Gustavus welcomes Wartburg College to Lloyd Hollingsworth Field today for the season 2010 Gustie football season opener. Wartburg opened its 2010 campaign with an impressive 27-7 victory over Monmouth College last Saturday in Waverly, Iowa. Gustavus, which finished the 2009 season 4- 6 overall and 3-5 in the MIAC, has been picked to finish sixth in this year’s MIAC preseason Coaches’ poll. Wartburg, which finished 6-4 overall and 5-3 in the IIAC last season, has been picked to finish third this year by the league’s coaches.
This will be the first ever meeting between Gustavus and Wartburg on the football field. The match-up between the Gusties and Knights will feature two of the top private college programs in the Upper Midwest. The Gusties have won 22 MIAC titles and have compiled a record of 363-223-13 in conference play, while Wartburg has won 11 IIAC titles and boasts an all-time conference record of 365-288-2.
Meet the Head Coaches
Gustavus head Coach Peter Haugen is in his second season at the helm of the Gustavus football team. Haugen compiled a record of 4-6 in his first season as the head coach of the Gusties. Wartburg head Coach Rick Willis has compiled a 95-24 overall record in 10 seasons directing the Wartburg football program. Willis is a 1988 graduate of Cornell College in Mount Vernon, Iowa. He received his master’s degree in athletic administration at the University of Illinois while serving as a Graduate Assistant with the Illinois football program.
About The Game
A Glimpse At The Gusties…
The Gustavus football team enters a new decade with a great deal of optimism, energy, and to return to the top four of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC) in the 2010 season. second year head coach Peter Haugen welcomes back 34 letter winners (17 on defense, 16 on offense, and one on special teams) from last year’s squad that finished at 4-6 overall and 3-5 in the MIAC (fourth place).
The Gusties will have a solid foundation on the defensive side of the ball, as eight starters from last year’s unit. The Gusties return three of four starters in both the linebacking corps and secondary, while the defensive line returns two of its three starters. Senior returning starters on defense include linebackers Paul Stommes, Dustin Kammerer, and Zach Lundquist, safety Mike Mohs, and defensive end Brandon Jonker. The Gusties finished the 2009 season ranked eighth in total defense in the MIAC, giving up an average of 401.6 yards per game.
Offensively, the Gusties will have a new look this season, as only three starters return from a group that ranked ninth in the conference in total offense with an average of 301 yards per game. Junior Logan Becker will begin his first season as the starting quarterback of the Gusties. Returning wide receivers Elliot Herdina and senior Cody Sukalski will be Becker’s primary targets in the passing game, while sophomore Muresuk Mena will also play a key role on the edge. The Gustavus offensive line will go through a transition this season, as junior Chris Martinez is the only returning starter. The backfield will be anchored by a core group of seniors at tailback and fullback. Greg lane and Lucas Armstrong both return to tailback after playing defense last season, while John Juran and JJ akin contribute at fullback.
Sophomore Tom Huepenbecker will look to return to his role as the place kicker, while Sukalski will take over punting responsibilities. Gustavus led the conference in punting last season with 57 punts for a total of 2118 yards (37.2 avg/p).
A Glimpse At The Knights…
The Wartburg College Knights enter today’s game after opening 2010 season with an impressive 27-7 victory over 17th ranked Monmouth College on Saturday night in front 3,000 fans at Walston-Hoover Stadium in Waverly, Iowa. The Wartburg defense shut down Monmouth on the ground, allowing only two yards rushing on 21 attempts. Sophomore defensive back Garrett McGrane brought an interception back 51 yards for a touchdown late in the fourth quarter to seal the victory for the Knights.
Kicker Marcus Williams got the Knights out to a 6-0 lead after the first half on a pair of field goals, one from 24 yards in the first quarter and the second coming from 26 yards in the second quarter. The Knights scored their first touchdown of the season seven minutes into the third quarter when Levi Helbling caught a 34-yard pass from quarterback Dan Stiefel. Brandon Sims put Wartburg up 20-0 at the 12:09 mark of the fourth quarter on a 31-yard touchdown run. Monmouth answered just nine seconds later when Alex Tanney hit Spencer Brown on a 60-yard touchdown pass that cut the lead to 20-7. The Wartburg defense proved to be too tough as Monmouth gained just 29 yards after the long touchdown pass.
Linebacker Blake Suckow led the Knights on defense with eight tackles, and defensive lineman Matt Tschetter had a big game with two and half tackles for loss and sacks. Quarterback Dan Stiefel was 14-for-25 for a total of124 yards through the air. Reese Thompson led the Knights in rushing with 122 yards on 38 carries, while Brandon Sims had a solid game with 60 yards on seven carries. Wartburg gained a total of 309 yards on offense and dominated the time of possession 37:55 to Monmouth’s 22:05.
Gustavus Game Notes
Gusties Take The Field For Their 94th Season – the Gustavus football team will kick off its 94th season today at Lloyd Hollingsworth Field. The Gusties have compiled an all-time record of 56-33-4 in home openers including a 2-1 mark since moving to the new stadium in 2007. Gustavus claimed an 11-6 win over Mankato Normal in its first ever home game in 1902. That game was played on what is now the Nicollet County Fairgrounds on the north end of St. Peter.
Follow The Gusties On KNUJ– KNUJ am 860 radio out of New Ulm, Minnesota will once again broadcast all ten of the Gustavus regular season football games. Tom Wheeler will handle the play-by-play for the fifth consecutive year. Fans can listen to the KNUJ broadcasts on the internet at gustavus.edu/athletics/audio.cfm. In addition, Gustavus will video stream all home games for viewing on your computer. This season we are pleased to introduce GameCentral by stretch internet, an all-in-one Flash-based interface that gives you the ability to offer high-quality audio and video streaming, live stats and live chat – all in one interface. GameCentral is available at http://client.stretchinternet.com/client/gac.portal.
Openers Against The IIAC – Gustavus has met a representative from the Iowa Intercollegiate Athletic Conference seven times in the past 19 season openers. The Gusties are 2-5 against IIAC schools in the season opener since 1990. in the 2009 season opener against Coe College, the Gusties suffered a narrow 27-24 loss on Lloyd Hollingsworth Field.
2010 Home Schedule – Today’s contest is the first of six home games at Hollingsworth Field in 2010. On September 18th, the Gusties will face non-conference opponent Northwestern College. On September 25th, Gustavus will play St. Olaf on homecoming. On October 9th, Gustavus will battle Hamline on Hall of Fame day. On October 30th, the Gusties will face St. Thomas, and finally on November 13th, Gustavus will take on Carleton on Senior Day.
Tough On “D” – Much like the Gustavus defense, Wartburg returns a solid group of veteran defenders to the field. Gustavus returns eight starters to its defensive unit, while Wartburg returns seven. Last week against Monmouth, Wartburg allowed 226 yards of total offense, 224 yard of which were through the air. The Knight defense allowed just two yards on the ground and nine first downs, while forcing three turnovers in the game.
Top Returners – Today’s game will feature a total of seven all-Conference performers from the 2009 season. For Gustavus, junior wide receiver Elliot Herdina and senior linebacker Paul Stommes both earned spots on the All-MIAC second team last season. Wartburg returns five all-IIAC performers to its depth chart this season. offensive lineman Morgan O’Connor and junior defensive back Andrew Leary were both named first team All-Conference, while senior linebacker Blake Suckow, junior offensive lineman John Orr, and sophomore running back Reese Thompson earned second team honors.