Late Game Heroics Lead to Football’s First Road Win at Concordia Since 2010

Posted on October 12th, 2019 by

Photo courtesy of Jim Cella, Concordia Sports Information.


MOORHEAD, Minn. – Trailing by one with 30 seconds to play and the ball on its own 22 yard line, the odds were stacked against the Gustavus football team. Michael Veldman (Sr., Becker) took a snap and ended up scrambling left from the pocket before unleashing a deep ball on the run that traveled 50 yards in the air and was caught by Josh Kirk (Sr., Garvin) on the left sideline, which he was able to take in for the score.

“Great effort today by our players,” said Head Coach Peter Haugen. “We stayed positive and poised after some adversity. Concordia was strong all day but were able to hang in there and play big in the fourth quarter. Today was a total team effort.”

It didn’t look great early on for the Gusties as they fumbled on the second play of the game and the Cobbers returned it to the one yard line, scoring on the ensuing play to go up 7-0. The Gusties would punt on their second possession and Concordia would stick to its game plan and rush on all 11 plays in the drive for another score to go up 14-0.

The Gusties then went on a 12-play, 75 yard drive capped off by a  David Peal (So., Worchester, Mass.) one yard score. They would stop the Cobbers on their next possession and keep their momentum rolling, as Brice Panning (Sr., Hamburg) caught his ninth touchdown of the season to even things up at 14.

The Cobbers couldn’t score on their next possession as time in the first half ran out and the two teams went to the break tied at 14. Gustavus out-gained Concordia in the first half 128-88.

In half number two the Cobbers received the kickoff and they went 70 yards in seven plays to retake a 21-14 lead. Veldman was intercepted on the following possession but Concordia was pinned deep in their own territory and went three-and-out. With the Cobbers forced to punt from their endzone the Gusties began their next drive in good field position. Gustavus would then go on a 10-play, 45 yard drive, capped off by Dalton Hermes’ (Fy., Oregon, Ill.) first collegiate touchdown run to even things at 21-21.

The Gusties would force a punt on the next Cobber possession and get the ball on their own 20. Veldman found Kirk for 50 yards before connecting with Panning for thirty yards on the next play for the score and to give Gustavus their first lead of the game at 27-21. The Gusties missed the extra point and held a six-point lead with 8:52 remaining in the game.

The Gustie defense would hold strong and force another punt, but a Veldman interception gave the Cobbers good field position. Concordia capitalized, punching in a score with 1:08 to play and to take a 28-27 lead.

The Gusties would receive the ensuing kickoff and get called for holding to start their possession on their own 12-yard line. A false start would push them back to the seven before Veldman connected with Kirk for 15 yards to put the ball on the 22 to set up the final scoring play for the Gusties. After Kirk’s touchdown grab, Panning caught a two-point conversion to push the Gustavus lead to 35-28. The Cobbers got the ball back with eight seconds left and ran two plays but neither netted them any yards as Gustavus took the victory.

In the contest, Gustavus had 426 yards of total offense while they held the Cobbers to just 228. It was through the air that the Gusties won the contest, as they threw for 395 yards, while Concordia didn’t complete it a pass.

Veldman threw for the most yards of any Gustavus quarterback ever at Concordia as he was 21-of-32 for 395 yards and three touchdowns. Kirk had nine catches for 233 yards and a score, with his yardage being the second most in Gustavus football program history. Brayton Finch (Jr., Mount Morris, Ill.) had seven catches for 97 yards for the Black and Gold while Panning had four catches for 55 yards and two scores. Hermes led the rushing attack with eight carries for 30 yards and his first score of the season.

Jake Boykin (Sr., Las Cruces, N.M.) and Zach Jakes (So., Mankato) led the defense with eight tackles each, with Jakes recording a tackle for loss, while Zeke Erickson and Jake Krull (Sr., Plymouth) each had seven tackles.

With the win the Gusties improve to 3-2 overall and 1-2 in the MIAC while the Cobbers fall to 3-3. The win in Moorhead is the first win for Gustavus at Concordia since 201o, when the Gusties defeated Concordia 38-10 on Oct. 2.

The Gusties are back in action next Saturday when they host Hamline at 1 p.m. for Hall of Fame Day.



One Comment

  1. Pastor Rod Anderson says:

    Congrats Gusties…team and coaches!
    And your fans, including me, back home were just worried about the impact of stormy weather UpNorth!!!
    Chaplain Rod Anderson!