The Gustavus football team was unable to get into the end zone on first-and-goal in the second overtime period as the Gusties suffered a heartbreaking 27-20 loss to St. Olaf in Northfield on Saturday. John Ostertag (Sr., Walker, Minn.) kicked a 25-yard field goal with 3:02 left in the game to give Gustavus the 20-13 lead, but the Oles forced overtime with a Ryan St. John 10-yard touchdown catch with 00:36 on the clock. Gustavus, which had its four-game winning streak snapped, dropped to 6-3 overall and 4-3 in the MIAC. St. Olaf improved to 5-4 overall and 3-4 in the conference.
Head Coach Jay Schoenebeck’s squad trailed 10-7 heading into the fourth quarter, but a 20-yard run from Ray Wilson (Sr., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) setup a 37-yard Ostertag field goal to tie the score at 10-10 with 12:49 remaining. On the next possession, St. Olaf regained the three-point lead at 13-10 after Pat Wadzinski kicked a 32-yard field goal.
Gustavus responded to the challenge three plays later when Jordan Becker (Jr., Easton, Minn.) connected with Blake Noennig (Jr., Norwood, Minn.) for a 58-yard touchdown pass on the ensuing drive. The Gusties seemed to have seized momentum when Ethan Armstrong (Sr., Wheaton, Minn.) intercepted a pass at the Gustavus-33 on the first play of the next Ole drive. The Gustie offense kept the clock ticking as the running game pounded the ball into St. Olaf territory, but were not able to get into the end zone and settled for a 25-yard field goal from Ostertag. Gustavus held a 20-13 lead with 3:02 remaining in the contest.
That was enough time for the Oles to tie the score at 20-20 when John Haberman found Ryan St. John for a 10-yard touchdown catch and the successful point after attempt.
Gustavus had the ball first in overtime, but St. Olaf intercepted its second pass of the game to change possession. The Gustie defense then forced the Oles to attempt a 36-yard field goal for the victory. However, Dustin Kammerer managed to get a piece of the kick to add another overtime period.
St. Olaf utilized its running game in the second extra frame as a two-yard touchdown run by Coty Watkins gave the Oles a 27-20 lead after the extra point. Gustavus managed to get a first down at the 10-yard line after a St. Olaf penalty, but were kept out of the end zone after Becker was sacked on fourth-and-goal to give the Oles the victory.
The Gustie offense was led by wide receivers Chad Arlt (Sr., St. Michael, Minn.) and Blake Noennig. Arlt caught seven passes for 124 yards, while Noennig grabbed three passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Jordan Becker went 15-of-33 in the air for 223 yards to along with two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Becker was also sacked five times. Defensively, linebackers Dustin Kammerer (So., Watertown, Minn.) and Tony Palma (Jr., Lino Lakes, Minn.) reached double-digit tackles with 12 and 10, respectively. Cornerback Ethan Armstrong (Sr., Wheaton, Minn.) made his fourth interception of the season to give the Gustavus defensive unit 18 total interceptions with one game remaining.
St. Olaf had a balanced offensive attack as the Oles had 163 rushing yards and 179 passing yards. Coty Watkins rushed for 131 yards on 18 carries and scored the game-winning touchdown in the second overtime. Quarterback John Haberman threw for 179 yards on 18-of-33 passing with a touchdown and an interception. Three players recorded more than ten tackles including Patrick Luevano with 13, Carson Jones with 12, and Adam Concannon with 11. Jones also came up with a fumble recovery and an interception during the contest.
Gustavus will end the regular season at Hollingsworth Field against Concordia on Saturday, November 15 at 1 p.m.