The Gusties may not be named for the synonym for a wide blast of wind, but on Saturday their passing attack mustered a lot of yards through the air, creating a fast moving current around rapidly moving footballs that led the team to a 42-9 win over the Lake Forest Foresters.
In a game that the Gusties were actually losing early on, QB Mitch Hendricks led an awesome aerial assault that left no doubt who was the better team this day. The Gustavus Adolphus QB completed 31 of 41 pass attempts for 356 yards and 4 TDs. Ten different receivers caught passes, led by Gabriel Boyce had caught nine balls for 105 yards and two scores. It was a spectacular show through the air that crushed the Forester’s hopes for a victory on this day.
Lake Forest got on the board first when they scored on their opening possession. An Anthony Prestly six yard run put the Foresters up 6-0 after a failed point after attempt. The Gusties were struggling on offense. They held the ball for under six minutes in their first three possessions and gained just 47 total yards on 16 plays.
Finally in the second quarter the aerial show began and it was their Air Marshall that led the way. Hendricks completed three of four attempts, including a 36-yarder to a streaking Boyce the put the Gusties on the board and into the lead.
On their next drive Hendricks led the team again. Starting with a short field at the Foresters 45, the quarterback completed all three of his passes, the last to Hunter Johnson for 11 yards and the score.
The Foresters would add a field goal with six seconds left in the half, and the two teams headed to the locker room with Gustavus Adolphus up 14-9. From there it was all GAU.
The Gusties took the opening kick-off of the second half, and rode the arm of Hendricks for another score. The QB was seven of eight on the drive for 65 yards, including a touchdown pass to Gabriel Boyce’s brother Matthew for the 25 yard touchdown.
Playing on what appeared to be a tilted field, the Gusties went right back on the attack on their next possession. With the aid of RB Luke Martinez, who gained 19 yards on the ground, GAU moved from their own 12 to the Lake Forest 11, where Hendricks hit Gabriel Boyce for the touchdown. That made the score 28-9, which is how the third quarter ended.
In a drive that started at the end of the third quarter, Gustavus Adolphus drove from their own two yard line in 12-plays and scored on a three yard burst from Martinez. Hendricks completed six passes during the drive, including the last three to Matthew Boyce that put the ball at the three. From there Martinez scored to make the score 35-9.
On the Foresters next drive they were moving the ball well, taking it to the Gusties 37, but on a second and 10 play, Anthoney Prestly’s pass was picked off by Xavier Fust and he was off to the races. The interception was amazing, but the play would take on an almost comical feeling after that. Fust raced toward the Lake Forest end zone, but one yard from pay dirt the bar was jarred loose and was up for grabs. Michael Hintze finally was able to corral it and take it in the end zone for the score. It was a whacky play that still ended positively for the Gusties, and gave them a 42-9 lead.
The Gustavus Adolphus defense then shut down the Foresters on the next drive forcing them to punt, and the Gusties simply ran out the last eight minutes of the game to secure the victory.
GAC out-gained Lake Forest by 280 yards, which showed in the final outcome. It was a lopsided victory that was created by Air Marshall Hendricks, as he spread the ball around and created scoring chances for his team.
Gustavus Adolphus welcomes Hamline University to St. Peter next Saturday. Both teams will enter the game 2-0.
By Robert Pannier
Senior Writer Covering the MIAC