For 30-minutes on Saturday afternoon, the Augsburg Auggies were dominating the Gustavus Adolphus Gusties, holding them scoreless and building a 13-0 lead. However, the second half turned out to be an entirely different affair, as the Gusties scored 35 unanswered points behind two rushing touchdowns by Karim Ortiz and two TD catches by Hunter Johnson in the 35-13 victory. That moved Gustavus to 3-0 on the season.
Augusburg would take the opening kickoff and moved meticulously 38-yards in 15-plays. That included converting two fourth downs and a third down. Two of those conversions came on pass completions from the arm of Sam Keis. The drive stalled following a holding penalty, and Tyler Hanson drilled a 42-yard field goal to make it 3-0.
It would stay that way into the second quarter when the Auggies would extend their lead. Gustavus was forced to punt from their own five, giving Augsburg incredible field position at the GAC 35. On the first play of the drive, Tiras Bolton found a seam, and raced 35-yards for the score. That made it 10-0.
Just before the half, the Auggies extended their lead. Sam Archer’s pass was intercepted at the Gustavus 35 and returned seven-yards by Khoa Ngyuen. Keis threw three incompletions, bringing Hanson back onto the field. He drilled a 45-yard field goal and Augsburg went into half leading 13-0.
What was said at half-time by the Gustavus Adolphus coaching staff is not known, but the team simply came alive and played with a fervor not seen in the first half. On their first possession of the second half, Ortiz began with a 26-yard run. Five-plays later he raced 43-yards for the score, making it 13-7.
On their next possession they would take the lead. Christian Haffner was in at quarterback and he led an impressive drive. An eight-yard pass to Johnson started the drive, and a 10-yard pass to Hunter completed it when he scored. DaiVon Poole rushed for 36-yards on second and 11 as the big play of the drive.
On their next possession they would extend their lead to eight. Following an interception by Brady Miller that he returned 64-yards to the Augsburg 20, Haffner found Jamison Buelke for nine-yards to get the drive started, and his six-yard pass to Beulke made the score 21-13.
The next possession resulted in a touchdown as well. This time it was back to the ground for the Gusties, as Ortiz scored from six-yards out to make it 28-13. He rushed three times on the drive for 24-yards, and Haffner completed two passes to Johnson for 22-yards.
Two drives later the Gusties added one more score. Starting from the Augsburg 47, Ortiz moved the ball to the 35 with runs of seven and five yards. Two plays later Haffner found Johnson down the seam for 30-yards and the score. That made it 35-13, which would be the final.
Augsburg had nine first downs in the first half, but none in the second. The defense simply shutdown the Auggies offense, allowing just 31 second half yards. Meanwhile, the Gusties put up 320-yards of offense in the second half.
Ortiz finished the day with 180-yards on 27-carries and 2-TDs. Haffner was an impressive 9-11 passing for 112-yards and 3-TDs after taking over. Johnson had 97-yards receiving and 2-touchdowns.
Next Saturday, Gustavus Adolphus travels to Hamline to take on the Pipers. Hamline is also undefeated (2-0). Opening kick-off is 1 PM.
By Robert Pannier