The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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September 20, 2008

Gusties’ D keys 21-14 win

Gustavus holds Hamline to 218 total yards

ST PETER — If the Gustavus Adolphus football team is going to challenge the top teams in the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference, there’s little doubt the defense will play a major role.

Saturday afternoon at Hollingsworth Field, the Gusties’ swarming defense limited Hamline to 218 yards in a 21-14 win in the MIAC opener for both teams. Gustavus (2-0) scored the game-winner with 1:02 remaining when Adam Lukes blasted in from 3 yards out.

“Our defense has really stepped up and faced some challenges to help us overcome some adversity,” Gustavus coach Jay Schoenebeck said. “If you have a good defense you can win some football games, and I feel we have a good defense.”

Gustavus, which won its 450th game in school history, scored the lone points of the first half when senior cornerback Ethan Armstrong returned a fumble 21 yards with 2:04 left in the first quarter.

“(Hamada) Omar came up and had a nice hit, and the ball popped up right into my hands,” Armstrong said. “I saw (Zach) Lundquist had a block on the edge, and I knew if I got the edge it was just daylight in front of me.

“Our defense was awesome all day. We got put in some bad situations, but I think we rallied back.”

Gustavus extended its lead to 14-0 by taking the second-half kickoff and traveling 58 yards in 10 plays. The Gusties converted three third-down plays, the final one coming when junior quarterback Logan Becker fired a 21-yard touchdown to Cameron Maurer.

Becker, who ended up 21 of 35 for 228 yards, rushed for 12 yards in the drive and also hit all-time Gusties’ receiving leader Chad Arlt over the middle for 25 yards. Arlt grabbed eight passes for 99 yards on the day.

Becker then threw interceptions on the next three possessions, and the Pipers (1-1) used a short field to tie things. Senior quarterback James Leary scored on a pair of 1-yard runs, capping third-quarter drives of 47 and 27 yards.

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