History Made! Football breaks through

Brady Boie – Staff Writer

The Gustavus football team finished off their season with a bang. The Gusties traveled to Moorhead and faced the Concordia Cobbers for 3rd place in the MIAC conference. As snow began to fall on Jake Christiansen field, the Gusties showed that they were not going to let the weather affect them.
“It was pretty tough weather… we worked through it… I wouldn’t say it affected us too badly,” Sophomore wideout Jake Breitbach said.
The Gusties started the day off strong with a methodical touchdown drive which was highlighted by a 31-yard snag from Breitbach. The drive was capped off by a 3-yard scamper by Senior running-back David Peal. After trading punts, the Gustie offense engineered another scoring drive. Senior quarterback Brett Hufendick found fellow Senior Dalton Thelen in the end zone for a 16-yard touchdown strike. The score put the Gusties up 15-0 early in the first quarter.
As the Gustie offense began to click, the Gustie defense smothered the Cobbers. The Gusties forced punts on the first two possessions of the game and came up with two turnovers in the first half.
“The defense has learned to play together. We battled some adversity earlier in the season, but over the course of the year we have learned to trust each other’s play,” Sophomore linebacker Carson Dekham said.
Dekham led the way on defense for the Gusties. He finished the game with 17 tackles, 2 tackles for a loss, and a half-sack. He credited this impressive performance to a great game plan and lots of help from the scout team.
“The preparation I get from the scout team is what allows me to perform well on game days. All the credit goes to them… they learn the opposing team’s scheme and offense every week and get me ready for game day,” Dekham said.
The Gusties continued to fire on all cylinders in the first half. As the half wound down, Hufendick threw a dime to Breitbach for an incredible 48-yard touchdown. The score put the Gusties up 29-0 and effectively put the game out of reach.
“Jake is a phenomenal athlete and a great guy to have on your team… he is always ready to go. When the game starts, I know he is going to go out and make great plays and obviously he did that this Saturday,” Hufendick said.
Hufendick finished his career as a Gustie on a high note as he threw for 371 yards and four touchdowns. He and Breitbach shared a strong connection as they starred in the Gusties 39-7 win. Breitbach ended the game with 6 catches for 202 yards and a touchdown. All but one of his catches went for more than 30 yards. This offensive explosiveness allowed the Gusties to secure their eighth win of the season and a 3rd place finish in the MIAC conference.
“I was proud of the way our team performed… We were ready to roll from the get-go. I thought our preparation offensively and defensively looked good all week. Everybody was ready to get going and finish the season as strong as we could and I think we went out and did that,” Hufendick said.
The Gusties’ 8-2 finish gave them their best record since 1998 and stamped this team’s place in Gustavus football history. Although they fell short of their ultimate goal of winning the MIAC championship, the Gusties were incredibly proud of their accomplishment and how the season played out as a whole.
“We couldn’t have asked for a better way to finish as a team…I know for me personally it was really fun to go out there and have our guys make plays and make me look good by making big plays on offense,” Hufendick said
With the 2021 season coming to a close, the Gusties hope to build off of the momentum from this fantastic season. They are already looking ahead and have the MIAC championship in sight for 2022.
“(This year) we wanted to change the narrative of Gustavus football. We hadn’t won eight games since 1998, and that was something that really hit home for a bunch of the guys, and we want to continue to change that. We want to continue to play in and win the bigger games,” Dekham said.

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