/seasons/2018/contrib/201811104aubf2

Gustavus spoils football's Senior Day, 29-20

More news about: St. Olaf

NORTHFIELD, Minn. – A pair of long touchdown passes from Michael Veldman to Brice Panning in the second half lifted visiting Gustavus Adolphus College to a 29-20 victory over the St. Olaf College football team on Senior Day for the Oles on Saturday afternoon at Klein Field at Manitou.

Gustavus (6-4, 5-3 MIAC) entered the fourth quarter with a 22-14 lead before Khayleb Willis broke off a 71-yard touchdown run up the right sideline to bring St. Olaf (5-5, 3-5 MIAC) within two, 22-20, after a failed two-point conversion. The Gusties, however, took a two-score lead after Veldman connected with Panning for a 71-yard touchdown on a third-and-six play with 5:12 to go and the extra point gave the visitors a nine-point advantage they would hold onto.

Prior to the game, St. Olaf recognized its 13-man senior class, as well as its senior managers and sports medicine students on the field on Senior Day.

In a game played in cold and snowy conditions, Veldman completed 29-of-51 passes for 367 yards and three touchdowns for Gustavus, with Panning hauling in six passes for 162 yards and two scores. Ellis Hirman caught eight passes for 91 yards and a touchdown, while Josh Kirk had seven receptions for 69 yards.

Willis had a career-high 166 yards on 24 rushes, including the 71-yard touchdown which was the second-longest run of his career, to record his third 100-yard performance of the season. First-year wide receiver Gabe Alada had six receptions for 115 yards and his ninth touchdown of the season, surpassing 100 yards for the fourth time in his first season of collegiate football.

On just the third play from scrimmage, Johnson III hit Alada for a 58-yard touchdown after the Gustavus bit on a play-action fake that left Alada wide open up the left sideline. The touchdown was Alada's ninth of the season, the most for an Ole since Jake Schmiesing had nine in 2013, and his sixth of at least 30 yards.

Gustavus responded with a five-play, 62-yard drive, capped by a 20-yard touchdown run by Brayton Finch and a two-point conversion run by Kirk, to go ahead 8-6 with 11:46 remaining in the opening quarter. Kirk and Finch accounted for all 62 yards on the drive for the Gusties.

The visitors stretched their lead to 14-6 with 9:09 remaining in the second quarter on a 21-yard pass from Veldman to Hirman on a fade up the right sideline, but the Oles sacked Veldman on the two-point conversion to keep it a one-score game.

On the next drive, St. Olaf marched 71 yards in 13 plays spanning 5:34, finished off by Johnson III barreling his way into the end zone on a two-yard rush. After a timeout, the Oles went for two and Johnson III found Ben Smithson in the right corner of the end zone to tie the game at 14-14 at the half.

In the third quarter, the Ole defense forced four-straight incomplete passes to turn Gustavus over on downs at the St. Olaf 20-yard line with 10:02 left, but the Gusties quickly got the ball back after a three-and-out. Gustavus proceeded to take a 22-14 lead when Panning leapt for a 33-yard touchdown from Veldman near the left sideline followed by a two-point conversion.

With the Gusties still up by eight early in the fourth quarter, Willis found a hole and burst up the right sideline for a 71-yard touchdown, his seventh of the season. Down by two, the Oles again went for two, but the Gustavus defense broke up a pass intended for Noah Johnson in the back of the end zone to preserve their lead.

Gustavus took a nine-point lead with 5:12 to go when Veldman found an open Panning up the left sideline and Panning cut infield to outrun the defense on a 71-yard touchdown pass. Leading by eight, the Gusties opted for the traditional extra point and Jacob Lamb converted to help the visitors to the two-score lead.

Despite the conditions, both teams averaged 5.6 yards per play for the game, with Gustavus racking up 454 yards on 81 plays and St. Olaf gaining 379 yards on 68 plays. The two defenses combined to hold the offenses to 6-of-30 on third down and 4-of-13 on fourth down in the game.

Junior Max Karpinske, senior Luke Dahl and first-year Nick Sabatino each had eight tackles for St. Olaf, with all eight of Karpinske's stops coming as the solo variety. Dahl added a sack on his Senior Day, while sophomore Jordan Bartholomew and junior Shiloh Goodwin had a half a sack apiece.

St. Olaf finishes its season 5-5 overall and 3-5 in the MIAC, with the five overall wins and three conference victories being the program's most since 2012.

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D3football.com Top 25, preseason

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1 Mary Hardin-Baylor (24) 15-0 624
2 Mount Union (1) 14-1 599
3 St. John's 12-1 566
4 UW-Whitewater 12-1 555
5 North Central (Ill.) 10-2 482
6 Johns Hopkins 12-2 457
7 St. Thomas 8-2 414
8 Muhlenberg 11-2 405
9 Hardin-Simmons 9-2 397
10 Bethel 11-2 396  
11 Whitworth 10-1 336  
12 Linfield 7-2 291  
13 Brockport 11-1 230  
14 Delaware Valley 9-2 223  
15 Illinois Wesleyan 8-2 197  
16 Berry 10-2 190  
17 John Carroll 9-2 168  
18 Wittenberg 9-1 162  
19 RPI 10-2 152  
20 Centre 10-2 137  
21 Washington and Jefferson 9-2 132  
22 Wheaton (Ill.) 8-2 109  
23 Wabash 9-1 105  
24 Randolph-Macon 9-3 91  
25 St. Norbert 10-2 83

Others receiving votes: Trine 73; UW-La Crosse 71; Wartburg 61; Wesley 59; Washington U. 58; Montclair State 49; Alfred 48; Ithaca 42; UW-Oshkosh 40; Central 29; Case Western Reserve 25; Baldwin Wallace 20; Salisbury 15; Trinity (Texas) 10; Hope 10; Redlands 6; Marietta 3; Trinity (Conn.) 3, MIT 2.

The D3football.com Top 25 is voted on by a panel of 25 coaches, Sports Information Directors and media members from across the country, and is published weekly. Points are awarded on a 25-24-23-22-etc. basis.