Football Gets Back On Track With 41-13 Win Over St. Olaf

Posted on October 28th, 2017 by

Brice Panning is congratulated by teammates Ethan Stordahl and Blake Sikes. (Photo: Alex Sellner, Gustavus Sports Information)


ST. PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus football team snapped a three-game losing skid with a 41-13 victory over St. Olaf College Saturday afternoon at Hollingsworth Field.

After totaling just two touchdowns in the past two games, the Gustie offense got back on track, led by a 27-point second half surge against the Oles. Karim Ortiz (Sr., Cancun, Mexico) led the ground game with a career-high 200 rushing yards, while the Gustie defense also got into the scoring column with an interception return for a touchdown. In his third game at the starting quarterback position, Hunter Johnson (Sr., Cannon Falls, Minn.) seemed to find his game as the leader of the Gustie offense.

Gustavus claimed a 14-7 lead through two quarters of play. Johnson opened the scoring during the home team’s second drive of the game, finishing off a 15-yard score with an extension towards the pylon. The Oles answered with a score of their own midway through the second quarter to even the game.

Linebacker Avery Bachman (So., St. Peter, Minn.)¬†negated any thoughts of the two teams heading into the intermission tied at 7-7, forcing a St. Olaf fumble to give the Gusties great field position with 47 seconds remaining in the half. Gustavus then completed a five-play, 28-yard scoring drive. Johnson floated a pass to the corner of the end zone to Brice Panning (So., Hamburg, Minn.) for the 14-yard touchdown pass, Panning’s team-leading sixth of the season to give Gustavus the 14-7 lead at the half.

The Oles opened the scoring in the second half with their final score of the game, missing the point after try to cut the Gustie lead to 14-13. On the ensuing drive, Johnson ran in his second touchdown of the game from five yards out to push the lead to 21-13.

In the final quarter, Gustavus put together two consecutive scoring drives, followed by a pick-six to close out the visitors. Johnson completed his second passing TD of the game to Josh Kirk (So., Garvin, Minn.) to open the fourth-quarter outpour, topped by a career-high 69-yard run from Ortiz. The final score of the game was a 35-yard interception return from Jordan Kahlow (Jr., Le Sueur, Minn.), his second pick-six of his career.

Johnson completed 12-24 passes for 150 yards, while Kirk led the receiving core with five catches for 70 yards.

Jake Boykin (So., Las Cruces, N.M.) tallied a team-high eight tackles, while Kevin Krohn (Sr., Richfield, Minn.) gathered two sacks and three tackles for loss. Kahlow and Brady Miller (Jr., Delano, Minn.) recorded interceptions.

The Gusties, now 4-4 overall and 3-3 during Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference play, next face the No. 4-ranked University of St. Thomas next Saturday in St. Paul, Minn.


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