Hendricks’ Record Setting Day Propels Football To 55-31 Win Over Augsburg

Posted on September 27th, 2014 by

Gustavus quarterback Mitch Hendricks broke school-records in single-game passing touchdowns and passing yards as the Gusties improved to 4-0 with a 55-31 win over Augsburg. Photo courtesy of Tim Kruse.

St. Peter, Minn. – Prior to kickoff between the Gustavus and Augsburg football teams on Saturday, Sept. 27, only two quarterbacks in the history of Gustavus football had eclipsed 400 yards passing in a single game. With 403 yards against Bethel in 1985, Dean Kraus was the sole member of the club for nearly 30 years. Although there still exists just two names on the exclusive list, one of those names now appears twice.  By 3:51 p.m. this afternoon, junior Mitch Hendricks (Laporte, Minn.) accounted for 504 passing yards – shattering his own school-record, which he set last weekend with 443 yards against Hamline.

Before this season, only three quarterbacks had ever thrown for five touchdowns in a single game. Jordan Stolp ’08 threw five in 2005 against Augsburg, and Jordan Becker ’10 threw five in 2009 against Pacific Lutheran. In 1998 against Hamline, the other of those quarterbacks, Bob Southworth ’99, threw for a school-record six touchdowns. In the 2014 season-opener against Crown, Mitch Hendricks joined the above predecessors with five touchdown strikes. By 3:51 p.m. today, Hendricks left them all behind with a school-record seven touchdown passes to four different receivers.

Through the opening three weeks of the season, the Hendricks-led Gustie air raid has been billed dynamic, surgical, and most often, efficient. It was just that in more against the Auggies this afternoon. By the final tick of the game clock at 3:51 p.m., Hendricks had completed 33 of his 39 passes for a completion percentage of 84.6. To add his name to the program’s record book one more time, Hendricks tied the record for completions in a single game – matching Dean Kraus and Jordan Stolp’s marks set in 1985 against Bethel and 2007 against St. Thomas, respectively.

Matt Boyce caught three TDs and a total of 12 passes for a career-best 178 yards.

Matt Boyce caught three TDs and a total of 12 passes for a career-best 178 yards.

Thanks in large part to the single best game ever had by a Gustavus quarterback, the Gusties came away with 55-31 victory over Augsburg College in what was their first MIAC road test of the season. Gustavus improves to 4-0 overall and 2-0 in the MIAC with the win, while Augsburg drops to 2-2 overall and 1-1 in the MIAC with the loss. The Gusties begin their campaign with four straight wins for the first time since 1998.

“Mitch is passing with such great efficiency and we’re not turning the ball over,” said Head Coach Peter Haugen about his junior quarterback. “Our playmakers are making things happen for him and our offensive line is giving him time to settle in and get comfortable. That combination has been a bright spot and was certainly key once again today.”

For a second-straight week, both Matt Boyce (Jr., Excelsior, Minn.) and Gabriel Boyce (Jr., Excelsior, Minn.) finished the game with more than 100 yards receiving. Matt caught 12 passes for 178 yards and made three touchdown grabs, while Gabriel caught 11 passes for 154 yards with two touchdown receptions. Matt’s 178 yards rank fifth in Gustavus history.

“They [Matt and Gabriel Boyce] are so dynamic and such good route runners,” commented Haugen. “Most importantly, they understand the game and their role in it so well. We’re trying to find ways to keep them involved and so far they’ve been up to the task.”

Hendricks spread the ball around to seven different receivers over the course of the afternoon. Outside the five touchdowns the Boyce twins accounted for, Harrison Feldcamp (Jr., Sibley, Iowa) caught one and Drew Frederickson (Fr., Forsyth, Ill.) caught the other. Frederickson’s touchdown was the first of his collegiate career.

Featured in Gustavus’s ground game was rookie DaiVon Poole (San Angelo, Texas) who became the first Gustie running back this season to rack up more than 100 yards rushing in a game. Poole finished with 101 yards on 21 carries (4.8 ypc) to go along with a three-yard touchdown plunge for the first score of the game.

Gustavus totaled 597 yards of total offense and scored over 50 points for the first time this season and the first time since putting up 52 against Hamline in 2013.

Despite Gustavus’s offensive explosion, Augsburg’s offense followed suit for much of the afternoon. Led by quarterback Ayrton Scott, the Auggies totaled 546 yards (200 rush, 346 pass). Through the air, Scott was 27-for-41 for 346 yards and three touchdowns. He also carried the ball 20 times or 94 yards with one rushing touchdown. Scott’s favorite target was Joey Sonnenfeld who caught two touchdown passes and made eight catches for 140 yards.

Gabriel Boyce made 11 catches for 154 to go along with two touchdown grabs.

Gabriel Boyce made 11 catches for 154 to go along with two touchdown grabs.

In the end, turnovers and big plays by the Gustavus defense made the difference. The Gusties sacked Scott a total of four times and picked him off thrice. Zach Tvedten (Sr., Elmore, Minn.) had a pair of sacks, while  Jake Forcier (Jr., Watkins, Minn.) came up with two interceptions, and Anthony Boyce (Sr., Excelsior, Minn.) recorded another. Anthony Boyce led the team with a game/season-high 11 tackles (5 solo). Zack Martinez (Jr., Lenexa, Kan.) finished next in line with nine (2 solo), and Xavier Fust (Sr., Columbia Heights, Minn.) recorded eight (2 solo).

“The defense performed well and made a couple key stops at critical moments of the game,” Haugen said. “For example, holding Augsburg at the end of the half to just a field goal was critical for momentum and the defense’s confidence. Ayrton Scott is an incredibly dynamic player who is going to get his yards no matter what you do. What kept him in check today was the defense’s ability to supply backfield pressure and force turnovers. We didn’t make it easy for him and that played a major factor in the outcome of this game.”

When the scoring began halfway through the opening quarter, it came masses. Gustavus got on the scoreboard first when DaiVon Pool ran in from three yards out to put the Gusties on top 7-0 following Thomas Schleuesener’s (Sr., Rapid City, S.D.) extra point.

Augsburg answered with a touchdown to tie the game at 7-7 on the next drive and the race was on. At the 1:47 mark of the first quarter, Mitch Hendricks found Matt Boyce on 20-yard strike for the first of their three touchdown connections. Schleuesener added the extra point to put Gustavus up 14-7.

Following a defensive stop, Gustavus got the ball back and quickly went to the air. Hendricks found Matt Boyce on a 25-passs and then connected with Drew Frederickson from 35 yards out for the score. Schleuesener missed the extra point and Gustavus was up 20-7 with 12:25 left in the second quarter.

After an over eight-minute Augsburg drive stalled at the Gustavus 31-yard-line, the Gusties took over with :40 seconds remaining in the half. Disaster stuck on the opening play of the ensuing drive when Hendricks threw his first interception of the season. Despite the sudden momentum swing, Gustavus’s defense held strong and allowed the Auggies just a field goal, which cut the lead to 20-10 at the half.

It took Hendricks and the Gustavus offense little time to get back on track in the third quarter. The Gusties marched 61 yards in just over two minutes, capping the drive with a 17-yard touchdown pass to Gabriel Boyce. Schleuesener’s extra point pushed the score to 27-10.

The Gusties forced a punt on Augsburg’s next possession and once again put together a touchdown-scoring drive. This time, Hendricks finished what was an 82-yard drive with a six-yard pass to Harrison Feldcamp. With the extra point by Schleuesener, Gustavus led 34-10 with 4:45 left in the third.

Anthony Boyce's interception set up Gustavus's victory-sealing score late in the fourth quarter.

Anthony Boyce’s interception set up Gustavus’s victory-sealing score late in the fourth quarter.

Facing their largest deficit of the game, the Auggies got their offense back on track with a 75-yard scoring drive that took just :53 seconds. Ayrton Scott broke free and went 42 yards for the touchdown, cutting the lead to 34-17 with 3:52 left in the third.

Gustavus responded to Augsburg’s quick strike with one of its own. Following a 12-yard pass to Gabriel, and a 15-yard run by Poole, Hendricks went deep to Matt Boyce for a 49-yard touchdown – the team’s longest pass play of the season. After the extra point, the Gusties were back up 14 points at 41-17 with 2:57 to go in the third.

Despite a 41-17 deficit after three quarters, Augsburg would not go away quietly. Ayrton Scott connected with Scott Bossard on an 11-yard touchdown pass, and then hit Joey Sonnenfeld from 74 yards out. The two scores came three minutes apart from one another, as Gustavus found itself clinging to a 41-31 lead with 111:14 remaining in the game.

Refusing to succumb to the same fate of recent Gustavus teams against Augsburg, the offense responded with 14 unanswered points and the defense came up with back-to-back interceptions. Anthony Boyce came up with the first pick with just under eight minutes remaining, and Forcier picked off his second pass of the day with four minutes to go.

Hendricks first orchestrated a seven-play, 76-yard drive that came to a quick conclusion when Gabriel Boyce caught a 49-yard touchdown pass – matching his brother’s team/season-long. The junior quarterback then capitalized on the Boyce interception with a touchdown-scoring drive that put the nail in the coffin. With a two-yard pass to Matt Boyce with 4:24 on the clock, the game’s scoring came to and end. Schleuesener tacked on an extra point to both scores to bring the score to a final at 55-31.

“We’ve had some tough days against Augsburg in past years, so for this team to perform the way it did down the stretch was truly special,” Haugen said. “To see us finish drives, execute, and get big stops late in the game was great to see. The biggest difference I saw today was that we stayed aggressive when the game was on the line. Instead of playing conservative when things got tight, we kept playing hard and pushing the envelope. In the end it all comes down to execution and our guys executed extremely well today.”

Peter Haugen earns his first win over Augsburg with today’s victory and snaps the Auggies’ five-year run along with it.

“What we’ve preached from day one is that this is a process – one that lasts a whole season and one that we’ve committed to,” Haugen concluded. “We need to continue to figure out what’s working and what’s getting better every week. This week was about humility – staying humble and staying in the moment. It’s less about competing against another team and more about competing against yourself – challenging yourself on every single play. That’s where we have to stay if this is going to be a consistent football team. That competitiveness has to be always be present.”

The Gustavus football team will be back in action next weekend when it takes on Carleton College for Homecoming. The Gusties and Knights will square off on Saturday, Sept. 4 at Hollingsworth Field.

Box Score

 


4 Comments

  1. Francine Boyce says:

    What a game!!!!! congrats Mitch.

  2. Wendy Bachman says:

    Soooo fun to watch!!! You guys are amazing! Keep it up! And keep breaking your own records, Mitch….that is nice 🙂

    Go GUSTIES!!

  3. Diane Davis says:

    Proud of you Mitch. Awesome game. Grandma Diane and Grandpa Jerry

  4. Lue Newby says:

    What a great video! I have watched it 3x!
    Lue Newby