Football Travels to St. Scholastica for First MIAC Divisional Game

Posted on October 8th, 2021 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus football team is set for its first MIAC Northwoods Division game Saturday at the College of St. Scholastica in the inaugural meeting between the two programs. Kickoff from James S. Malosky Stadium on the campus of UM-Duluth is 1 p.m. The Gusties enter the game 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the MIAC, while the Saints are 0-2 overall and 0-2 in the league.

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The Series

Saturday’s game is the first ever meeting between Gustavus and St. Scholastica on the football field. The Saints are in their inaugural season as a member of the MIAC after previously being a member of the UMAC. Gustavus owns a 9-0 all-time record against UMAC opponents. Although never having played St. Scholastica, the Gusties have played five games at Malosky Stadium when UM-Duluth was a member of the MIAC. The Gusties’ last game at Malosky Stadium was in 1975, a 28-0 loss to the Bulldogs. The Gusties have a 3-2 record at Malosky Stadium, which opened in 1966.

Scouting the Gusties

Gustavus is coming off its first loss of the season, a 34-9 setback at No. 16 Bethel last Saturday. The Gusties committed five turnovers and were shutout in the second half after trailing just 14-9 at halftime.

Michael Veldman (Sr., Becker) suffered a season-ending injury two weeks ago in the 36-21 win over Concordia and Jake Breitbach (So., Golden Valley) has been thrust into the starting role. Entering the Concordia game in the first offensive series and starting last week at Bethel, Breitbach has completed 32-of-50 passes for 422 yards, a touchdown, and four interceptions. He is also third on the team in rushing with 26 carries for 121 yards and a score.

Dalton Thelen (Sr., Cold Spring) has proven to be a threat at receiver and in the backfield. He leads the team with 23 receptions for 393 yards and three touchdowns. Thelen is fourth on the team in rushing with 18 carries for 121 yards. He also has seven kick returns for 181 yards, including an 89-yard touchdown. Thelen ranks tenth in NCAA Division III with an average of 173.75 all-purpose yards per game in 2021. Thelen posted 289 all-purpose yards against Concordia on Sept. 25, the fourth-most in any Division III game this season.

Matthew Kipper (So., Bloomington) is second on the team in the receiving game with 19 catches for 288 yards and two touchdowns. David Peal (Sr., Worcester, Mass.) paces the ground game with 61 carries for 272 yards and a MIAC-leading five touchdowns.

As a team, the Gusties rank second in the MIAC with 443.5 yards per game and have the high passing yards per completion at 15.3 yards.

The defense is allowing 32.8 points and 415.2 yards per game. Austin Fest (Sr., West Des Moines, Iowa) leads the team with 28 tackles. Zach Jakes (Sr., North Mankato) is second is 26 tackles and two sacks. Carson Dekam (So., Owatonna) has recovered three fumbles this season, tied for the second-most in NCAA Division III.

Scouting the Saints

After having its season-opener against Sewanee cancelled, St. Scholastica has lost two games – a 54-14 loss against Augsburg on Sept. 25 and a 34-18 loss at Hamline last Saturday. The Saints average 16.0 points and 296.5 total yards per game.

Byron Bishop has played every snap under center, completing 26-of-59 passes for 273 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Mitchell Adrian is the top target with 13 catches for 115 yards and a score. Pete Saint Fleur is second with three catches for 83 yards and a touchdown. Bryceton Butkiewicz leads the rushing attack with 45 carries for 217 yards and a touchdown. Bishop is next with 25 carries for 53 yards and a score.

The defense is led by Jake Kukowski with 20 tackles. Anthony Vo and Mack Neslon both have 15 tackles. Tandrell Foster leads the team with 5.5 tackles for loss and 2.0 sacks. The Saints are giving up 44.0 points and 448.0 points per game.

St. Scholastica’s roster features five seniors, five juniors, 10 sophomores, and 49 first-years.

 

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