Back To Work, Football To Host Bethel In Home Finale

Posted on October 31st, 2014 by

The Gustavus football team will face Bethel in its home finale on Saturday at 1:00 p.m. on Hollingsworth Field.

Back To Work

GA FlipBethel_MNAfter a weekend off, it’s time for the Gustavus Adolphus College football team to get back to work this weekend as it welcomes the Royals of Bethel University to Lloyd Hollingsworth Field. The Gusties head back into league play sitting in a tie for third place in the conference standings at 6–1 overall and 4–1 in the MIAC. After defeating No. 22 St. Thomas 35–24 last weekend in Arden Hills, No. 11 Bethel heads into the weekend the only MIAC team with an unblemished conference record atop the conference standings at 6–1 overall and 5–0 in the MIAC.

Live Action

KNUJ AM 860 out of New Ulm, Minnesota, will broadcast all ten Gustavus regular season football games. The voice of the Golden Gusties Tom Wheeler will handle the play-by-play duties for the ninth consecutive season. Wheeler will be joined by 1984 Gustavus graduate and former Gustie football player Ken Ericson on the live call of this year’s games. Fans can listen to the KNUJ broadcasts on the Internet through the Gustavus Athletics website.

New this season, Gustavus will provide a high definition video stream of all home games for viewing on your computer, tablet, or smart phone through GameCentral by Stretch Internet.

Live Video | Live Stats

Scouting The Gusties

After suffering its first loss of the season to Saint John’s University by the score of 29–19 at home on Oct. 19, the Gustavus Adolphus football team has had two weeks to recuperate, refocus, and prepare for Saturday’s MIAC showdown against Bethel. Although the University of St. Thomas recently dropped out of the Top 25 poll, Gustavus’s game against Saint John’s signified the beginning of a stretch of games against four ranked teams. This afternoon in the final home game of the regular season, the road gets even bumpier as the Gusties face a Bethel team that is unbeaten in MIAC play and ranks 11th in the country.

Matt Boyce enters Saturday needing just one touchdown reception to tie Ryan Hoag's single-season record of 14.

Matt Boyce enters Saturday needing just one touchdown reception to tie Ryan Hoag’s single-season record of 14.

Despite achieving more first downs, gaining more yards, and going 10-for-18 on third down, Gustavus was done in by what it had previously prided itself on during the first six weeks of the regular season—turnovers and red-zone efficiency. Against the Johnnies, Gustavus turned the ball over four times on three interceptions and a fumble and went 3-of-6 in the red-zone. Saint John’s didn’t commit a turnover and came out of all five of its red-zone trips with points. Gustavus now ranks second in the MIAC in red-zone scoring with an 86-percent conversion rate (30 of 35) to go along with 26 red-zone touchdowns (2nd/MIAC).

Although quarterback Mitch Hendricks (Jr., Bemidji, Minn.) threw for 356 yards and two touchdowns against Saint John’s, it was his uncharacteristic three interceptions deep inside Johnnie territory that led to the teams struggles in the red zone. Hendricks comes off the bye week ranked first in the nation in passing yards (2,605), passing yards per game (372.1), and completion percentage (74.1), and second in passing touchdowns (29). After making nine catches for 158 yards with two touchdowns against Saint John’s, wide receiver Matt Boyce (Jr., Excelsior, Minn.) will look to pick up where he left off two weeks ago. Boyce will likely be matched up against one of the top cornerbacks in the league in Bethel’s Josh Treimer (Sr., Burnsville, Minn.). Treimer leads the conference in both interceptions with three and pass breakups with nine. Gabriel Boyce (Jr., Excelsior, Minn.) will continue to exploit the edges and underneath routes, entering the weekend ranked second in the MIAC in receiving yards (788) and third in touchdowns (8). Gabriel leads the team with 63 receptions and has caught nine passes in each of the last three weeks.

Following Gustavus’s defensive performance against Saint John’s, there’s little doubt that Bethel will use its size and physicality to attack the Gusties on the ground. After allowing a season-high 300 yards rushing to the Johnnies, Gustavus ranks fifth in the MIAC in rushing defense allowing an average of 144.7 yards per game. Against the pass, Gustavus remains stingy and tough to score on despite the loss of senior free safety Jake Forcier (Watkins, Minn.) to a season-ending injury. The Gusties are allowing an average 171.1 yards passing (1st/MIAC) and have given up only 7 TD passes, the fewest allowed in the MIAC.

Game Notes | Roster | Statistics | Schedule/Results

Scouting The Royals

The Bethel University football team rolls into St. Peter looking to build on the momentum of last Saturday’s 35–24 win over No. 22 St. Thomas at Royal Stadium. Despite scoring 21 unanswered points on their way to a 21–0 halftime lead, the Royals found themselves ahead by only four points (28–24) following a St. Thomas field goal with 7:45 remaining in the game. With the momentum on the Tommies’ sideline and the game possibly hanging on the balance of the ensuing possession, Bethel put together its best drive of the afternoon. The Royals chewed up all but one second of the time remaining and capped what was a 17-play, 83-yard drive that took 7:37 with a Brandon Marquardt (Sr., Champlin, Minn.) touchdown run from 25 yards out.

Bethel running back Marshall Klitzke led the way on the ground with 86 yards and along with two rushing touchdowns in last weekend's victory over St. Thomas.

Bethel running back Marshall Klitzke led the way on the ground with 86 yards to along with two rushing touchdowns in last weekend’s victory over St. Thomas.

In what was an evenly played game on both sides of the ball, turnovers, especially points off turnovers, were the difference. Bethel’s defense picked off St. Thomas three times and its offense turned all three interceptions into touchdowns. Bethel is allowing 16.3 points per game (2nd/MIAC) and an average of 295 total yards (2nd/MIAC). Giving up an average of 188.4 passing yards per game (2nd/MIAC) and not allowing the opposition to throw for more than 220 yards the past six weeks, the Royals will pit their aerial defense up against its most formidable foe yet this season. Cornerbacks Josh Treimer and Matt Mehlhorn (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.), and safeties Dan Leidall (Jr., Maple Grove, Minn.) and David Morgan (Sr., Rosemount, Minn.) make up a battle-tested secondary charged with slowing down Hendricks and the Boyce twins. The group has a combined five interceptions and 21 pass breakups.

With a veteran offensive line, Bethel is built as a classic ball control team that likes to pound the rock and play conservative in the passing game. Averaging 399.3 total yards per game (6th/MIAC), Bethel ranks fourth in rushing yards (185.7 avg.) and sixth in passing yards (213.6 avg.) per game. Quarterback Erik Peterson (Sr., Orono, Minn.) has completed 65.6-percent (111 of 169) of his passes for 1,460 yards (208.6 ypg) and carries a touchdown-to- interception ratio of 16-to-5. Bryce Marquardt (So., Champlin, Minn.) has emerged as Peterson’s top target through the air, catching 34 passes for 514 yards (5th/MIAC) to go along with eight touchdowns (3rd/MIAC).

Heading up Bethel’s multi-faceted ground game is Marshall Klitzke (Jr., Annandale, Minn.), Brandon Marquardt, and Bridgeport Tusler (Fr., Maple Grove, Minn.). Although all three backs average more than 5.5 yards per carry, Klitzke leads the way with 509 yards (72.7 ypg), Marquardt ranks second with 434 (62 ypg), and Bridgeport rounds out the group with 280 (40 ypg). To go along with Tusler’s seven rushing touchdowns (5th/MIAC), the rookie has also proven to be one of the league’s top receiving threats out of the backfield. He ranks second on the team in receiving with 28 catches for 354 yards with three receiving touchdowns.

Game Notes | Roster | Statistics | Schedule/Results


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