Second Half Surge Propels Football To 35-13 Win Over Augsburg Posted on September 17th, 2016 by

Brady Miller celebrates his 64-yard interception in the third quarter against Augsburg. (photo by Gunnar Ledin '20)


ST. PETER, Minn. – Trailing 13-0 at halftime with only 79 total yards of offense, the Gustavus football team was in need of a spark. The momentum shifted in the home team’s favor on the first drive of the second half with a touchdown, which was followed by four more drives finishing in the endzone, resulting in a 35-13 win over Augsburg on Saturday afternoon. The victory propels the Gusties to 3-0 overall and 1-0 in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, while the Auggies drop to 0-3 overall and 0-1 in the league.

Gustavus tallied 320 yards in the second half for a total of 399 yards. After accumulating 174 yards in the first half, the Auggies were limited to 20 yards in the second and only one first down.

Karim Ortiz posted career highs with 27 carries for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. (photo by Gunnar Ledin '20)

Karim Ortiz posted career highs with 27 carries for 180 yards and 2 touchdowns. (photo by Gunnar Ledin ’20)

“First off, you have to give Augsburg credit because they came ready to play,” Head Coach Peter Haugen said. “They came out really strong and set the tone. They were more physical than we were in the first half. I think the biggest thing is that we played with a lot of heart in the second half. We started to get physical and played the way that we needed to play. It was a mindset that we need to be more physical and need to be sharper.”

Midway through the second quarter, Haugen turned to his freshman quarterback Christian Haffner (Lebanon, Tenn.) to give the Auggie defense a different look. Haffner threw only two passes in the second quarter, along with two runs, but the first-year turned it on in the second half. The Liberty High School product finished with nine completions on 11 attempts for 112 yards and three touchdowns. Haffner is the first freshman quarterback to see significant time on the field since Jordan Stolp in 2004.

“He really did a nice job of staying composed and made a couple key throws and runs,” Haugen said. “The guys rallied around him and that was good to see.”

Haffner directed a six-play, 79-yard drive to start the second half, which ended on a 43-yard touchdown run by Karim Ortiz (Jr., Cancun, Mexico). After a three-and-out forced by the Gustie defense, Haffner and the offense went 63 yards in seven plays, capped by a 10-yard pass to Hunter Johnson (Jr., Cannon Falls, Minn.) to tie the game. After the Brendan Boche (Jr., Lakeville, Minn.) extra point, Gustavus had its first lead of the game, which it would not relinquish the rest of the game.

On the ensuing drive, the Auggies were faced with a fourth-and-13 from the Gustavus 30-yard line. Augsburg elected to go for it and the end result was a 64-yard interception by Brady Miller (So., Delano, Minn.), giving the Gusties the ball at the Auggie 20-yard line. Gustavus took advantage of the turnover, scoring five plays later on a six-yard touchdown pass from Haffner to Jamison Beulke (So., Montgomery, Minn.). The Gusties led 21-13 after the third quarter.

Christian Haffner directed the Gustie offense in the second half, making his college football debut. (photo by Gunnar Ledin '20)

Christian Haffner directed the Gustie offense in the second half, making his college football debut. (photo by Gunnar Ledin ’20)

The Black and Gold scored on their first drive of the fourth quarter. The eight-play drive ended on a six-yard rushing score by Ortiz – his second of the game. Haffner tossed his third touchdown of the day with 4:45 left in the game as he found Johnson for a 30-yard strike – his longest completion of the game. The Gustie defense was stout in the fourth quarter, allowing only 18 yards to go along with a sack and forced fumble.

“We started to swarm the ball,” Haugen said of the defense in the second half. “Our defense was in attack mode and we had their quarterback on his heels the entire second half and got so much pressure on him that it helped us on the back end to get a nice interception. We did a good job with our pressure and stopping the run all day long, that was really good.”

Ortiz had a career-day rushing the ball with 27 carries for 180 yards and two touchdowns. DaiVon Poole (Jr., San Angelo, Texas) added 60 yards on nine carries. Johnson led the receiving corps with seven catches for 97 yards and two touchdowns. Johnson also had 52 kick return yards and 28 punt return yards for 177 all-purpose yards. Leeland Lauti (Jr., Ewa Beach, Hawaii) led the defense with eight stops, including a tackle-for-loss.

Gustavus next travels to Hamline (2-0), who was idle this week, for a 1 p.m. game next Saturday.

“We’re looking forward to getting back to work and we’ve got a lot of improvements to make,” Haugen said. “That’s a positive thing because we haven’t played our best football yet at all. Hamline is off to a great start so it will be a tough test.”



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