St. Peter, Minn. – Senior running back Jeffrey Dubose (St. Paul, Minn.) all but rewrote the Gustavus record book on Saturday afternoon in a 34-19 win over Carleton. Dubose, who was already the Gustavus leader in career touchdowns and career rushing touchdowns coming into the game, broke three more school records to lead the way for a Gustavus offense the gained over 500 total yards for the first time since 2010. With the win, the Gusties improve to 6-3 (4-3 MIAC), while the Knights drop to 4-5 (2-5 MIAC).
Dubose ran for a school-record 264 yards on 32 carries and added four touchdowns on the afternoon. His 264 yards rushing bested a 258-yard mark set by Ray Wilson ’09 on Oct. 25, 2008 against Augsburg. However, the record performance did not stop there for Dubose. The St. Paul native also broke the school record for both rushing yards and touchdowns in a season. Jeffrey now has 1,261 yards rushing on the year, which surpasses a 1,233-yard total set in 2002 by Andy Traetow ’03. Heading into Saturday, Dubose was tied with Travis Prunty ’00 with 17 touchdowns this season. He shattered that mark with his four scores on Saturday to give him 21 on the year. Following his performance tonight, Jeffrey now has 3,221 yards rushing in his career, just 94 yards shy of the Gustavus record held by Tom Dahlberg ’73.
“I just came out thinking that I had to do something big,” acknowledged Dubose. “I have big guys in front of me that always help me out. They asked me yesterday if I was ready to run because they were going to open up holes and they did exactly that. Not just the offensive line was great though, the blocking by the wide receivers was phenomenal. I give a lot of credit to the defense too, giving us a lot of possessions. I can’t say it’s me. It’s the team. We broke the record today.”
Gustavus got out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter thanks to a pair of big plays by Dubose on the ground. Dubose first ripped off a 59-yard touchdown run with 5:28 remaining in the opening frame to put the Gusties up a touchdown. He followed his first score with a 28-yard touchdown scamper just three and a half minutes later to give the Gusties the early 14-point advantage.
Carleton came back to score a touchdown on the first play of the second quarter, a one-yard run by John Baker, to cut the Gustavus lead to 14-6, but Dubose answered with a 17-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession for his third score of the day. Each team would score once more in the second half to enter halftime with a 24-13 score in favor of the Gusties.
Both defenses stepped up in a third quarter that featured just 107 yards of total offense combined between the two teams. The Gustie defense would force three turnovers in the second half. Following one of those turnovers, a fumble on Carleton’s first possession of the fourth quarter, Dubose exploded off left tackle for a 20-yard touchdown run to extend the Gustavus lead to 31-13. The Knights went on to score two minutes later, but it would not be enough in the 15-point Gustavus victory.
“We focus on going 1-0 on every play,” mentioned senior cornerback Torey Asao (Chaska, Minn.), who had an interception on Carleton’s final drive of the game. “We can’t focus on what we’ve done in the past or what is coming up in the future, all we can do is focus on the here and now, so that has been one thing that has kept us consistent. We focus no each play one at a time, and that has led to some turnovers. Today we started a little slow, but the second half is when we really showed what we can do.”
“Today was another great effort by the defense,” added Head Coach Peter Haugen. “We gave up a few plays, but stiffened in the second half. With the Boyce interception, then the Asao interception, and then the fumble were key plays that gave our offense the ball back and we were able to solidify the game.”
The Gustavus offense erupted for 502 total yards, the highest total since it gained an identical 502 yards against Hamline on Oct. 9 of the 2010 season. Gustavus got a huge lift from its rushing game, which gained 285 yards thanks in large part to Dubose. Aside from Dubose, the Gusties also got a lift in the passing game from quarterback Mitch Hendricks (So., Laporte, Minn.), who completed 16 of 25 passes for 216 yards and did not throw an interception. Six of his 16 completions went to Matt Boyce (So., Excelsior, Minn.) for a total of 87 yards. Four more completions went to Dubose for 80 yards (20 ypc) to give him 344 all-purpose yards on the day.
“As coaches, you love when you can run the ball,” said Haugen. “It makes all of the other phases of the game so much easier. It takes the pressure off your defense because they can rest, it puts your quarterback in a good place when it’s time to throw, and we’ve been balanced all year but I can’t say enough about Jeffrey. His effort along with the guys up front and on the perimeter, it is really a team deal, but I’m proud of him for his accomplishment. “
The Gustie defense was strong again this afternoon. Gustavus allowed 351 yards of total offense in the game, but three key turnovers in the second half played a huge role in allowing just six second half points. Zach Dilger (Jr., South St. Paul, Minn.) led the way with 10 tackles, while Cameron Cropsey (Jr., Eagan, Minn.) registered nine tackles with a sack and a fumble recovery. Torey Asao and Anthony Boyce (Jr., Excelsior, Minn.) each got into the act with an interception apiece.
Gustavus also got a big lift in the kicking game from junior Thomas Schleusener (Rapid City, S.D.) who went 2 for 2 on field goals and 4 for 4 on extra points for 10 total points in the game. Along with kicking, he also punted four times for 182 yards and an average of 45.5 yards. Two of his four punts were downed inside the Carleton 20-yard line.
Quarterback Conor Lynch led the way for the Carleton offense. He completed 20 of 39 passes for 242 yards and a touchdown to go along with two interceptions. His favorite target was wideout Chase Gottschalk, who caught five balls for 94 yards and a score. Running back John Baker carried 20 times for 81 yards and a touchdown to lead the Knights in the ground attack.
The Carleton defense was led by four players with double-figure tackles. Mitch Heflin led the way with 13 tackles, while Mason Schnarr followed with 11 and Daniel Cook and Nick Herringer each had 10.
Today also marked Senior Day for the Gustavus football program. 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 Haugen and his staff, parents, and fans salute 22 players and three student coaches who have represented the Gustavus football program with pride and class from 2010 to the present. We thank them for their efforts and wish them the very best in the challenges ahead.
“I just can’t say enough about this senior class, just an incredible quality group of young men,” complimented Haugen. “Each and every one of them contributes so much to this team and they have really been such men of character. They have dealt with some difficult times, and it’s how you come back and keep fighting that shows that character. I’m just really proud of them and how they’ve continued to support each other every day and support our coaches and staff. I’m excited for them to go out on a high note.”
“It wasn’t something that I had really thought about, so when the time came, it stirred up some emotions deep down,” admitted Asao when asked about playing his final home game at Hollingsworth Field on Saturday. “This stadium, this field, and this team have meant everything. There are a lot of great memories here, so it is sad to see that this is our last game here, but of course it’s a good way to go out with the win today.”
Gustavus will be back in action next weekend when they travel to Moorhead, Minn., for its season finale against Concordia on Saturday. Kick off is set for 1:00 p.m.