Football Opens MIAC Play Saturday at Concordia

Posted on September 23rd, 2022 by

SAINT PETER, Minn. – The Gustavus football team kicks off its 2022 MIAC schedule 1 p.m. Saturday at Concordia. The Gusties enter the game 1-1 overall after suffering a 28-25 loss to UW-Stout last Saturday at home, while the Cobbers are 2-0 after a 42-13 win at Presentation College on Sept. 10.

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THE SERIES

Saturday’s game marks the 91st all-time meeting between the Gustavus and Concordia football programs with the Gusties leading the series 49-39-2. Gustavus has won the last four meetings, most recently claiming a 39-7 win in the MIAC third place game on Nov. 13 last year in Moorhead. 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). Brett Hufendick ended his career in style, completing 19-of-28 passes for 371 yards, four touchdowns, and one interception. Jake Breitbach 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 added five catches for 88 yards and two touchdowns. Carson Dekam was the defensive leader, making a season-high 17 tackles, two for a loss, including a half sack. Austin Fest added nine stops and two tackles for loss.

SCOUTING THE GUSTIES

Gustavus ended its non-conference schedule last Saturday at home with a 28-25 loss to UW-Stout. The Blue Devils scored the go-ahead touchdown with 15 seconds left in regulation. In just his second career game under center, Daniel Rennie tallied the second most passing yards in program history, completing 28-of-34 for 467 yards and three touchdowns. Rennie also had a rushing touchdown and was picked off twice. Jake Breitbach and Dalton Thelen played major roles in the high flying passing game as Breitbach caught eight passes for 197 yards, highlighted by an 80-yard touchdown, and Thelen hauled in seven catches for 167 yards, highlighted by a 76-yard score. Breitbach was stellar in the open field, accumulating 125 yards after the catch. The receiving duo also handled return duties as Breitbach added 19 kick return yards for 216 all-purpose and Thelen posted 41 kick return yards for 208 all-purpose.

Through two games this season, the Gusties average 43.5 points and 541.5 yards of total offense per game, ranking third and second, respectively, in the MIAC. Rennie has the second most passing yards and touchdowns in the league, but suffered a season-ending hand injury last week against UW-Stout. The quarterback duties have been handed off to George Sandven who saw playing time late in a blowout win at Buena Vista on Sept. 3. Sandven completed 4-of-5 passes for 53 yards and a touchdown on two drives.

The receiving game is led by the duo of Breitbach and Thelen. Breitbach leads the team with 13 catches for 278 yards and four touchdowns, while Thelen has nine catches for 188 yards and a score. Breitbach’s 139.0 yards per game ranks second in the MIAC, while Thelen ranks seventh at 94.0 per game. David Peal paces the ground game with 25 carries for 127 yards and a touchdown.

Carson DeKam and Zach Jakes are the leaders on defense. DeKam has a team-leading 12 tackles while Jakes has made 10 stops with an interception and blocked field goal. Ezekiel Sundberg and Isaiah Chambers have added one interception each from the secondary. The defense as a whole is allowing 24.0 points and 363.0 yards of total offense per game.

SCOUTING THE COBBERS

After squeaking out a 14-12 win over Valley City State in the season opener, Concordia cruised to a 42-13 win two weeks ago at Presentation. Cooper Mattern had four touchdown passes with two of them going to Jake Evans while the offense posted 594 total yards. The ground game was the highlight of the day with 400 yards, led by Mattern at 21 carries for 146 yards, and Peyton Mortenson with 28 carries for 132 yards and a score.

Through two games this season, the Cobbers average 28.0 points and 425.5 yard of offense per game. The Cobbers are rush-heavy, averaging a league-leading 271.5 yards per game and 5.2 yards per rush. Mortenson leads the ground game with 50 carries for 209 yards and two touchdowns. Mattern has 25 attempts for 168 yards. Mattern has also completed 26-of-38 passes for 247 yards, five touchdowns, and two interceptions. Peter Narum leads all receivers with eight catches for 67 yards and a touchdown.

The defense is allowing 12.5 points and 343.0 yards per game. Noah Jenson has a team-leading 15 tackles. Marshall King has 14 tackles (12 solo) and two interceptions. Ty Moser has added 13 stops and a sack.

 

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