The Gustavus Men’s Football team finished their 2019 season with a win, which was a result of an explosive offensive showing.
On Saturday, the Gusties hosted St. Olaf for their season finale. After a 49-7 win, the Gusties finish the season with a 7-3 overall record, and 5-3 in the MIAC.
The seven wins are the most for Gustavus since 2015.
For the first time in four games, the Gusties were unable to score on their first offensive possession. However, the Gusties stopped the Oles on the next drive and regained possession.
The Gusties then went to the ground game, with Sophomore David Peal eventually scoring from ten yards out.
This put the Gusties up 7-0 with 5:39 remaining in the first quarter.
The Gusties got a big stop on fourth down to close out the first quarter. They carried that momentum into the second quarter, as the offense found its groove and the defense continued to stay strong.
On their first possession of the second quarter, the Gusties scored off of a touchdown pass from Senior Michael Veldmann to fellow Senior Brice Panning.
This was Panning’s 17th touchdown catch of the season, which tied the single-season record previously set by Matthew Boyce in 2014.
After another defensive stop, the Gusties scored again with a touchdown catch from Senior Brayton Finch. This increased the Gustavus lead to 21-0.
Following a forced punt by the Gustie defense, Veldmann threw another touchdown pass to Finch to put the Gusties up 28-0.
The touchdown pass from Veldmann was his 36th of the season, which set a new single-season school record. The previous record of 35 was held by Mitch Hendricks in 2014.
The Oles were unable to put any points on the board with their last drive of the first half. The Gusties out-gained the Oles 237-62 in the first half.
After starting the second half with a defensive stop, Veldmann completed six passes on the next drive, one of which was a leaping touchdown catch from Junior Todd Johnson.
The Gusties then forced a turnover on defense, as Junior Kaleb Scott intercepted a pass. Gustavus started the drive in St. Olaf territory, and quickly scored again with another Veldmann touchdown pass to Senior Josh Kirk.
The Oles scored their first and only touchdown on a 47-yard rush to cut the score to 42-7.
After a couple scoreless minutes for both teams, the Gusties scored once again. This time Veldmann finding Sophomore Ethan Sindelir for a two-yard score.
This was Veldmann’s 78th career touchdown pass, which officially broke the school record.
He had six touchdown passes in the contest, along with 278 yards. Finch finished with ten catches for 76 yards and two scores.
Panning finished his Gustavus career with six catches for 84 yards and a score, while Kirk had five catches for 77 yards and a pair of scores.
Peal finished with 19 carries and 90 yards, while also adding one score.
Senior Jake Boykin led the Gustie defense with ten tackles, while Senior Jake Krull added nine.
“We had a lot of motivation coming into that game and had a really productive week of practice.” Boykin said. “We’ve had great buy-in from the team this year and the leadership finished the season strong. Early success was helpful. Jumping out early in the first established ourselves in that game.”
This was the Gusties highest scoring season to date, with 448 total points scored. The previous record was 428, set in 2015.
Boykin reflected on the team’s mood and overall thoughts about the season after the game.
“It’s emotional, raw, and bittersweet. This senior class had a tremendous impact on the team and I think we were all proud of this year’s success.” Boykin said.