Football Travels To Bethel Saturday For Final Road Test Of Season

Posted on October 30th, 2015 by


GA-FlipBethel_MN helmetThe Gustavus football team travels to Arden Hills, Minn. Saturday for its final road test of the season against Bethel University. The Gusties enter tomorrow’s 1 p.m. game with a 6-1 overall record and a 4-1 mark in the MIAC, while the Royals at 4-3 overall and 3-2 in the league.


KNUJ AM 860 out of New Ulm, Minn. is broadcasting every Gustavus regular season game. The voice of the Golden Gusties, Tom Wheeler, handles the play-by-play duties for the 10th consecutive season. Wheeler is joined by 1984 Gustavus graduate and former Gustie football player Ken Ericson on the live call for this season’s slate of games. Fans can listen to the KNUJ broadcasts on the Internet through the Gustavus Athletics website.

Live coverage of Saturday’s game begins at 12:30 p.m.




The then No. 20-ranked Gustavus football team suffered its first loss of the season on Oct. 17, falling 49-27 to then-No. 14/15-ranked Saint John’s. The Gustie offense was held to its lowest marks all season as it accumulated 309 total yards of offense (245 passing, 64 rushing), while the Johnnies amassed 489 total yards of offense (215 passing, 274 rushing). The SJU rushing attack proved to be the difference as it won the time of possession battle 34:03-to-25:57 and its All-American running back Sam Sura rushed 33 times for 201 yards and four touchdowns.

Gustavus held a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter, but the momentum shifted in Saint John’s favor and the Johnnies were able to hold off the Gusties the rest of the way.

Mitch Hendricks finished the day going 26-of-40 with 224 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. Matt Boyce was the top target, hauling in 11 catches for 121 yards and a touchdown. Tyler Jakes led the defense with a career-high 15 tackles (five solo).

After seven games this season, the Gustie offense has the best third down conversion rate in the nation. There is not a single team in all of collegiate football (FBS, FCS, Division II, Division
III) that can say it has a better percentage as Gustavus has converted on 59-of-94 third down attempts for a .628 percentage. On fourth down conversions, the Gusties are 9-of-11 (4th/ NCAA). The Gustie offense also tops the national ranks in completion percentage at .711 (192-270).

Individually, Hendricks leads the MIAC with an average of 319.0 passing yards per game to go along with 26 touchdowns and a .725 completion percentage. Karim Ortiz is the team’s leading rusher with an average of 58.1 yards per game (11th/ MIAC) and a total of 86 carries and five touchdowns. Matt Boyce is the top receiver in the league with an average of 134.4 receiving yards per game. He also leads the MIAC with 941 yards and 12 touchdowns. His 54 receptions rank second in the conference only behind teammate and twin brother Gabe Boyce (55). Gabe has 487 yards (69.6 per game) and six touchdowns this season. Brendan Boche is the second ranked kicker in the league with 52 points. He is 49-50 on extra points, which are the most in program history. He is also 1-for-4 on field goal attempts. Kysten Zierke leads the defense with 52 total tackles (12th/MIAC). Tyler Jakes is next in line with 42 total tackles (22nd/ MIAC).



The Bethel University football team entered Saturday’s MIAC showdown versus St. Thomas with a two-game win streak against the hosting Tommies (7-0, 5-0 MIAC), but the Royals (4-3, 3-2 MIAC) recent success against UST was snapped, as St. Thomas handed BU a 45-14 setback at O’Shaughnessy Stadium.

Bethel was held to just 153 yards of total offense, while the Tommies amassed 445 yards on their home turf. Despite the lopsided difference, the Royals managed to rush for 152 yards, which was nearly 100 yards more than the average yards allowed by St. Thomas’s defense this season. BU also put up 14 points after UST’s defense came into the game allowing just 6.8 points per game.

Bridgeport Tusler finished the game with 127 yards on 22 carries, while Trey Anderson rushed for 35 yards on 12 carries. Altogether, the Royals rushed for 3.9 yards per carry, which was nearly two yards better than the average yards allowed by the Tommie defense coming into today.

Nathan Hultgren led BU’s defense throughout the day with 11 total tackles, including one sack for a five-yard-loss. In addition to Hultgren, fellow defensive lineman Godfrey Mpetey wrapped up Bethel’s only other sack on the day, which was a nine-yard loss late in the first half. Ryan Kopcaand Landon Mathis each finished with 10 tackles, while Daniel Leidall and Josh Dalki accumulated nine.

After seven games this season, Anderson has passed for 711 yards, nine touchdowns and has thrown just one interception. Marshall Klitzke is the team’s leading rusher with 107 carries for 649 yards and eight scores. The Royals defense is led by Jesse Moeckly who has 49 tackles (27 solo), 7.0 tackles for loss, 4.5 sacks, one interception and two pass breakups.


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