Football Closes Out Season with Decisive Win Over St. Olaf

Posted on November 16th, 2019 by

Brice Panning. (Photo courtesy of David Faulkner, SPX Sports.)


SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus football team closed out its 2019 season Saturday with a 49-7 win over St. Olaf. With the win the Gusties complete the season at 7-3 overall and 5-3 in the MIAC, while the Oles finish 5-5 overall and 3-5 in conference. The seven wins are the most for the Gusties since 2015.

Gustavus got the ball to start and failed to score on its first possession breaking a streak of four games in which it found the endzone on the opening drive. The Gusties were able to get a stop on the ensuing possession and then used a David Peal (So., Worchester, Mass.) heavy rush attack, with Peal eventually scampering in for a 10-yard score to go up 7-0 with 5:39 remaining in the first quarter.

The Gusties got a fourth down stop at the end of the first quarter and carried that momentum into the second. In the second frame, Gustavus offense was precise, while their defense continued to play stout. The Gusties scored on their first possession with Michael Veldman (Sr., Becker) connecting with Brice Panning (Sr., Hamburg), who caught his 17th touchdown of the season, tying the single-season record set in 2014 by Matthew Boyce.

Gustavus’ defense got a three-and-out before Brayton Finch (Sr., Mount Morris, Ill.) caught a touchdown to put the Gusties up 21-0, and the Gustie defense quickly forced another punt. The offense of the Black and Gold continued to go to work, as Finch was rewarded with another touchdown on a Veldman pass to put Gustavus up 28-0. The third passing touchdown of the contest gave Veldman 36 on the season which set a new single-season school record, passing Mitch Hendricks mark of 35 in 2014.

The Oles would drive before the half but would run out of time as the two teams went to half. The Gusties out-gained St. Olaf 237-62 in the first 30 minutes of play.

In the third quarter Gustavus came out strong again, getting a defense stop on the first possession, before Veldman completed six straight passes, the last finding with Todd Johnson (Jr., Minneapolis) who made a leaping grab in the endzone to put Gustavus up 35-0.

The Oles started their next drive on their own 25 but a bad snap put them back inside their own 10. Kaleb Scott (Jr., Gardena, Calif.) then made a big stop in the backfield and followed that up with an interception on the next play to give Gustavus the ball in the red zone. Veldman made quick work of the short field, finding Josh Kirk (Sr., Garvin) on the second play for a 16 yard score.

The Oles answered in the middle of the third quarter, breaking a 47 yard touchdown rush to bring the score to 42-7 with 5:40 remaining in the third frame.

The two teams played scoreless until midway through the fourth when the Gusties found the end zone once more. Veldman connected with Kirk for 37 yards to put the Gusties in striking distance before Veldman found with Ethan Sindelir (So., Wells) for a two yard score. The touchdown pass was Veldman’s sixth of the contest, which gave him 78 passing touchdowns in his career, breaking the school record set previously by Hendricks.

Veldman finished 25-of-36 for 278 yards and six touchdowns through the air with Finch leading all receivers with 10 catches for 76 yards and a pair of scores. Panning finished his Gustie career with six catches for 84 yards and a touchdown, while Kirk added five catches for 77 yards and a pair of scores. Peal carried the ball 19 times for 90 yards and a score to lead the ground game.

Jake Boykin (Sr., Las Cruces, N.M.) and Jake Krull (Sr., Plymouth) led the Gustie defense with 10 and nine tackles respectivley. Zeke Erickson (Sr., Clarks Grove) added five tackles, two for a loss, and a sack in the contest, while Scott had five tackles, an interception, and a pass breakup. Zach Jakes (So., Mankato) and John Krohn (Sr., Richfield) also both added a sack in the game.

In the game the Gusties also broke the record for most points in a season with 448 total points, breaking the previous record of 428 set in 2015.


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