The Gustavus football team suffered its fourth straight loss of the season to Concordia 37-20 on Homecoming Day Saturday afternoon in St. Peter, Minn. The Cobbers spoiled Gustavus’ Homecoming for third time in the history of the Gustavus vs. Concordia Homecoming-matchup, as Gustavus turned the ball over four times and went 3-for-6 in the red zone in the contest. Gustavus falls to 0-4 overall and 0-2 in the MIAC, while Concordia improves to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the MIAC.
Concordia’s flexbone offense clicked from the opening drive of the game, scoring a touchdown on a nine-play 59-yard drive to take a 6-0 lead following a missed extra point. Brett Baune plunged into the endzone from the four-yard line on the score.
Gustavus drove 60 yards to the Concordia five-yard-line on the ensuing possession, yet were stopped short of the end zone despite starting first and goal from the seven. Tom Huepenbecker’s field goal attempt clanked off the right upright and the Cobbers remained in the lead 7-0.
Three plays after the missed field goal, quarterback Michael Dunham converted the longest play of the game to put the Cobbers up 14-0 following the two-point conversion. Dunham made play with his feet to avoid a Gustavus sack, scrambled to the near sideline, and heaved a pass to a wide-open Chris Gilson who slipped behind the Gustavus secondary for the 60-yard strike.
The Gusties answered and cut the lead to 14-7 on their next possession, capping a 67-yard drive with a 17-yard touchdown run by Phillip Butler who broke through big hole off tackle before making several key cuts to find the goal line. Butler finished the game with 57 yards on eight carries.
Concordia brought the first half scoring to a close with a 33-yard field goal by Porfirio Diaz with :51 seconds left to extend the lead to 17-7 heading into the locker rooms.
Logan Becker was 10-for-15 for 95 yards through the air in the first half. He also contributed 33 yards on the ground, while Butler ran for 40 yards in the half.
Trailing 24-7 following a Dunham two-yard touchdown with 10:47 left in the third quarter, a Gustavus fumble and interception on back-to-back possessions turned out to be “Murder, She Wrote.” A mishandled handoff between Becker and Jeffrey Dubose was followed with a 14-yard Bronson Shepherd touchdown, and a Bryce Hentges interception set the table for a Matt Peterson 45-yard touchdown scamper, giving the Cobbers a 37-7 lead.
The Gusties added two touchdowns late in the game to bring the score to a final at 37-20. Becker took the ball in from eight yards out with 5:20 left and then later completed a two-yard touchdown pass to Cody Williams on the final play of the game.
Logan Becker finished 22-for-34 for 247 yards with one touchdown and a pick through the air. Becker was sacked four times in the contest, two of which were by Tyler Berling. Becker’s favorite target was Elliott Herdina who brought in four catches for a season-high 101 yards.
Jeffrey Dubose led Gustavus on the ground, averaging 4.5 yards per carry with a total of 67 yards in the game.
Michael Dunham filled out the Concordia scoresheet, going an efficient 15-for-20 for 233 yards and two touchdowns in the passing game. Dunham was also the teams second-leading rusher with 54 yards on seven carries.
Bronson Schepherd led all receivers with 112 yards on seven grabs and a touchdown, while Chris Gilson made three catches for 84 yards and also had a touchdown.
The Gustavus defense allowed 226 yards rushing and 233 yards passing in the game. Brad Kruckeberg led the defense with nine tackles (7 solo, 2 asst.).
Cobber Peter Hvidston recorded a game-high 12 tackles, while Matt Moenkedick and Brent Rysdahl also finished in double-figures with 11 and 10, respectively.
The Gustavus football team will hit the road next weekend as the Gusties travel to St. Paul where they will face Hamline University at 1:00 p.m.
– Late in the third quarter Gustavus junior linebacker Alec Saunders was injured while tackling a Concordia player. Saunders was transported to Immanuel St. Joseph’s Hospital in Mankato for precautionary measures. After a thorough examination he was diagnosed with a neck sprain and released from the hospital.