Football Kicks Off 100th Season With Decisive 35-6 Win At Westminster

Posted on September 3rd, 2016 by

In his first game back after missing all last season, Luke Martinez scored three touchdowns against Westminster.

BOX SCORE

FULTON, Mo. – The Gustavus football team started its 100th season on the right foot, defeating Westminster College 35-6 on Saturday afternoon. The Gusties scored touchdowns on their first two possessions and never looked back. Gustavus accumulated 479 yards of offense on 275 passing and 204 rushing. Luke Martinez (Sr., Lenexa, Kan.) had a breakout game after missing all last season due to injury as he scored three touchdowns with 129 yards on 21 carries. In his first start under center, Michael Veldman (So., Becker, Minn.) was extremely efficient, completing 21-of-25 passes for 266 yards and a touchdown. Veldman also added a six-yard rushing touchdown. Jordan Kahlow (So., Le Sueur, Minn.) led the defense with six tackles.

Michael Veldman completed 21-of-25 passes for 279 yards and a TD in his first start.

Michael Veldman completed 21-of-25 passes for 266 yards and a TD in his first start.

Westminster started with the ball and was held to just two yards on its first possession, forcing a punt. The Gusties started the ensuing drive at the Westminster 45 and quickly went to work. Martinez capped a six-play drive with a punch-in from one yard out, which was set up by a 17-yard pass from Veldman to Michael Hensch (So., North Branch, Minn.), and after the Brendan Boche (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) extra point, Gustavus led 7-0 just over four minutes into the game.

The Gustie defense forced a three-and-out for the second straight time, giving the offense the ball back at its own 42 after the punt. Gustavus methodically moved the ball down the field and found the endzone after nine plays, including three passing plays of 10 yards or more. Veldman capped the drive with a six-yard keeper and the Gusties led 14-0 at the 4:24 mark in the first quarter.

Westminster moved the chains for the first time on the following drive, but was forced to punt after four plays. Gustavus’s first play on the following drive was a nine-yard completion to George Buchner (Sr., Excelsior, Minn.), but the Westminster defense forced a fumble and got the ball back at midfield. The home team was looking to take advantage of the turnover and drove the ball down to the two-yard line, but Sergio De Pablos Velez (Sr., Cancun, Mexico) had other plans as he intercepted a pass and returned it to the Gustie 38-yard line.

The Black and Gold capitalized on the turnover as they drove the ball 62 yards in 11 plays, capped by a 13-yard touchdown pass to Hunter Johnson (Jr., Cannon Falls, Minn.) and Gustavus led 21-0 five minutes into the second quarter. The next two possessions for both teams ended in punts and the score remained 21-0 at halftime.

Gustavus started with the ball in the second half and went back to work with a nine-play scoring drive, ending with an 11-yard rushing touchdown by Martinez. The drive featured the ground game as Martinez found an opening for a 28-yard gain and Karim Ortiz (Jr., Cancun, Mexico) rushed the ball four straight times for 19 yards, which set up the Martinez touchdown.

The Gustie defense once against shut down Westminster on the following possession, giving the ball back to the offense at its own 12-yard line, setting up the longest drive of the day. The longest play of the drive was a 32-yard pass from Veldman to Johnson and the possession ended with a one-yard run from Martinez, his third score of the day, for a 35-0 advantage.

“It looked like he was his old self,” Head Coach Peter Haugen said of Martinez. “He’s a physical runner at the point of attack and he got better as the game went along. He’s a physical, punishing runner and did a nice job today.”

Hunter Johnson caught a team-high 11 passes for 113 yards and a TD.

Hunter Johnson caught a career-high eight passes for 115 yards and a TD.

Westminster ended the shutout early in the fourth quarter with a 10-play, 74-yard drive, but it was too little, too late. Veldman stayed in the game until the fourth quarter and was then replaced by Sam Archer (So., Zimmerman, Minn.).

“He was efficient and made good decisions with the ball,” Haugen said of Veldman. “That’s the big thing. He passed well in terms of his accuracy and our receivers went out and made some big plays behind him.”

Johnson was the favorite target of the day, hauling in a career-high eight catches for 115 yards and a score. Jackson Feddema (Fy., Cleveland, Minn.) made eight receptions for 37 yards.

Kahlow led the defense with six tackles, closely followed by Iker Ortiz (Sr., Cancun, Mexico) with four stops, including two tackles for loss. The Gustie defense limited Westminster’s ground game to 74 yards and 226 total yards. Gustavus also dominated the time of possession 39:18-to-20:42.

“The defense was really active today,” Haugen said. “I think it’s a group that was really moving around. They kept Westminster off balance. Our goal going into the game was to stop their star running back and we were able to do that. It was fun to see a lot of kids get an opportunity to play and compete.”

Gustavus returns to St. Peter next Saturday for its home opener against UW-River Falls. Kickoff is 1 p.m. at Hollingsworth Field.

“We’re a young team and continuing to find our identity,” Haugen said. “We just need to keep improving from week to week. Certainly today was a great start, but we’re going to have to clean things up for sure.”

 

Comments are closed.