The Gustavus football team will host the University of St. Thomas in a MIAC matchup on Saturday at 1:30 pm at Hollingsworth Field on the Gustavus campus. It is Homecoming Day for the Gusties. Gustavus and St. Thomas enter with identical records of 2-1-0 overall and 1-1-0 in the MIAC. The Gustavus Athletics department will be providing live audio and video broadcasts, which can be accessed by clicking here. Live stats are also available for the contest by clicking here.
Gustavus welcomes the University of St. Thomas to Lloyd Hollingsworth Field today for a mid-season MIAC match-up between two squads looking for their third win of the season. The Gusties enter the contest at 2-1 overall, and 1-1 in the MIAC, while St. Thomas comes in with an identical record of 2-1 overall, and 1-1 in league play.
The Gusties are celebrating Homecoming for the 84th time in school history today. The Gustavus football team has been successful on Homecoming Day having compiled a record of 58-23-2. Gustavus, which will be meeting St. Thomas for the 12th time on Homecoming Day, is 6-5 against the Tommies in Homecoming games dating back to 1928. The last time the two squads met for Homecoming was in 1999, when Gustavus lost an 18-17 thriller.
Gustavus will be facing St. Thomas for the 77th time today. The Gusties trail the all-time series 36-38-2, but are 18-15-1 against the Tommies at home. Gustavus snapped a three-game losing streak to St. Thomas last year with a 30-14 win in St. Paul.
Meet the Head Coaches
Gustavus Head Coach Jay Schoenebeck (’80) is in his 15th season directing his alma mater with a career record of 70-73-0 overall, and 60-62 in the MIAC. Schoenebeck’s squads have placed in the top four in the conference standings in seven of the last eleven years. St. Thomas Head Coach Glenn Caruso is in his first season leading the Tommies with a career record of 8-13 overall, and 1-1 in the MIAC. Caruso, a 1996 graduate of Ithaca College, spent the last two seasons as the head coach at Macalester College where he led the Scots to a 4-5 record in 2007.
A Glimpse of the Gusties
Gustavus suffered its first loss of the 2008 season when it fell to No. 18 Saint John’s University 31-17 in Collegeville last Saturday. The Gusties took a 10-7 lead when junior quarterback Jordan Becker found first-year Elliott Herdina for a five-yard TD pass with 5:03 left in the first half. The Johnnies countered with 17 straight points in the second and third quarters to take a 24-10 lead. Gustavus would score another touchdown late in the fourth quarter as Becker connected with senior Chad Arlt on a three-yard pass for Arlt’s first touchdown catch of the season. The Gusties were led defensively by the trio of Joe Welch, Brian Berglund, and Tony Palma, who recorded eight tackles each. Sophomore Zach Lundquist intercepted a pass in the first quarter and was in on a sack with senior Mike Fabel. Offensively, Jordan Becker was 16-of-23 passing for 190 yards with two touchdowns and an interception, while Arlt hauled in seven catches for 141 yards and a touchdown.
Through three games, the Gusties are averaging 292.7 yards of total offense per game, while the defense is allowing an average of 344.0 per game. The bulk of the offense has come through the air as Jordan Becker has completed 55-of-86 passes for 625 yards with five touchdowns and seven interceptions. Arlt leads the squad in receiving with 24 catches for 341 yards. Gustavus has defended the run well as it has held opponents to an average of 76.3 rushing yards per game. Strong safety Joe Welch leads the team with 31 tackles, followed by linebackers Paul Stommes and Tony Palma with 26 and 25, respectively.
A View of the Tommies
Head coach Glenn Caruso earned his first win in the MIAC when the Tommies defeated Hamline University 24-21 at O’Shaughnessy Stadium last Saturday. St. Thomas, which outgained Hamline 395 yards to 280 yards on offense, rallied from a 14-7 second quarter deficit to claim the victory. The Pipers scored a touchdown with 00:20 remaining in the contest to pull to within three points at 24-21, but were unable to recover the ensuing onside kick. St. Thomas had success running the ball in the game rushing for 247 yards and three touchdowns, including 140 yards from sophomore running back Ben Wartman. Wartman, who rushed for 112 yards in the second half, scored a key touchdown on a two-yard scamper with 00:32 left in the first half to tie the score at 14-14. Tommie quarterback David Sauer completed 13-of-24 passes for 143 yards and no interceptions. Fritz Waldvogel was the leading receiver for St. Thomas as he caught five passes for 72 yards.
The Tommies have established a solid running game as they average 160.7 yards per game led by Ben Wartman, who is averaging 6.6 yards per carry. Senior quarterback David Sauer has completed 40-of-76 passes with three touchdowns and two interceptions for 505 yards. Sauer’s primary target has been Fritz Waldvogel who has made 17 catches for 281 yards and a touchdown. The St. Thomas defense has been led by sophomore linebacker Tony Danna and junior defensive back Brady Ervin. Danna has recorded 21 tackles (16 solo), while Ervin has registered 16 tackles (nine solo), picked off three passes, and recovered a fumble.
Through three games, The Tommies are averaging 334.7 yards of total offense per game, while the defense is allowing an average of 306.3 yards per game.
Homecoming Tidbits – Gustavus is 58-23-2 in Homecoming games dating back to 1924. Of the 58 wins, 22 have been shutouts with the last shutout occurring in 1977 when Gustavus blanked St. Thomas 31-0. The Gusties have posted the most Homecoming wins against Concordia with 11 followed by Saint John’s with nine.
Two Golden Gustie Championship Teams Gather For Homecoming – The MIAC Championship teams from 1958 and 1968 will be at Gustavus this weekend to celebrate and remember their accomplishments on the football field. The 1958 team coached by Lloyd Hollingsworth, was undefeated in league play at 7-0-0 and finished the season at 8-1-0 overall. The 1968 squad won the second of three consecutive league titles under Jocko Nelson. Gustavus posted a record of 7-1-1 overall and 6-0-1 in the MIAC. Seven members of these squads, defensive linemen William Beck and Jack Westin, center Bill Rill, and fullback Mark Skoog of the 1958 team and defensive backs Dave Nerothin and Warren “Buster” West and defensive lineman Gregory Johnson of the 1968 team, have been inducted into the Gustavus Athletics Hall of Fame.
Armstrong Moving Up In Special Teams – Gustavus punt returner Ethan Armstrong needs one punt return today to move past Brent Schultze (’00) into second place on the all-time punt returns list. The two are currently tied for second at 64. Zach Zimmer (’03) holds the record at 78. Armstrong is also nearing second place on the career punt return yardage list with 517 yards. He needs 93 yards to move past Zimmer’s total of 610, and 136 yards to surpass Schultze’s mark of 653.
What A Difference A Quarter Makes – The Gusties have come out strong in the first quarter of their first three games outscoring opponents 23-7. Coach Schoenebeck’s squad has been just as impressive in the fourth quarter outscoring its opponents by a 21-10 margin. Conversely, opponents have outscored Gustavus 23-7 in the second quarter and 24-14 in the third.
Fifteen Minutes of Fame – Head Coaches Jay Schoenebeck and Glenn Caruso are the subjects of a documentary on collegiate athletics being created by Minneapolis-based director Ali Selim. Selim, a graduate of St. Thomas, wrote and directed the film “Sweet Land,” which was named one of the Top Ten Films in 2006 by several critics including the Los Angeles Times and Entertainment Weekly. Selim and his crew thank you for your cooperation and patience as they film today’s game.