September 22, 2012

Comeback Falls Short, Gustavus Edged By St. Olaf 17-14

More news about: Gustavus Adolphus
Joe Haas wraps up St. Olaf quarterback Dan Dobson. Photo courtesy of Abigail Davis and Kyle Obermann - St. Olaf College

Joe Haas wraps up St. Olaf quarterback Dan Dobson. Photo courtesy of Abigail Davis and Kyle Obermann - St. Olaf College

Northfield, Minn. – Despite a gritty fourth quarter comeback, the Gustavus football team fell by the score of 17-14 to St. Olaf on Saturday afternoon at Manitou Field.  After Gustavus cut lead to three points late in the fourth quarter, St. Olaf was able to hold on maintain possession of the football until the final gun.  Gustavus drops to 1-2 overall and 0-2 in the MIAC with the loss, while St. Olaf improves to 3-1 overall and 1-1 in the MIAC with the win.

"It's a tough day for our guys.  We played really hard and moved the ball like crazy all day.  The difference was that we just didn't get the ball in the end zone when we needed to," said Head Coach Peter Haugen.

"We are really close and these are certainly a couple of heartbreaking losses.  At this point we have to rally around each other and continue to fight.  If we can do that, we'll be fine.

After forcing a turnover and a punt on St. Olaf's first two possessions of the game, Gustavus failed to capitalize with the ball deep in St. Olaf territory.  An interception by St. Olaf's Jimmy Gildea at the 19-yard line shut down one drive, and three straight sacks by the Oles led to a turnover on downs on the next drive.

Senior quarterback Muresuk Mena set Gustavus' single-game school record for rushing yards by a quarterback with 193 yards today.

St. Olaf capitalized on the ensuing possession when Dan Dobson went deep down the middle of the field to Stephen Asp for a 51-yard completion.  Dobson took to the air on third-and-goal later in the drive, finding Jake Schmiesing on an out route from five yards out for the go-ahead touchdown (7-0).

The Gustavus offense began to click at the start of the second quarter.  Quarterback Muresuk Mena (Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) broke free for a 21 and 27-yard run within the same drive to put Gustavus in the red-zone on the eight-yard-line.  After running back Jeffrey Dubose (St. Paul, Minn.) took the ball down to the one-yard-line on a seven-yard carry, St. Olaf's defense responded with a goal-line-stand that proved to be a major momentum shift in the game.  The Oles stopped Gustavus on three-straight dives, persevering their 7-0 lead halfway through the second quarter.

With a 7-0 edge following halftime, St. Olaf took advantage of another Gustavus miscue.  After recovering a Mena fumble to Gustavus' 26-yard-line, Dobson found Schmiesing once again – this time on a five-yard slant – for a touchdown to extend the lead to 14-0 with 11:08 left in the third quarter.

Dobson finished the game 19-for-27 for 183 yards and two touchdowns passing.  He found seven different receivers over the course of the day and rushed eight times for 50 yards.  Stephen Asp was Dobson's top target, bringing down three catches for a game-high 75 yards.

After the Gustavus offense fumbled for the second-straight possession, the defense came up with big defensive stop on St. Olaf's next drive when safety Jake Forcier (Watkins, Minn.) picked off Dobson at the Gustavus 27-yard-line.

The Gusties used the momentum to cut the lead to 14-7 following an 11-play, 61-yard scoring drive.  On third-and-goal from the four-yard-line, Mena was flushed out of the pocket after seeing that his key target was covered in the end zone.  The senior eluded one tackle before scrambling free to the far sideline where he flanked the defense with speed and ran untouched across the goal line for the touchdown. Gustavus gashed the Oles with its running game on the drive, throwing only one incomplete pass and picking up all 71 yards on the ground.

Just when it looked as if Gustavus had turned a corner in the game, St. Olaf responded with its most important drive of the afternoon.  Although the Oles settled for a 24-yard Lucas Walnman field goal (17-7), the 14-play drive lasted 8:32.

Joe Haas led the Gustavus defense with 10 tackles (7 solo).

With 4:58 left to play in the game, Gustavus brought the score to a final at 17-14 after scoring a touchdown with less than three minutes on the clock.  Once again, it was Muresuk Mena making a play with his feet.  After seeing his hole collapse on a draw play on fourth-and-one, Mena decided to reverse his field and look for a opening on the far side the field.  With eight St. Olaf players in the box selling out on the inside run, Mena found daylight on the outside, hitting a lane with speed and galloping 58 yards for touchdown.

"We kept fighting in every way.  The guys believe in what we are doing and that is why you see them not quitting or giving up at the end of games," said Haugen on his team's perseverance at the end of today's game.

The drive would be Gustavus' last of the game, as the Oles picked up a pair of first downs on the final possession of the game.

Although his squad threw for just 77 yards, Coach Haugen has confidence in his team's running ability early in the season.  "We have committed ourselves to keeping it simple and doing a few things exceptional in our rushing game.  The guys who have the ball in their hands are dynamic; there is no question about that.  With Muresuk near 200 yards and Jeffrey over 100, our ground game is right where it needs to be right now."

The senior quarterback turned in what was a historic day running the football.  With 193 yards on 24 carries (8.0 ypc), Mena ranks 15th all-time on Gustavus' single-game rushing list.  He now holds the school record for most single-game rushing yards by a quarterback.  With Dubose' 114 yards on 18 carries (6.3 ypc), Gustavus ran for a total of 350 yards.

Gustavus went 1-for-3 inside the red-zone, while St. Olaf capitalized on all three of its opportunities.  The Black and Gold finished with 392 total yards compared to St. Olaf' 323 yards.

"We have to continue to rush the ball well and continue to strive for balance in our offense," said Haugen on his team's goals heading into next week.  "Most importantly, we need to continue to build on what's working and keep our heads up through the process.  We need to have a great week of practice as we gear up for Hamline back at home next weekend."

Gustavus will look to get back on track Saturday, Sept. 29 at home against the Pipers at 1:00 p.m.

Box Score

Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Coast Guard at Anna Maria
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Defiance at Baldwin Wallace
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at Millsaps
Video Live Stats
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
N.C. Wesleyan at Stevenson
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
7:00 PM
WPI at MIT
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Curry
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Morrisville State at St. Lawrence
Video Audio
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
10:00 PM
Adrian at Pacific
Live Stats
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Washington U. at Carnegie Mellon
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Chicago at Case Western Reserve
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
SUNY-Maritime at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Otterbein at Buffalo State
Video Live Stats
12:00 PM
Ursinus at Bethany
12:00 PM
Sewanee at Kenyon
12:00 PM
Alfred State at William Paterson
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Christopher Newport
1:00 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton
Live Stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Norwich
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Kalamazoo
Video Live Stats
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
Video Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
St. Vincent at Alma
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at Finlandia
1:00 PM
Olivet at St. John Fisher
Video Live Stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Rowan at Widener
Audio
1:00 PM
Hobart at Brockport
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
Audio
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
The Apprentice School at Methodist
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
1:30 PM
Wilmington at Bluffton
1:30 PM
Monmouth at Hope
Video Audio
1:30 PM
Bridgewater at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
Audio
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
2:00 PM
Wisconsin Lutheran at Trinity Int'l
2:00 PM
Lakeland at Carroll
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-Stevens Point at St. Norbert
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Maranatha Baptist at Martin Luther
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
Live Stats
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Rockford
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Gustavus Adolphus at Westminster (Mo.)
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Luther
2:00 PM
Beloit at Lake Forest
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Crown at Hamline
Live Stats
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
Audio
2:00 PM
Bethel at Dubuque
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Mayville St.
2:00 PM
Simpson at UW-Stout
2:00 PM
Aurora at Carthage
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at Coe
2:00 PM
Ripon at Concordia-Chicago
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
Video Live Stats
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:30 PM
Southern Virginia at Earlham
Video Live Stats
2:30 PM
Lawrence at Presentation
4:00 PM
McPherson at Nebraska Wesleyan
Live Stats
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
La Verne at Puget Sound
Video Live Stats
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
6:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at Berry
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
Live Stats
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Averett
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Denison at Marietta
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Capital at Wittenberg
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Illinois College at Rose-Hulman
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Anderson at North Park
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
Video Live Stats Audio
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
Video Live Stats
8:00 PM
Willamette at Rhodes
8:00 PM
Cornell at Iowa Wesleyan
Video Live Stats Live Stats
8:00 PM
Augsburg at Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats
8:00 PM
Southwestern Assemblies at Howard Payne
8:00 PM
Sul Ross State at UT-Permian Basin
8:30 PM
Redlands at Trinity (Texas)
Live Stats
Sep. 1: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Johns Hopkins
Video
Sep. 2: All times Eastern
6:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Wesley
Video Live Stats
7:00 PM
Albright at Salisbury
Sep. 3: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Cortland at Heidelberg
Live Stats
1:00 PM
TCNJ at UW-Whitewater
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Robert Morris-Chicago
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
John Carroll at UW-Oshkosh
Video Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
St. Scholastica at St. John's
Video Live Stats Audio
2:00 PM
Benedictine at Wheaton (Ill.)
4:00 PM
UW-Platteville at George Fox
4:00 PM
Central at Whitworth
6:00 PM
Thomas More at Franklin
Video Live Stats
6:00 PM
Wabash at Albion
Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Texas Lutheran
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live Stats Audio
7:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Live Stats
7:10 PM
St. Thomas at UW-Eau Claire
Video Live Stats