Football Hosts St. Thomas In Season Finale On Saturday

Posted on November 13th, 2015 by


St_Thomas_MN GA-FlipThe Gustavus Adolphus football team finishes its 2015 campaign on Saturday with a 1:10 p.m. matchup against No. 4-ranked St. Thomas. The Gusties enter the game with a 7-2 overall record and 5-2 mark in the MIAC after a thrilling 41-24 come-from-behind victory over Concordia last week, while the Tommies are 9-0 overall and 7-0 in the MIAC after defeating Carleton 80-3 last week in St. Paul.


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 Gustavus football team showed a never-say-die attitude last Saturday afternoon at Hollingsworth Field as it came from behind to beat No. 23-ranked Concordia 41-34 in the final minute of play.

Trailing 34-27 with just over two minutes left in the game, the Gusties went 63 yards on 12 plays, capped by a six-yard touchdown pass from Mitch Hendricks (Sr., Laporte, Minn.) to Gabe Boyce (Sr., Excelsior, Minn.) to come within one point. Instead of kicking the extra point to tie the game, the Gusties elected to go for two, but the conversion failed.

With hope all but lost and 28 seconds on the clock, Brendan Boche (So., Lakeville, Minn.) executed a perfect onside kick, which was recovered by the Gusties at midfield. The composure of the team shined through in the final seconds of the game as Hendricks found Gabe Boyce on a deep slant for a 17-yard gain. After Hendricks spiked the ball to stop the clock, the senior quarterback then connected with George Buchner (Jr., Excelsior, Minn.) streaking down the right side as Buchner caught the game-winning 33-yard touchdown with just 14 seconds left in the game. The Gustie defense then put a stop to a Hail Mary throw from the Cobbers to end the game.

To add to the excitement of the victory, Matt Boyce (Sr., Excelsior, Minn.) caught eight passes for 153 yards and a touchdown. His 153 yards increased his career total to 3,189 receiving yards, which broke the Gustavus all-time record for career receiving yards previously held by Chad Arlt (2005-08) with 3,180 yards. Boyce now leads the MIAC in receptions (69), yards (1,211) and touchdowns (15).

Hendricks finished the day going 25-for-41 with 363 yards and four touchdowns. He also added eight carries for 39 yards and a score. For his exceptional performance, Hendricks was named MIAC Offensive Player-of-the-Week. After nine games this season, Hendricks has amassed 2,881 passing yards and 32 touchdowns with a .685 completion percentage, all of which rank first in the MIAC.

Iker Ortiz-Hidalgo (Jr., Cancun, Mexico) had a big day on the defensive side against the Cobbers as he helped keep the Gusties in position to pull off the comeback win. The Cancun native made a number of big plays, including a key fourth quarter fumble recovery. Ortiz Hidalgo racked up seven total tackles (three solo), a sack, three tackles-for-a-loss, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery. For his performance, Ortiz-Hidalgo was named MIAC Defensive Player-of-the-Week.



No. 5-ranked and unbeaten St. Thomas had a pair of 100-yard rushers and another efficient passing day en route to an 80-3 thumping over Carleton last Saturday in St. Paul. With the win, the Tommies claimed at least a share of the MIAC title, the program’s fourth in the last six years, and secured the conference’s automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs.

St. Thomas trailed 3-0 early after a 15-play, 70-yard opening drive by the Knights, capped by a 34-yard field goal. UST led 8-3 after the first quarter before scoring 36 points in the second quarter and 36 more in the second half. Running back Jordan Roberts (Jr., Sheridan, Wyo.) recorded his seventh consecutive 100-plus yard rushing day as he carried the ball 17 times for 104 yards and four touchdowns. First-year Tucker Trettel (Lino Lakes, Minn.) rushed nine times for 110 yards and two scores.

Starting quarterback John Gould (Sr., Mendota Heights, Minn.) completed 9-of-10 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown, while backup quarterback Alex Fenske (Jr., Marshall, Minn.) went 8-for-9 with 175 yards and three scores. St. Thomas had six gains of 40 or more yards and finished with 628 yards of total offense on 61 plays. The Tommies never punted and racked up 26 first downs. They also converted on three two-point attempts and a drop kick.

Special teams made its impact in the decisive win as Jack Gilliland (Sr., Simi Valley, Calif.) returned a punt 77 yards for a touchdown, Joe Reed (Jr., Woodbury, Minn.) blocked a punt, the Tommies had a successful onside kick and a fumble recovery by the kickoff team. The UST defense allowed 179 total yards, including 65 passing yards on 13 completions. St. Thomas, which has scored 68 touchdowns in nine games, broke it home-field scoring record of 78 points set four weeks earlier.

Heading into the last game of the regular season, St. Thomas leads the MIAC in points (55.3 per game), yards (548.1 per game), first downs (26.7 per game), kickoff return average (24.8 yards), fumble recoveries (12) and defensive points allowed (8.0 per game).


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