Gustavus welcomes Concordia College to Hollingsworth Field for the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference season finale for both squads. The Gusties enter the contest at 6-3 overall and 4-3 in the MIAC, while the Cobbers come to St. Peter at 5-4 overall and 4-3 in the league. Last week, Gustavus fell to St. Olaf 27-20 in double overtime in Northfield after the Oles scored the game-tying touchdown with 00:36 remaining to force the game into overtime. Concordia lost to visiting Carleton 41-28 on Saturday as the Cobbers allowed 424 total yards of offense including 372 in the air. The winner of today’s game will finish in a tie for second place in the conference standings.
As is tradition at Gustavus, the final home game of the season is designated as Senior Day and a special tribute is made to the individuals who have committed themselves to Gustavus football for the past four years. This year, the athletics department, Coach Schoenebeck and his staff, parents, and fans salute the 18 seniors who have represented the Gustavus football program with pride and class from 2005 to the present. We thank them for their efforts and wish them the very best in the challenges ahead.
The game on Saturday will be the 77th meeting between Gustavus Adolphus College and Concordia College. The Gusties lead the all-time series at 41-33-2 with the Cobbers winning the most recent match-up 34-24 in St. Peter last season. Concordia rushed the ball 60 times to control the time of possession as the Cobbers held the ball for 35:27 compared to 24:33 for Gustavus.
Meet the Head Coaches
Gustavus Head Coach Jay Schoenebeck (’80) has compiled a career record of 74-75 overall and 63-64 in the MIAC in his 15 seasons at Gustavus. Today will be Schoenebeck’s last game at the helm of the Gusties as he announced his resignation prior to the start of the season. Concordia Head Coach Terry Horan is in his eighth season with a career record of 56-27 at his alma mater. Horan is Concordia’s all-time leading wide receiver with 2,864 receiving yards on 170 receptions.
A Glance at the Gusties
Gustavus 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 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 as Ryan St. John got into the end zone with a 10-yard touchdown catch with 00:36 on the clock. The Gusties 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 took a 27-20 lead in the second extra frame after a two-yard touchdown run by Coty Watkins and the extra point. Gustavus managed to get a first down at the 10-yard line after a St. Olaf penalty, but the Gusties were kept out of the end zone after Jordan Becker was sacked on fourth-and-goal to give the Oles the victory.
The Gustie offense was led by wide receivers Chad Arlt and Blake Noennig. Arlt caught seven passes for 124 yards, while Noennig grabbed three passes for 75 yards and two touchdowns. Quarterback Jordan Becker was 15-of-33 passing for 223 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw two interceptions. Defensively, linebackers Dustin Kammerer and Tony Palma reached double-digit tackles with 12 and 10, respectively. Cornerback Ethan Armstrong also made his fourth interception of the season to give the Gustavus defensive unit 18 total interceptions with one game remaining.
This season, the Gusties are averaging 328.7 yards of total offense per game on 129.4 rushing yards and 199.2 passing yards. Jordan Becker has completed 150-of-275 passes for 1,775 yards with 13 touchdowns and 15 interceptions while rushing for 118 yards and four touchdowns. Chad Arlt has caught 56 of Becker’s passes for 912 yards and four touchdowns. He is averaging 16.3 yards per catch. Ray Wilson leads the team with 481 rushing yards and two touchdowns. Joe Welch paces the Gustavus defense with 82 total tackles including 48 solo stops and five interceptions.
Today marks the end of the Jay Schoenebeck era at Gustavus as he is resigning at the end of the season. During his time as head coach, Schoenebeck has coached 35 all-conference players, three All-Americans and six Academic All-Americans. His highest finish in the conference standings came in 1998 when the Gusties tied for second place with a league record of 7-2. Gustavus Athletics Director Al Molde and the entire athletics department wish Jay well as he enters a new phase in his life. Molde stated, “Jay Schoenebeck has been our successful coach and wonderful colleague for the past 15 years. We will miss him. He is a man of strong character and great personal and professional integrity. A loyal Gustie, Jay has made valuable contributions to all aspects of life on campus, and is well known for his positive and cooperative attitude. Most importantly, he is loved and respected by hundreds of football student athletes”.
A Look at the Cobbers
Concordia allowed a season-high 424 yards of offense, including 372 passing yards, in a 41-28 loss to Carleton on Saturday in Moorhead. Concordia had an opportunity in the first quarter to build on a 13-7 lead when the Cobbers had first-and-goal at the Carleton eight-yard line, however, the Carleton defense stood its ground forcing Concordia to turn the ball over on downs at the one-yard line. The Cobbers, who rushed for 244 yards in the first half, held a slim 21-20 at the intermission. Trailing 28-21 in the third quarter, Justin Brantner scored on a 10-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 28-28 heading into the final quarter. Concordia was unable to get a first down in four possessions in the deciding quarter, while Carleton scored two touchdowns to knock the Cobbers out of the MIAC championship race.
The Cobber offense relies heavily on the running game as 227.9 yards of the 370 yards of total offense per game come on the ground. Two Concordia players in the backfield have rushed for over 450 yards this season. Cory Johnson leads the way with 907 rushing yards on 135 carries and six touchdowns followed by Nick Birchem, who has carried the ball 118 times for 453 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Jesse Nelson is a threat in the air and on the ground. He has thrown for 1,279 yards on 107-of-202 passing with seven touchdowns and ten interceptions, and rushed for 466 yards and six touchdowns. Defensively, the Cobbers have held opponents to 266.3 offensive yards per game including an average of 88.2 rushing yards per game.
2009 Golden Gustie Football Schedule– After only four home games in 2008, Gustavus has six home games on the schedule for next season. The Gusties will open the 2009 season on Saturday, Sept. 12 against Coe College at Hollingsworth Field. The rest of the Gustavus schedule includes Sept. 19 at Hamline, Sept. 26 vs. Saint John’s at home, Oct. 3 at St. Thomas, Oct. 10 vs. Pacific Lutheran at home, Oct. 17 vs. Carleton at home, Oct. 24 at Augsburg, Oct. 31 vs. Bethel at home, Nov. 7. vs. St. Olaf at home, and Nov. 14 at Concordia. Homecoming will take place on Oct. 10 against Pacific Lutheran.
Ridley and Aleckson Named Academic All-District– T.J. Ridley and Ted Aleckson have been named to the ESPN The Magazine Academic All-District V College Division Team as selected by the College Sports Information Directors of America (CoSIDA). Ridley, a safety who carries a 3.96 grade point average with a major in Biology and Pre-Medicine, was named to the first team, while Aleckson, a defensive lineman who has a 3.79 GPA in elementary education, was named to the second team. A total of nine MIAC players were recognized on either the first or second team. By virtue of making the first team, Ridley advances to the national ballot and a chance to be selected to the CoSIDA Academic All-America Team.
Home Coaches Box Dedication– Today at halftime the Gustavus Athletics Department will be dedicating the home coaches box in honor of Don Roberts ’56, who served as head Gustie football coach from 1961-65. Individuals who helped make this possible are Peter Nyhus ’60, Al Molde ’66, Rick Moehring ’67, Gunnar Viljaste ’67, Rick Jaeger ’68, and Jan Horak ’69. Roberts also served as head hockey coach at Gustavus from 1964-97.
Arlt Nearing 1,000-Yard Plateau– Chad Arlt needs 88 receiving yards in his final game
to reach 1,000 yards in a season for the second time in his career. He has caught 56 passes for 912 receiving yards this season. Last year, Arlt recorded 100 receptions for 1,294 yards, a single-season receiving record in both categories. He holds the program’s career records in catches with 217 and yards with 3,118 yards. Arlt has made at least one catch in 32 consecutive games dating back to the end of his freshman season.
Armstrong Makes Mark In Record Book– Ethan Armstrong looks to finish his career today as one of the most prolific punt returners in Gustavus football history. Armstrong ranks second in career punt returns with 67. Zach Zimmer (1999-2002) is the all-time leader with 78 returns. Armstrong also ranks third all-time in punt return yards with 537. Brent Schultze holdes the record with 653 punt return yards and Zimmer is second with 610.