Football Finishes Season 7-3 After 66-9 Loss To No. 4 St. Thomas

Posted on November 14th, 2015 by

BOX SCORE | PHOTO GALLERY

ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus football team finished its 2015 season Saturday at Hollingsworth Field with a 66-9 loss to No. 4-ranked St. Thomas. Despite the season-ending defeat, the Gusties finish with a 7-3 overall record and 5-3 in the MIAC, which marks the most victories by Gustavus since 2001. Gustavus’s third place finish in the conference is also the best since 2002.

“They are a very athletic team and we have to execute at a high level in order to keep it close and we weren’t able to do that as well as would have liked to,” Head Coach Peter Haugen said. “Certainly St. Thomas has something to do about that. They’ve been playing lights-out defense all year, but they’ve also been dynamic on offense. They got up on us by a couple scores and then every possession from there became so huge for us and we just didn’t execute.”

Gustavus went toe-to-toe with the undefeated Tommies for most of the first half, trailing 13-6 midway through the second quarter. But an 11-play, 68-yard touchdown drive gave the Tommies a 20-6 lead with 2:34 remaining in the half. The Gusties punted on the ensuing possession and UST answered with a seven-play, 66-yard scoring drive to go ahead 28-6 with 1:19 on the clock. On the kickoff, the Gusties muffed the catch, which was recovered by St. Thomas at the Gustavus 17-yard line. Three plays later, the Tommies kicked a 31-yard field goal and took a 31-6 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The second half was all St. Thomas as it outscored the Gusties 35-3 in the final 30 minutes of play. The Tommies scored on 10 of thier 12 possessions and totaled 715 yards of offense – 396 rushing and 319 passing. Gustavus totaled 239 yards of offense.

Gustavus’s lone touchdown drive of the game came late in the first quarter. Trailing 7-0 at the 7:10 mark, the Gusties put together an eight-play, 78-yard drive, highlighted by 40-yard pass and catch from Mitch Hendricks (Sr., Laporte, Minn.) to Matt Boyce (Sr., Excelsior, Minn.) on a third down. Five plays later, Hendricks once again connected with Matt Boyce as he was wide open just past the goal line for a seven-yard score.

The second scoring drive occurred in the third quarter as the Gusties went 71 yards on 11 plays, but were stalled at the St. Thomas seven-yard line. Brendan Boche (So., Lakeville, Minn.) came in and connected for a 29-yard field goal.

Hendricks finished the day 16-of-26 for 188 yards and a touchdown. His 16 completions increased his career total to 699, which broke the previous all-time record of 697 completions by Jordan Stolp (2004-07). Stolp witnessed his record being broke first-hand as he was today’s back judge. Hendricks also finishes his career with 8,410 passing yards, which is 86 yards short of Stolp’s program record of 8,496. The Bemidji High School product holds every single season passing record and also holds the all-time passing touchdowns record with 77 career scores.

Karim Ortiz (So., Cancun, Mexico) was the Gusties’ leading rusher with 11 carries for 41 yards. Matt Boyce paced the receiving corps with eight catches for 106 yards and a touchdown. Boyce finishes his career as the Gustavus all-time leader in receiving yards (3,295) and receiving touchdowns (35). Senior linebacker Kyle Krzmarzick (Sleepy Eye, Minn.) capped his career with a team-high 13 tackles.

“This season has been incredibly special,” Haugen said. “I’m really proud of the seniors, they’ve done great work this year. They’ve given us everything and have really helped build the foundation for the days ahead.

“The process of preparing for next season begins pretty soon. We’ll take a couple weeks off and then get going again. We’ll lose some great seniors, but that’s just the way it is every single season. Defensively we should be awfully solid. We have a bunch of young guys that are still learning to play and we are excited about moving forward. I think we’ve done a good job in recruiting so hopefully we won’t miss a beat.”

 


One Comment

  1. Kyhl Thomson says:

    I would just like to say how awesome it has been watching Gustavus Golden Gustie football work it’s way back to relevance in the MIAC. Coach Pete and his staff and players have worked their tails off the last half decade. We are definitely a force to be reckoned with in this conference and I can not wait to continue to watch the progress every year. Keep improving that win total every year until it results in a Conference Championship. #gustiefootball #gustiepride #whygustavus