Football Knocks Out Beavers Early, Wins Season Opener 62-20

Posted on September 3rd, 2022 by

Daniel Rennie drops back in his first game as a Gustie. (photo courtesy of Zoe Haugen)


STORM LAKE, Iowa – For the second straight year the Gustavus football team opened the season at Buena Vista with a stellar offensive performance, but unlike last year’s matchup, the Gusties played a more complete game with a 62-20 victory Saturday evening in contrast to last year’s 80-58 decision, which tied the NCAA Division III record for most combined points in regulation. All 20 Beaver points were scored in the fourth quarter.

Gustavus got on the board early as Daniel Rennie (Fy., Cape Coral, Fla.) connected with Jake Breitbach (Jr., Golden Valley) on a 15-yard touchdown pass, capping a seven-play, 74-yard drive with 8:20 left in the first quarter.

Buena Vista attempted a 40-yard field goal on its third possession of the game but Zach Jakes (Sr., North Mankato) blocked the kick, scooped the ball, and rumbled down the sideline to the BVU 30. The Beavers got the ball back on an interception, but the Gusties forced a three-and-out to regain possession. Six plays later, Rennie found Breitbach again for a 29-yard touchdown and the Gusties led 14-0 with 1:45 left in the frame.

After another Beaver three-and-out, Dalton Thelen (Sr., Cold Spring) took the return down to the BVU 37 and Rohee Konde (Jr., Hopkins) immediately followed with a cut-back run for a 37-yard touchdown run, giving the Gusties a 21-0 lead at the end of the first.

Buena Vista started the ensuing drive with a 41-yard run into Gustie territory, but on the next play Jakes dropped back into coverage on a screen and picked off the pass. Rennie took advantage of the takeaway by connecting with Matthew Kipper (Sr., Bloomington) for a 21-yard touchdown, giving the Gusties a 28-0 lead with 11:53 left in the half.

“Zach Jakes, that little stretch he had in the first half was unbelievable,” Head Coach Peter Haugen said. “He blocked a kick, intercepted a ball, he sacked a guy, it was ridiculous.”

The Beavers were forced to punt on the next possession and the Gusties started their drive on their own 16. Making their way to mid field, the Gusties went for it on fourth down, and David Peal (Sr., Worcester, Mass.) made the gamble pay off with a 46-yard touchdown run on a sweep up the left sideline. The Gusties led 35-0 with six minutes remaining in the second quarter.

The Gustie defense forced another fumble and recovered at the Beaver 33. Taking the ball down to the goal line, Rennie punched in a quarterback sneak for a 42-0 advantage. Another Beaver punt led to the third touchdown connection between Rennie and Breitbach, this time from 10 yards out as Breitbach split the defensive secondary with just one second left in the half. Andrew Abegglen (Sr., Mound) kicked the first six extra points followed by Dimitry McDougle (Fy., Victoria) putting it through the uprights to make the score 49-0.

“I think we made a couple mistakes early in the game but with a new quarterback getting into the system, things speed up quite a bit,” Haugen said. “He settled down after those mistakes and the defense played so well. They bailed us out of a couple situations early. Offense, defense, and special teams had a solid first half.”

Buena Vista started the third quarter with the ball but Isaiah Chambers (Jr., Houston, Texas) snagged an interception at mid field. The Beavers got the ball back on a fumble, but once again had to punt. The following Gustie drive went 70 yards in eight plays, capped by a seven-yard touchdown run by Kevin Durham (Sr., Gaylord) with 7:13 left in the third.

With the Beavers going for it on fourth down late in the third, Jack Swanson (So., Pine Island) came up with a sack for the turnover on downs.

Buena Vista broke the shutout with 12:36 left in the game with a 56-yard touchdown pass. The extra point was blocked by Isaac Erickson-Thoemke (Sr., St. Cloud) and the score read 56-6. The Beavers took advantage of a fumble inside the Gustie 20 and turned it into an 11-yard touchdown. The score was 56-13 with 10 minutes left on the clock.

The Beavers continued to score in garbage time, rushing in a touchdown from six yards out with 6:41 remaining to make the score 56-20.

The Gusties used the large scoring margin to play a number of second- and third-stringers, allowing George Sandvin (So., Edina) to find Major Martin (Jr., Crane, Texas) for a five-yard touchdown with 1:41 left in the game. The touchdown was a career first for both Sandvin and Martin.

“We’re a work in progress but it was fun,” Haugen said. “It was good to get new guys out there and see how they operate. We had a lot of fun tonight and that’s what you want, for your guys to go play free and I felt like we did that tonight.”

The Gusties outgained the Beavers 553-316 with 263 yards coming on the ground. Peal had 10 carries for 79 yards and a touchdown while Konde added 54 yards on three carries and a score.

Rennie finished the night 19-of-27 for 267 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions. Ten different Gusties caught a pass, led by Breitbach with five receptions for 81 yards and three touchdowns. Kipper also had five catches for 76 yards and a score.

Trajan Kaeppe (Jr., Cottage Grove) led the defense with four tackles, including a half tackle for loss.

Gustavus will enjoy a bye next week and then host UW-Stout on Sept. 17 for the home opener at Hollingsworth Field. The Blue Devils open their season next Saturday at Wartburg.


One Comment

  1. Jim Krough says:

    Great start to the season. Looking forward to the game on the 17th and a tour of the new Lund complex.