Football Wins MIAC Opener 23-6 at Concordia

Posted on September 24th, 2022 by

The Gustie defense makes a gang tackle stop at Concordia. (photo courtesy of Zoe Haugen)


MOORHEAD, Minn. – The Gustavus football team kicked off MIAC play Saturday with a 23-6 victory at Concordia. In a defensive battle throughout, the Gusties created separation in the second half with a touchdown on fourth-and-six, followed by a 30-yard interception return for a touchdown. The Gusties improve to 2-1 overall and 1-0 in the MIAC, while the Cobbers drop to 2-1 overall and 0-1 in the league.

After a scoreless first quarter, the Gusties got on the board first early in the second with a nine-play, 47-yard scoring drive. The Gusties converted three third downs and finished the drive with an 11-yard touchdown pass from George Sandven (So., Edina) to Rohee Konde (Jr., Hopkins). Dalton Thelen (Sr., Cold Spring) dove for the right pylon to complete the two-point conversion and an 8-0 lead with 13:40 left in the second quarter.

The Cobbers ensued with a 10-play, 46-yard drive but a 34-yard field goal attempt sailed wide left. Ezekiel Sundberg (Sr., Lakewood, Colo.) snagged an interception on the next Cobber drive to halt a scoring threat in Gustie territory, but the visitors were forced to punt and the score remained 8-0 at halftime.

River Wood (Jr., St. Petersburg, Fla.) took the second half kickoff 70 yards down to the Cobber 28, but the Gustie offense stalled and were turned over on downs.

On the next Gustie possession, the Cobbers forced and recovered a fumble and went 37 yards in seven plays to make the score 8-6, but the two-point conversion failed. Gustavus immediately answered on the following drive, going 69 yards in 10 plays. Facing fourth-and-six from the Cobber 39, Sandven connected with Major Martin (Jr., Crane, Texas) in the middle of the endzone for a touchdown. Tyler Elliott’s (Jr., Hopkins) point after was good and the Gusties led 15-6 with 3:48 left in the third.

The Gusties were unable to convert on another fourth down attempt early in the fourth quarter deep in Cobber territory, turning the ball over on downs, but two plays later, Graham Nistler (Sr., St. Cloud) picked off a pass and went 30 yards for the score. Sandven connected with Martin for the two-point conversion and the score read 23-6 with 12:32 left in the game.

“We had a lot of new pieces today and I’m really proud of our guys,” Head Coach Peter Haugen said. “We made some big improvements on special teams today and our defense played tremendous. We were very physical. And our offense with Rennie and Breitbach out, George Sandven came in with some new receivers and we battled. It wasn’t perfect but guys kept battling. It’s hard to win against Concordia at any time, but to do in the kind of circumstances we did today where we had that much adversity, it’s a special win.”

The Gusties outgained the Cobbers 267-215 in total offense with 195 passing yards and 72 on the ground. The Gusties also controlled the pace of play, maintaining possession for 35:18.

Sandven finished the day completing 19-of-32 passes for 195 yards and two touchdowns. Thelen was the main target with seven catches for 53 yards. Konde led the ground game with 14 carries for 52 yards. Konde also had four receptions for 20 yards and a score.

Carson DeKam (Jr., Owatonna) led the defense with 13 stops, including one tackle for loss. Javier Gratacos (Jr., Orlando, Fla.) added eight tackles.

Gustavus hosts Bethel next Saturday at 1 p.m.


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