Stout Defense, Strong First Half Propel Football to 27-14 Homecoming Win Over Concordia

Posted on October 6th, 2018 by

Todd Johnson Jr. hauls in a touchdown against Concordia. (photo courtesy of David Faulkner, SPX Sports)

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SAINT PETER, Minn. – A strong defensive performance with a lopsided time of possession resulted in the Gustavus football team defeating Concordia 27-14 Saturday afternoon on its Homecoming. The Gusties controlled possession for more than 41 minutes and held the MIAC’s top rushing attack to a pedestrian 20 yards on 23 carries (their fewest rushing yards since 2000). The Gusties snap a three-game losing streak to improve to 2-3 overall and 1-2 in the MIAC, while the Cobbers drop to 3-3 overall and 2-2 in the league.

“We’ve struggled in time of possession this season, but today we had the ball for 41 minutes and that was the difference in the game,” Head Coach Peter Haugen said. “It was an incredible job by our defense. To hold a team like Concordia to 20 yards is really quite something. The execution of our offense on third down was special in some key areas. I’m really proud of our guys. We’ve had to fight through some adversity and come together as a group.”

The first half was all Gustavus as it scored four touchdowns in the first 30 minutes, while holding the Cobbers scoreless. The momentum slightly turned in Concordia’s favor in the second half as it scored a pair of touchdowns to bring the score within two possessions, but the Gusties made an interception on their own seven-yard line with 2:38 remaining in the game to thwart the visitor’s comeback attempt.

Michael Veldman (Sr., Becker, Minn.) finished the game with a rushing touchdown and two passing scores. His first came on a one-yard run, capping a 13-play, 59-yard drive late in the first quarter. Veldman’s first passing touchdown was a two-yard connection to Brayton Finch (Jr., Mount Morris, Ill.) with 4:17 remaining in the first half. The next was an 11-yard strike to Todd Johnson Jr. (So., Minneapolis, Minn.) with 21 seconds left in the half. David Peal (Fy., Worcester, Mass.) scored the other Gustie touchdown on an 11-yard rush, sprinting through the Cobber defense – as well as an official – 1:12 into the second quarter.

Gustavus outgained Concordia 387-194 in total offensive yards with 267 through the air and 120 on the ground. The Gusties also collected 25 first downs and held the Cobbers to 11.

Veldman completed 25-of-33 attempts for 267 yards, two touchdowns, and two interceptions. Peal led the rushing attack with 79 yards and a touchdown on 27 carries. Brice Panning (Jr., Hamburg, Minn.) hauled in a game-high six receptions for 73 yards. For the fifth-straight game, Matt Berkner (Sr., Sleepy Eye, Minn.) led the defense with seven tackles, including one for a loss.

Gustavus travels to Hamline next Saturday. The Pipers lost to Carleton 42-26 today.

 

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