The Gustavus football team hosts Augsburg College at Lloyd Hollingsworth Field on Saturday with kick-off at 1 pm. The Gusties and the Auggies enter the game with identical 4-2 overall and 2-2 MIAC records. Last week, Gustavus won its second straight game by defeating previously unbeaten Carleton College 30-29 in overtime in Northfield. Augsburg suffered its second consecutive loss falling to Concordia 40-18 in Minneapolis. Tom Wheeler will deliver play-by-play action of the game on KNUJ 860 AM as well as through the Gustavus Athletics website. Live statistics of the contest can be accessed here.
Saturday is Hall of Fame Day at Gustavus and the Athletic Department will induct nine new members into its Hall of Fame at a banquet following the game. Those being inducted include Sue Erlandson Breckner (’83, volleyball), Milt Brostrom (’49, benefactor), Sarah Edmonds Harris (’93, cross country), Steve McDermott (’88, soccer and basketball), Andy Micheletti (’72, hockey), Ginny Schafer (’93, soccer), Tim Schwartz (’90, football and baseball), Mary Sutherland Ryerse (’90, tennis), and Heather Thorson Kittelsen (’92, softball).
Saturday’s contest in St. Peter will be the 67th meeting between Gustavus Adolphus College and Augsburg College. The Gusties lead the all-time series 53-13-0 as Gustavus has won nine of the last ten meetings. Last year, Augsburg snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Gusties with a 44-38 win in Minneapolis last season as both squads combined for over 1,100 yards of total offense.
Meet the Head Coaches
Gustavus Head Coach Jay Schoenebeck (’80) improved his career record to 72-74 overall and 61-63 in the MIAC while in his 15th season at Gustavus. Schoenebeck has a career record of 11-3-0 against the Auggies. Augsburg Head Coach Frank Haege is in his fourth season at the Auggies’ helm with an overall record of 11-25 and a league record of 7-21. Prior to his arrival at Augsburg in 2005, Haege served head coach of the Las Vegas Gladiators, a team in the Arena Football League.
A Glance at the Gusties
Gustavus used two blocked point after attempts late in the game to defeat No. 22 Carleton 30-29 in overtime last Saturday in Northfield. The Gusties marched down the field on their first possession of the game to take a 3-0 lead after Jake Holsten kicked a 26-yard field goal with 5:26 left in the first quarter. Carleton answered with a 28-yard field goal on its ensuing drive to tie the score at 3-3 in the first minute of the second quarter. This marked the trend for the game as every time Gustavus scored, the Knights responded with a scoring drive of their own. The Gusties looked poised for the upset when running back Adam Lukes found the end zone on third-and-goal from the one-yard line as Gustavus took the 23-17 lead with 3:11 remaining in the fourth quarter. However, the Gusties missed the extra point to keep the score 23-17. Carleton proceeded to score with ten seconds left when Dylan Bothun caught a five-yard pass from quarterback Shane Henfling with the point after attempt remaining. Gustavus defensive lineman Brian Berglund was able to block the kick, sending the game into overtime. The Gusties scored a touchdown and kicked the point after on their first possession in overtime to take a 30-23 lead. The Knights scored as well, but were unable to convert the point after attempt as Berglund was credited with another blocked kick giving Gustavus the one-point victory.
The Gusties continued to run the ball effectively as the squad finished with a season high 168 yards. Cody Sukalski led a balanced ground attack with six carries for 49 yards before suffering a season-ending injury. Jordan Becker was 17-of-31 in the air for 203 yards and one touchdown and carried the ball 11 times for 41 yards with another touchdown. Chad Arlt led all receivers with eight catches for 109 yards as he recorded the 200th reception of his career during the game. Defensively, Gustavus held the Knight offense to 332 yards, nearly 80 yards below its season average. Linebackers Zach Lundquist and Dustin Kammerer led the Gusties with nine and eight tackles, respectively. Safety Joe Welch also recorded his fourth interception of the season.
Gustavus is averaging 316.4 yards of offense per game including 222.2 passing yards and 94.2 rushing yards. Arlt leads the MIAC with 120.8 receiving yards per contest, while Becker ranks third in the league in pass efficiency with a 126.1 quarterback rating. The Gustie defense is allowing 336.8 yards per game including 100.5 rushing yards. Welch continues to pace the team with 52 total tackles.
A Look at the Auggies
Augsburg will be looking to avoid three consecutive losses after losing to Concordia 40-18 in Minneapolis last week. The Auggies cut the Cobbers’ lead to 13-10 midway through the first quarter when quarterback Jordan Berg hit wide receiver Mike Nourie with a 26-yard touchdown pass. However, Concordia went on to score 24 unanswered points in the second quarter to take a 37-10 lead at halftime. Augsburg did not get back on the scoreboard until 7:28 remained in the game as Berg connected with wide receiver Royce Winford for a 40-yard touchdown and a successful two-point conversion. It was too late, though, as the Cobbers still held a 40-18 advantage. Concordia’s defense limited the Auggie offensive unit to a total of 274 yards, over 125 yards below their season average. The Cobbers controlled the game clock for nearly 32 minutes by carrying the ball 46 times out of 59 plays compared to just over 28 minutes for Augsburg. Berg, who was sacked four times, finished the game 30-of-63 passing for 263 yards and two touchdowns. Winford led the Auggie receiving corps with eight catches for 105 yards and one touchdown. Defensively, linebackers Donovan Bates and Adam Mead tallied 12 tackles each in the losing effort.
Augsburg currently leads the MIAC in scoring at 33.0 points per game and total offense averaging 408.5 yards per contest. The Auggies rank eighth in the conference in total defense allowing an average of 395.2 yards per game. Offensively, Augsburg relies on its high-octane passing game that is averaging over 54 throws per game. Quarterback Jordan Berg leads the conference in passing yards at 369.8 yards per game and has two dynamic wide receivers to throw to in Royce Winford and Muneer Al-Hameed. Winford, a Preseason All-American, is second in the MIAC in receiving yards averaging 119.2 yards per game, while Al-Hameed is fourth at 108.7 yards per game. Linebacker Adam Mead leads the Auggie defensive unit with 51 total tackles. Six different Auggies have recorded interceptions as Winford paces the team at three interceptions.
Arlt Reaches 200 Career Catches– With his eight receptions against Carleton, Chad Arlt became the sixth player in MIAC history to reach the 200-catch milestone at 204 career catches. Arlt joined P.J. Theisen of St. Thomas, Scott Hvistendahl of Augsburg, Jim Bradford of Carleton, and Blake Elliott and Adam Herbst of Saint John’s in the elite group. These players, with the exception of Herbst, also own their respective school’s career receiving yards records.
Running Game Success– Gustavus has had a good track record when rushing for more yards than its opponent in recent years. Since the 2000 season, the Gusties are 30-5 when they outgain the other team on the ground. In the 30 wins, Gustavus has averaged 181.3 rushing yards per game compared to 93.3 rushing yards per contest for the opponents.
Conference Title Up For Grabs– The race for the MIAC title tightened last week after the Gusties knocked off previously undefeated Carleton. Gustavus and Augsburg are two of the seven teams separated at the top of the league standings by one game with four weeks remaining in the conference schedule. Gustavus plays three of its four remaining games against squads in the championship hunt including Augsburg (2-2, home on 10/25), Bethel (3-2, away on 11/1), and Concordia (3-1, home on 11/15).
First Win Over Ranked Team Since 2001– Gustavus snapped a 15-game losing streak against ranked opponents when it defeated 22nd-ranked Carleton last week. The Gusties had not beaten a ranked opponent since September 8, 2001 when Gustavus upset sixth-ranked Trinity University (Texas) 37-26 at Hollingsworth Field in the season opener. Twelve of the fifteen losses came against conference foes.
Overtime Rarity– Saturday’s game versus Carleton was only the fifth overtime game in Gustavus football history. The first overtime game occurred in 1997 when the Gusties fell to Augsburg 41-35 in double overtime at Hollingsworth Field. Gustavus is 2-3 all-time in overtime contests with both wins coming on the road against Carleton (30-29, 10/18/08) and Augsburg (20-13, 2OT, 10/21/00).
Becker and Berglund Named MIAC Players of the Week– Jordan Becker and Brian Berglund received MIAC Player of the Week honors for their efforts in Saturday’s victory over Carleton. Becker was selected as MIAC Offensive Player of the Week as he compiled 244 yards of total offense. In the second half, Becker completed four third-down passes longer than eight yards to sustain two scoring drives including a 21-yard touchdown pass on third-and-16 in the third quarter. Berglund was named MIAC Special Teams Player of the Week after he blocked a Knight extra point attempt with ten seconds left in the fourth quarter to send the game into overtime. He was also credited with the game-winning blocked point after attempt in the extra period.
Hall of Fame Connections– Two of the nine 2008 Hall of Fame inductees, Tim Schwartz ’90 and Sue Erlandson Breckner ’83, have connections with the Gustavus football program. Schwartz, a 1989 All-MIAC football player, finished his career with 1,599 rushing yards and ranked seventh on the all-time rushing at the time of his graduation. Erlandson Breckner is the mother of two current Gustie football players, Jack and Nick Breckner. Erlandson Breckner was a two-time all-conference performer in volleyball and graduated as the program’s career kills leader at 808.