The Gustavus Adolphus football team suffered a 33-13 setback to Saint John’s on Saturday afternoon in Collegeville, Minn. The Gusties trailed by just six points (13-7) at halftime, however the Johnnies outscored Gustavus 20-6 in the final 30 minutes to pull away for the victory. Saint John’s running back Nick Schneider rushed for three second half touchdowns. Gustavus falls to 3-4 overall and 2-3 in the MIAC, while Saint John’s improves 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the MIAC.
The Johnnies jumped out to a 13-0 lead within the first seven minutes of the game. Jakob Reding put the Johnnies up 6-0 with a 10-yard touchdown run at the 11:57 mark. Joe Boyle extended the lead to 12-0 with a 12-yard touchdown pass to Brent Graboski at the 8:31 point. Graboski was the top receiver of the afternoon, recording seven catches for 84 yards.
The Gusties cut the lead to 13-7 with less than a minute left in the first half when Logan Becker hit Andre Creighton with a 24-yard touchdown pass in the back corner of the end zone.
“The defense did a good job keeping us in the game at the start. They forced turnovers and put our offense in a couple of good situations,” said Head Coach Peter Haugen. “Unfortunately we were not able to convert on those chances.”
The Schneider scoring surge got started at the 7:22 mark of the third quarter when he broke free for a 44-yard touchdown run (19-7). His second touchdown of the half came by way of a 32-yard run (26-7) in the seventh minute of the fourth quarter. The Gusties responded with a Cody Sukalski touchdown catch (26-13) from 27-yards out at the 6:00 minute mark. Schneider capped the game with a 10-yard touchdown run (33-13) at the 3:44 mark.
“Saint John’s got the running game going in the second half and we struggled to slow them down,” said Haugen.
The Gusties threw for 112 yards and rushed for 113 yards for a total of 225 yards on the afternoon. The Johnnies picked up 139 yards passing and 368 yards rushing for a total of 507 yards. Gustavus quarterback Logan Becker was 10-for-24 for 112 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. His counterpart Joe Boyle was 13-for-19 for 139 yards with one touchdown and an interception.
Leading the way on the ground for Gustavus was Jeffrey Dubose. Dubose ran 26 times for 94 yards. Three different Johnnie players recorded over 50 yards rushing in the game. Schneider had 14 carries for 179 yards, Stephen Johnson had 10 carries for 53 yards, and Jakob Reding had 11 carries for 67 yards.
“Our offense improved from last week’s performance, but we still struggled with consistency,” commented Haugen. “We need to come out and have a good week of practice and work to improve our tackling, blocking on the perimeter, and taking care of the ball.
Zach Lundquist and Paul Stommes led the defensive unit with 12 and 10 tackles, respectively. Dustin Kammerer forced three turnovers on the afternoon with two forced fumbles and one interception.
Cody Sukalski had a good day punting, registering six punts for a total of 223 yards (37.2 avg.). Three of Sukalski’s punts were downed within the 20-yard-line.
Saint John’s edged out Gustavus in time of possession 30:25 to 29:35, while picking up 27 first downs compared to Gustavus’ 13. The Gusties were 5-for-16 on third down, while the Johnnies were 3-for-9.
The Gusties will look to bounce back next weekend at home when they take on the MIAC leader St. Thomas, which stayed undefeated with narrow 10-6 win over Bethel on Saturday. Game time is set for 1:00pm at Hollingsworth Field.