-14 with 8:13 left in the game.
On the ensuing kick-off Carleton attempted an on-side kick that was recovered by the Knights, however Carleton was flagged for offsides negating the recovery. On the second kickoff, Gustavus freshman kick returner Greg Lane picked up the ball on the Gustie one-yard line and raced 99 yards for a touchdown. It was the second longest kick return in the program’s history and the first since Sept. 30, 2000 when Andy Traetow returned a kick 94 yards for a touchdown against Concordia. Lane’s touchdown gave Gustavus a 37-14 lead and closed out the scoring in the game.
Offensively, Gustavus had a very balanced attack with 237 yards passing and 162 yards rushing for a total of 399 yards. Junior running back Adam Lukes carried 19 times for 103 yards and one touchdown, while senior quarterback Jordan Stolp completed 25-of-40 passes for 237 yards and one touchdown. Cody Sukalski turned in a solid all-around performance as he rushed eight times for 59 yards and caught nine passes for 151 yards and one touchdown. Junior wide receiver Chad Arlt made 11 catches for 62 yards. Arlt finished the season with 100 catches for for 1,294 yards and 11 touchdowns. Arlt shattered the previous season records for catches (58) and yards receiving (889).
Jordan Stolp completed his remarkable career by playing in his 40th consecutive game and setting new school records for completions in a season (220) and yards passing in a season (2,815). The previous marks were 202 completions and 2,726 yards passing. Stolp completed his career holding virtually every Gustavus single season and career passing mark. He also finished as the second all-time leading passer in MIAC history with 8, 496 yards passing.
Defensively, the Gusties turned in their finest performance of the season limiting the Knights to 255 yards of total offense including 47 yards rushing and 208 yards passing. Gustavus also forced three turnovers, turning two of those turnovers into touchdowns. Senior linebacker Jared Sieling led the Gusties with 15 tackles including two sacks, four tackles for loss and an interception he returned 37 yards for a touchdown. Sieling’s 15 tackles pushed his season total to 105 tackles and he becomes only the second player in the program’s history to post two 100 tackle seasons in his career. The other player is current Gustavus defensive coordinator Brian Bergstrom. Sieling completed his career with 372 tackles which second all-time at Gustavus behind Brian Bergstrom (406).
Carleton was led offensively by quarterback Shane Henfield who completed 24-of-48 passes for 208 yards and two touchdowns with two interceptions and wide receiver Chris Gardner with five catches for 49 yards and two touchdowns. Pete Gottschalk led the Knights’ defensive unit with 15 stops, and Drew Ziller added 13 tackles.
Thirteen seniors played their final game for Gustavus against the Knights. All of the seniors played in the game except Mitch Anderson who was not in uniform due to injury. The senior group includes quarterback Jordan Stolp, running back Mitch Anderson, wide receiver Tom Johnson, offensive lineman Andy Klaers, offensive lineman Michael Johnson, offensive lineman Ian Ruppel, defensive end Carl Wilking, linebacker Jared Sieling, defensive end Blake Theisen, offensive lineman Phil King, offensive lineman Andrew Liska, and defensive end Patrick Riordan.
The Gusties set three new single season team records in the game including all-purpose yards in a season (5,614 – the old mark was 5,547 in 1998), passing yards in a season (2,900 yards – the old mark was 2,776 set in 1997), and kick return yards in a season (1,053 – the old mark was 1,005 in 2000).