October 6, 2012

Gustavus Offense Struggles To Find Rhythm, Football Falls To St. Thomas 28-14

More news about: Gustavus Adolphus
Michael Hintze looks for a lane with Phillip Butler in front leading the way on Saturday against St. Thomas.

Michael Hintze looks for a lane with Phillip Butler in front leading the way on Saturday against St. Thomas.

St. Paul - The Gustavus Adolphus football team suffered a 28-14 loss to No. 3 St. Thomas on Saturday afternoon at O'Shaunessey Stadium.  Despite cutting St. Thomas' lead to seven points (21-14) with nine minutes remaining in the game, a Gustavus interception followed by a Tommie touchdown turned out to be the difference in the game.  Gustavus falls to 2-3 overall and 1-3 in the MIAC with the loss, while St. Thomas remains undefeated at 5-0 overall and 3-0 in the MIAC.

"We have to judge our success based on the little things that happen every single game.  Our goal every single week is to win, but right now we have to evaluate what we are doing well and work to improve on what we are not.  This is a team that has suffered a couple tough losses, but it is also a confident team and I'm proud of the way we battled today," said Head Coach Peter Haugen.

Gustavus' potent running game ran into its kryptonite in the form of the St. Thomas' 3-4 defensive front this afternoon.  The Gustavus ground game, which was averaging over 250 yards per game coming into today, was held to a mere 32 total yards.  Both quarterback Muresuk Mena (Sr., Inver Grove Heights, Minn.) and Phillip Butler (Jr., St. Paul, Minn.) ran for 18 yards each to lead the Gusties.

"It was a tough day for us offensively," stated Haugen.  "We believed we would be able to move the ball a little better than we did and that's a credit to their well-disguised pressure packages that gave us fits."

Anthony Boyce chases down quarterback Matt O'Connell.

The Tommies were the first to draw blood, taking advantage of a running in to the punter penalty on the opening drive and scoring four plays later to go up 8-0 after a successful two point conversion.  St. Thomas quarterback Matt O'Connell completed a 35-yard post to Dan Noehring for the game's opening touchdown.

It would take until the final minute of the half before another point was added to the scoreboard.  Following a Torey Asao (Jr., Chaska, Minn.) interception at the five-yard-line and a three and out by the Gustauvs offense, the Tommie offense took over at the Gustavus 43-yar-line.  O'Connell completed a 23-yard pass to Dan Ferrazzo before finding Kyle Whitley in the end zone for a touchdown from nine yards out two plays later.  After the extra point, St. Thomas would head to the locker room with a 15-0 lead.

The Tommies opened up a 21-0 lead after forcing Gustavus to a three-and-out on its opening drive of the third quarter.  O'Connell broke several tackles and before reversing his field and taking a keeper 74 yards for a touchdown.

After fumbling on their next possession, hope seemed to be all but lost for the Gusties.  Thanks to an Anthony Boyce (So., Excelsior, Minn.) sack and forced fumble, Gustavus received the momentum swing  it needed.  Cory Colvard (Sr., Centerville, Minn.) picked up the Boyce forced fumble and ran it back 53 yards for a Gustavus touchdown.

Gustavus intercepted O'Connell on St. Thomas' following two possessions, yet couldn't find a way to capitalize as the score would remain 21-7 by the start of the fourth quarter.

With under 10 minutes remaining in the game, Gustavus cut the lead to 21-14 on a six-yard touchdown from Mena to Butler.  Mena's intended pass was knocked out of the hands of Michael Hintze (So., Brooklyn Park, Minn.) before falling into the arms of Butler in the corner of the end zone.

The Gustavus defense would come up with another big stop on St. Thomas' next possession, gaining control of the ball at the GAC 33-yard-line with 6:49 on the clock.  On second down and nine, Mena's pass was picked off Tremayn Williams and the Tommies took over at the 18-yard-line.  Two plays later, Brenton Braddock added the insurance touchdown from four yards out to bring the score to a final at 28-14.

Gustavus totaled 187 yards compared to St. Thomas' 468 in the game.  Mena was 17-for-25 with one touchdown and one interception through the air.  His top target of the day was Hintze who brought in five catches for 62 yards.

Muresuk Mena scrambles for a first down.

"We have struggled to find consistency in the passing game over the last couple of weeks and that has to improve," said coach Haugen about his squad's aerial attack.  "We've been a little bit hit-or-miss and we need to try to execute the basic stuff.  I have faith in our guys and complete confidence in that they can turn this thing around."

A bright spot for the Gusties was the stellar turnover generation by the defense.  Corey Shea's defensive unit recovered three fumbles and picked off three passes to finish +4 in turnover margin.

"The turnover creation has been awesome and that has put us in a position to win every game," stated Haugen.  "Certainly today was no different and we made some big-time plays in big-time situations.  More than anything, the defense believes that turnover generation is its M.O. and that is something to build on."

Anthony Boyce led the defensive effort with a game-high 14 tackles (11 solo) and a sack.  Torey Asao intercepted two passes, while Dilger also had one pick.

St. Thomas quarterback Matt O'Connell was 20-for-34 for 220 yards and two touchdowns. He spread the ball around to eight different receivers over the course of the game.  The sophomore was also the game's leading rusher, running for 149 yards on 13 carries.

The Gustavus football team will be back on the field Saturday, Oct. 13 when it takes on Valley City State for Homecoming at 1:30 p.m.

Box Score

Photo Gallery

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 4: All times Eastern
8:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Tex. A&M-Commerce
Sep. 5: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Anna Maria at Worcester State
7:00 PM
Western New England at Springfield
7:00 PM
Albright at Kean
7:00 PM
Widener at Rowan
7:00 PM
WPI at Curry
7:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Mount Ida
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Salve Regina at Bridgewater State
7:00 PM
William Paterson at SUNY-Maritime
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Ursinus at TCNJ
7:00 PM
Fitchburg State at Becker
7:00 PM
Nichols at Westfield State
Video
7:30 PM
McDaniel at Catholic
7:30 PM
Trine at Manchester
Live Stats Video Audio
8:00 PM
Waldorf at UW-Whitewater
Live Stats
Sep. 6: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Endicott at Framingham State
12:00 PM
Dickinson at Hobart
Live Stats
12:00 PM
Holland College (PEI, Canada) at Maine Maritime
Video
12:00 PM
Otterbein at St. John Fisher
12:00 PM
Union at Ithaca
12:00 PM
Pomona-Pitzer at MIT
12:00 PM
Husson at Alfred
12:00 PM
Randolph-Macon at Johns Hopkins
1:00 PM
St. Lawrence at Coast Guard
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Wesley
Live Stats Audio
1:00 PM
Plymouth State at Castleton State
1:00 PM
Lebanon Valley at Franklin and Marshall
1:00 PM
Emory and Henry at Ferrum
Audio
1:00 PM
Washington and Lee at Averett
Live Stats
1:00 PM
Hampden-Sydney at Wabash
Live Stats Video Audio
1:00 PM
Rose-Hulman at Kalamazoo
Live Stats Video
1:00 PM
Wilmington at Olivet
1:00 PM
Adrian at Defiance
1:00 PM
King's at Moravian
1:00 PM
Alfred State at Morrisville State
1:00 PM
Susquehanna at Lycoming
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Brockport State
1:00 PM
Utica at Misericordia
1:00 PM
Delaware Valley at Montclair State
1:00 PM
Southern Virginia at Methodist
1:00 PM
Ohio Wesleyan at Bluffton
1:00 PM
Marietta at Kenyon
1:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Apprentice
1:00 PM
Cortland State at Buffalo State
Audio
1:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Wilkes
1:00 PM
Sewanee at DePauw
1:30 PM
RPI at Norwich
1:30 PM
Alma at Heidelberg
1:30 PM
Berry at Maryville (Tenn.)
1:30 PM
Bridgewater (Va.) at Gettysburg
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Waynesburg
1:30 PM
St. Vincent at John Carroll
1:30 PM
Mount Union at Bethany
1:30 PM
Juniata at Grove City
Audio
2:00 PM
Franklin at Illinois Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Rhodes at Austin
2:00 PM
Carleton at Macalester
2:00 PM
UW-Platteville at Buena Vista
2:00 PM
Ohio Northern at Washington U.
Live Stats Video
2:00 PM
UW-River Falls at St. John's
2:00 PM
Crown at Gustavus Adolphus
2:00 PM
Concordia-Moorhead at Jamestown
2:00 PM
Simpson at Iowa Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Hope at Monmouth
Audio
2:00 PM
Lawrence at Rockford
2:00 PM
Aurora at Illinois College
2:00 PM
Carroll at Lakeland
2:00 PM
Elmhurst at Loras
2:00 PM
Millikin at Greenville
2:00 PM
Coe at Wheaton (Ill.)
2:00 PM
Presentation at Luther
2:00 PM
Martin Luther at Maranatha Baptist
2:00 PM
MacMurray at Culver-Stockton
2:00 PM
Eureka at Knox
2:00 PM
UW-Stout at Dakota Wesleyan
2:00 PM
Huntingdon at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Ripon at St. Scholastica
2:00 PM
Hendrix at Westminster (Mo.)
2:10 PM
UW-Eau Claire at St. Thomas
3:00 PM
St. Norbert at Carthage
4:00 PM
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps at Puget Sound
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Whitworth
4:00 PM
College of Idaho at Pacific
4:30 PM
Arizona Christian at George Fox
5:00 PM
Hartwick at Western Connecticut
6:00 PM
Salisbury at Christopher Newport
6:00 PM
Augustana at Mount St. Joseph
7:00 PM
Carnegie Mellon at Case Western Reserve
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Stevenson at N.C. Wesleyan
7:00 PM
Butler at Wittenberg
Live Stats Video
7:00 PM
Shenandoah at Gallaudet
Audio
7:00 PM
Wooster at Washington and Jefferson
7:00 PM
Greensboro at Guilford
7:00 PM
Geneva at Frostburg State
Live Stats
7:00 PM
Thiel at Allegheny
7:00 PM
Taylor (Ind.) at Anderson
7:00 PM
Hiram at Westminster (Pa.)
7:00 PM
Denison at Earlham
7:00 PM
Albion at UW-Stevens Point
7:00 PM
Concordia (Wis.) at North Park
7:00 PM
Beloit at Chicago
Live Stats
7:00 PM
LaGrange at Birmingham-Southern
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Trinity (Texas)
7:00 PM
Mary Hardin-Baylor at Millsaps
7:00 PM
Sul Ross State at Texas Lutheran
7:00 PM
Robert Morris-Chicago at UW-Oshkosh
7:00 PM
UW-La Crosse at Dubuque
7:30 PM
Hanover at Centre
7:30 PM
Central at Benedictine
8:00 PM
St. Olaf at Northwestern (Minn.)
8:00 PM
Hamline at Minnesota-Morris
8:00 PM
Lake Forest at Wisconsin Lutheran
8:00 PM
Wartburg at Augsburg
Audio
8:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Southwestern
Dec. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at UW-Whitewater 52, Mount Union 14
@ Salem Stadium; Salem, Va.
Box Score Recap Photos Photos
Dec. 14: All times Eastern
Final
UW-Whitewater 16, at Mary Hardin-Baylor 15
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 41, North Central (Ill.) 40
Box Score Recap Recap Photos

What We're Reading