Gustie Football Downed By Bethel 24-3 Posted on October 14th, 2017 by

Jamison Beulke looks to break through the Bethel defense. (Photo courtesy of Kegan Couture, Gustavus Sports Information)


ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus football team dropped a 24-3 during a Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference matchup against Bethel University Saturday afternoon at Hollingsworth Field.

The Gusties, now 3-3 overall and 2-2 during conference play, were without starting quarterback Michael Veldman (Jr., Becker, Minn.) and struggled to find a consistent output with a new-look offense.

Hunter Johnson (Sr., Cannon Falls, Minn.) stepped into the quarterback role, completing 11 passes for 105 yards. Jamison Beulke (Jr., Montgomery, Minn.) led the rushing unit with 60 yards on 16 carries.

“Clearly, our execution wasn’t there,” said Head Coach Peter Haugen. “There were too many negative plays on first down, I think that hurt us. The first half was a disappointment.”

Near the end of the first quarter, the Royals tallied the first score of the game during their second drive. Hayden Foote carried in a fourth and goal opportunity from the one-yard line to give Bethel a 7-0 lead.

The following drive would stand as the sole scoring drive of the game for Gustavus. Relying on the ground attack, the Gusties drove down the field with a 16-play, 69-yard drive, capped off by a 29-yard field goal from Brendan Boche (Sr., Lakeville, Minn.).

On the ensuing kickoff, Joel Koenecke returned a Boche kickoff 92 yards for a Royal touchdown to give Bethel a 14-3 lead. Following the kick-return score, the road team maintained momentum, adding another score to hold a 21-3 at the halfway point. The kick return score was the first the Gusties have allowed since Augsburg brought one back in 2012.

Gustavus was unable to put together any scoring drives in the second half, despite the Black and Gold defense limiting Bethel to a field goal in the 24-3 final.

“The second half, I thought we really stiffened up and played really hard. We needed this to be a 10-6 game, and I think we had our shot at that. Both offenses were pretty mundane, to be honest. I was happy with the way the guys responded in the second half. We just need to keep building off that.”

In all, Gustavus and Bethel each tallied 12 first downs, while the Royals totaled 253 yards of total offense compared to 202 from the Gusties.

Dutch Claybaugh (Jr., Kaneohe, Hawaii) and Nathan Hajder (Sr., Rogers, Minn.) led the Gustavus defensive effort with six tackles each.

Casey Decker (Sr., Mapleton, Minn.) totaled six punts for a career-best 257 yards, averaging 42.8 yards per punt while also tallying a season-long 57-yard punt.

“We did see some things that were encouraging and hopefully we can get rolling down that way. For us, we have to play a complete game. It is the little mistakes that hurt us, we just have to find a way to be a little more consistent,” Haugen concluded.

The Gusties head to Collegeville next Saturday to take on Saint John’s University.


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