Football Wins Decisively at Concordia, Finishes With Best Record Since 1998

Posted on November 13th, 2021 by

Dalton Thelen runs past a Cobber defender. (photo courtesy of Zoe Haugen)


MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Gustavus football team completed its best season in over two decades on Saturday with a decisive 39-7 victory at snow-covered Concordia. With the win, the Gusties end the season in third place in the MIAC at 6-2 and went 8-2 overall for the first time since 1998.

The Gusties outgained the Cobbers 497-201 in total yards. Concordia’s lone touchdown of the game was an 80-yard scamper, meaning the Gusties limited the home team to 121 yards on the other 55 plays (2.2 yards per play).

“It was a total team win and I’m very proud of our guys,” Head Coach Peter Haugen said. “We took the week very serious in preparation and to win the way we did today was special.”

Brett Hufendick (Sr., Edina) ended his career in style, completing 19-of-28 passes for 371 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Jake Breitbach (So., Golden Valley) made a number of big plays, hauling in six catches for 202 yards and a touchdown. Five of his receptions went for 30 yards or more. Dalton Thelen (Sr., Cold Spring) added five catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns.

“They have a special relationship,” Haugen said of Hufendick and Breitbach. “Brett has been a mentor to Jake the last two years. They have great chemistry. Today, Brett threw some great balls, Jake went up and got them, and that connection was really sharp.”

David Peal (Sr., Worcester, Mass.) led the rushing attack with 17 carries for 68 yards and a touchdown. Kevin Durham (Sr., Gaylord) contributed 17 rushes for 51 yards.

Carson Dekam (So., Owatonna) was the defensive leader, making a season-high 17 tackles, two for a loss, including a half sack. Austin Fest (Sr., West Des Moines, Iowa) added nine stops and two tackles for loss.

“The defense today was unbelievable,” Haugen said. “They put so much pressure on the quarterback and I can’t say enough about that effort, it was really special.”

Gustavus started the scoring with a six-play, 69-yard drive on its opening possession, capped by a three-yard touchdown run by Peal at the 11:37 mark. Late in the first quarter, the Gusties scored their second touchdown on a 16-yard pass from Hufendick to Thelen with 2:35 on the clock. The extra point snap was botched, but Brady Essig (Sr., Dodge Center) found Hunter O’Bert (Sr., Eden Prairie) on the fire play for the two-point conversion and the Gusties led 15-0 after the opening frame.

Matthew Kipper (Sr., Bloomington) gave the Gusties a three-possession lead midway through the second quarter on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Hufendick. And with 1:29 remaining in the half, Hufendick delivered a perfect over-the-shoulder pass to Breitbach down the right sideline for a 48-yard touchdown pass. The Gusties led 29-0 at the break and outgained the Cobbers 374-51.

Over 10 minutes into the third quarter, Hufendick found Thelen for their second touchdown connection on a seven-yard pass to the back corner of the endzone and the Gusties increased their lead to 36-0 at the 4:37 mark.

Concordia ended the shutout with an 80-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter, but that was the only impact play by the Cobber offense.

Gustavus ended the scoring with 4:42 left in the game as Andrew Abegglen (Jr., Mound) kicked a 31-yard field goal, tying the school record of 13 made field goals in a season (Ryan Boutwell, 13-of-18, 1997). Abegglen finished the season 13-of-17 on field goal tries with a long of 42.

“He is such a respected player on our team,” Haugen said of Abegglen. “We are really excited for him because he’s worked hard and he is a really fun teammate to be around. He takes his craft seriously and that’s a great accomplishment.”

Gustavus finishes the MIAC season 6-2, marking the best league record in the Peter Haugen era and best since the 1998 Gusties went 7-2 in the conference.

“It’s a reflection of the people around me,” Haugen said. “I’m very humbled to have a great coaching staff and players who are committed. We’re very thankful to have an eight-win season and it’s great to work amongst wonderful people every day.”

Gustavus, ranked No. 7 in the most recent NCAA Region VI rankings, waits until Sunday’s selection show (4:30 p.m.) for an outside chance at an at-large bid to the national tournament.


One Comment

  1. Gretchen Koehler says:

    congrates Gustie Football