Ever since a game winning touchdown drive in the final minute that gave Gustavus a 35-28 win over Concordia on Oct. 12, the Gusties haven’t looked back.
After setting a school record with 69 points in a win over Hamline the following weekend, the Gustie offense kept rolling in a 59-27 win at Augsburg last Saturday.
The Gusties started strong against Hamline, forcing a three-and-out, and then finding the endzone on their first possession.
This time, it was Senior Quarterback Michael Veldman connecting with fellow Senior Brice Panning for a 37-yard touchdown. After a field goal, the Gusties took a 7-0 lead.
The Gustavus defense forced another three-and-out on Hamline’s second drive, which gave the Gusties the ball back around midfield.
A 30-yard completion from Veldman to Senior Josh Kirk set up a three-yard touchdown run from Veldman, and the extra point put the Gusties up 14-0 with more than seven minutes left in the first quarter.
The Gustie defense continued to be impenetrable, and the offense was back on the field at their own 47-yard line after a third straight three-and-out.
This time, it took just four plays for the Black and Gold to find the endzone again. Panning recorded his second receiving touchdown of the game and put the Gusties up 21-0 before the Pipers had gotten a first down.
The Gustavus offense got the ball back once more in the first quarter and didn’t let up.
Veldman notched 50 more passing yards on just two plays, before Sophomore David Peal found the endzone on a ten yard rush.
A missed field goal left the Gusties up 27-0 after one quarter of play.
The Hamline offense finally found some footing at the beginning of the second quarter in the form of a 75-yard touchdown drive that took just five plays.
The Gusties responded right away with an eight-play, 75 yard drive that was capped off by a two-yard touchdown run from Senior Avery Bachman.
Bachman’s first career touchdown extended the lead to 34-7.
The Hamline offense then went three-and-out and botched a punt to give the Gusties excellent field position.
After just two plays, Sophomore Zach Jakes recorded his first collegiate touchdown with a ten-yard run up the middle.
Before the first half was concluded, the Gusties put together one more scoring drive, this time marching 93 yards down the field.
Peal’s second touchdown of the day gave the Black and Gold a 48-7 lead going into the break.
“I couldn’t be happier with the start of the game today. Coming off a huge win last week our emphasis was that we had to come out and continue to grow and our guys were ready to play today. We had a ton of intensity, great spirit, we moved the ball well, and our defense was sharp,” Head Coach Peter Haugen said.
The Gusties picked up right where they left off at the beginning of the second half with rushing touchdowns on their first two possessions.
Sophomore Dalton Theilen’s eight-yard rush was the first, and Peal recorded his third touchdown of the day on a 28-yard carry. With 8 minutes to go in the third quarter the Gusties led 62-7.
The last touchdown for the Gusties came with 23 seconds left in the third quarter as Junior Hunter Obert ran the ball in from the one-yard line. Hamline responded with two touchdowns of their own before the game ended, and the final score was 69-21.
Against Augsburg, the Gusties picked up right where they left off offensively. Both Veldman and Kirk tied program records with seven touchdown passes and four touchdown catches, respectively.
The Auggies struck first and jumped out to a 7-0 lead less than three minutes into the game.
It didn’t take long for the Gusties to level the score, however, as Veldman found Kirk for a 44-yard touchdown on the first play.
After a big defensive stop on fourth down, the Gusties got the ball back at their own 39 yard line. Four plays later, Veldman and Kirk connected again to put the Gusties up 14-7.
The remainder of the first half featured lots of offense from both teams, as Senior Brayton Finch caught two touchdowns from Veldman, Panning added one of his own and Kirk notched his third of the day.
Augsburg added two scores of their own, so the Gusties led 42-21 at the half.
On their first drive of the second half, Veldman threw his seventh touchdown pass of the day to Kirk and the Gusties took a 49-21 lead.
Augsburg responded with a nine-yard touchdown run, but failed to convert a two-point conversion so the Gusties led 49-27.
From here, Peal found the endzone on a 16-yard rush and First-year Andrew Abegglen added a 24-yard field goal with four minutes to play in the contest. The final score was 59-27.
“Great win today for our team. We had some adversity in the first half defensively but battled and improved as the day went along. Offensively we were explosive and moved the ball well. Overall it was a great team win,” Haugen said.
With the win, the Gusties move to 5-2 overall and 3-2 in the MIAC. For his efforts, Veldman was named MIAC Football Offensive Player of the Week.
The Gusties will be back in action this Saturday as they host Carleton at Hollingsworth Field.