The Gustavus football team suffered a 20-7 loss to St. Olaf on Senior Day at Lloyd Hollingsworth Field on Saturday afternoon. Sophomore Eliott Herdina scored the lone Gustie touchdown on a 53-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. St. Olaf running back Leon Clark had a big day as he carried 33 times for 201 yards and one touchdown. Gustavus falls to 3-6 overall and 2-5 in the MIAC, while St. Olaf improves to 4-5 overall and 2-5 in the MIAC.
St. Olaf jumped out to a 10-0 lead by way of a 39-yard Josiah Powell in the first quarter and a 34-yard touchdown run by Leon Clark in the second quarter. Gustavus cut the lead to 10-7 when Elliott Herdina broke loose for a 53-yard touchown run followed by Tom Huepenbecker’s point after attempt. The Oles led 10-7 at halftime.
The second half was dominated by the St. Olaf defense which limited the Gustavus offense to 90 yards and forced four Gustie turnovers. The Oles extended their lead to 13-7 when Powell made a 38-yard field goal at 10:04 of the third period and closed out the scoring when quarterback Clay Garrett fired a 38-yard touchdown strike to Antonio Jennings at the 9:00 minute mark of the fourth quarter.
Gustavus drove deep into St. Olaf territory late in the fourth quarter and had a first-and-goal at the six-yard line, but the Oles stopped the Gusties on downs and ran the final 2:32 off the clock to claim the 20-7 victory.
The Gusties, who rushed for 111 yards in the game, were led by Elliott Herdina who carried four time for 51 yards and one touchdown. The Oles, who rushed 42 times for 217 yards, were led by Leon Clark who rushed 33 times for 201 yards and one touchdown.
Defensively, Gustavus was led by linebackers Tony Palma and Zach Lundquist who registered double digit tackles with 14 and 12, respectively. Defensive end Christian Vanek registered six tackles including three quarterback sacks. St. Olaf was led by linebacker Adam Concannon who registered eight tackles and forced a fumble.
Seventeen seniors played their final home game at Hollingsworth Field on Saturday afternoon. In spite of its relatively small size, this group set a great example for the program by its performance on the field and its work ethic during practice. The Gustavus Athletics Department would like to extend a sincere thank you to this fine group of gentlemen for their leadership on and off the field for the past four years. The seniors that played their final home game this afternoon included: Jordan Becker, Ben Brandt, Matt Knutson, T.J. Ridley, Joe Welch, Hamada Omar, Tony Palma, Mike May, David Randall, Kevin Geurink, Barry Koppen, Jack Breckner, Blake Noennig, Cameron Maurer, and Christian Vanek. In addition to these 15 players, two seniors have been valuable members of the coaching staff this season. They are Zach Johnson and Justin Helget. We salute this fine group as they bid farewell to the Golden Gustie football program.