By Tyler Buckentine
ST PETER — Ray Wilson wasn’t aware of what he was about to do, and even if he was, it didn’t matter at the time.
The senior running back carried the Gustavus football team in a 34-31 win over Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponent Augsburg Saturday at Hollingsworth Field.
Wilson’s 258 rushing yards against the Auggies broke the school record previously held by Andy Traetow, who ran for 252 yards against Hameline in 2002.
Still, as the yards continued to rack up in the second half, Wilson wasn’t focusing on his own statistics.
“I really didn’t even know how many yards I had to tell the truth,” said Wilson, who had rushed for only 141 yards on the season prior to Saturday’s game.
“Some guys were saying I was on pace for 250 (yards), but I didn’t really know where I was at. I was just playing to play.”
With just under seven minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Wilson busted out an 86-yard touchdown run down the left sideline in front of the Augsburg bench, giving the Gusties a 34-24 lead.
The run put Wilson at 248 yards on the day. He broke the record on his next carry, a 7-yard gain.
“I wasn’t really thinking about the record,” Wilson said. “It feels good now, but it was a total team effort so I can’t take all the credit.”
Gustavus coach Jay Schoenebeck said confidence played a big part in Wilson’s success.
“Ray kept going and the offensive line knew he was running hard, and all of those things impact your success when you’re running,” Schoenebeck said.
Wilson’s 1-yard run got the Gusties on the board on their first possesion, but the extra point failed.
After Augsburg scored on a field goal, Gustavus quarterback Jordan Becker botched the hold on a Gusties’ field-goal attempt but picked up the ball and ran it around the left end from two yards out to cap a 14-play, 60-yard drive.
Following a Becker interception in the second quarter, the Auggies drove 63 yards, capped by a Jason Potts 1-yard run. On the ensuing kickoff, Gustavus’ Lucas Armstrong fumbled, leading to another Potts touchdown, this time on a 29-yard pass from Jordan Berg.
Adam Lukes got the lead back for the Gusties on a 1-yard touchdown run early in the third quarter, but Augsburg took a 24-20 advantage with less than a minute remaining in the third.
Becker hooked up with Chad Arlt on a 46-yard touchdown pass early in the fourth quarter, giving the Gusties the lead for good.
Augsburg added a late touchdown but Gustavus ran out the clock to end the game.
Becker finished 9 for 23 passing with 113 yards and an interception. Arlt led the Gustie receivers with three catches for 67 yards. Adam Ebert finished with 11 tackles and an interception.
Gustavus (5-2, 3-2 MIAC) plays Bethel at 1 p.m. Saturday in Arden Hills.
“We have three games left in the regular season and hopefully more after that,” Wilson said. “We have a goal, and that’s to make the playoffs.”