Michael Veldman Shines in Gustavus Adolphus Debut
There is a new sheriff in town for the Gustavus Adolphus Gusties. A year after star Mitch Hendrix graduated and took his aerial show with him, Michael Veldman took the reigns as the new Gusties Gunslinger. Many questioned what the team’s offense would be like after Hendrix so masterfully led it for the last three seasons. Needless to say, the questions have been answered, as the sophomore threw for 266-yards and completed 84 percent of his passes in the 35-6 victory over Westminster.
The Gusties took command of this game from the very start. Westminster College took the opening kickoff but were forced to punt after three straight incompletions. That gave Gustavus the ball at their own 45. Veldman then combined with running back Luke Martinez to move the team, with Martinez rushing four times for 21-yards, and Veldman completing both of his passes for 31-yards. Martinez scored from one-yard out to put his team on top, 7-0.
On the Gusties next possession they would get right back in the end zone. The QB completed all five of his passes on the drive, including a 20-yard pass to Hunter Johnson and a 16-yarder to Jamison Buelke. On second and goal from the six, Veldman went back to pass and, finding no one open, kept the ball and scored to extend the lead to 14.
The Gusties would get the ball again just 10-seconds into the second quarter when Sergio DePablos intercepted a Trent White pass at the Gustavus 10 and returned it 28-yards to put his offense back on the field. Veldman then completed three more passes before finally throwing his first incompletion of the game. The 62-yard drive was capped off when Veldman found Johnson for the 13-yard touchdown on third and 9 to make it a 21-0 game. That would be the score at the half.
The Blue Jays seemed to have no answers for the Gusties offense or defense, and that did not change at the start of the third quarter. Gustavus took the opening kickoff and marched 78-yards in 9-plays to extend their lead to 28. Martinez had two huge rushes on the drive, rushing for 12 on second and 10 and then getting 28 more on a second and 2 carry. Martinez would score from 11-yards out, his second touchdown of the game, to make it 28-0.
Gustavus would add one more score before the end of the third quarter. Martinez would score from one yard out to cap off an 88-yard drive that took 6:06 off of the clock.
In the fourth quarter the Blue Jays would finally get on the scoreboard. Trent White’s 10-yard pass to Teddy Deas was the culmination of a 10-play, 74-yard drive. White had a huge drive, gaining 17-yards on the ground and tossing for 37-yards more. That would make the score 35-6, which would be the final.
Veldman finished the day an impressive 21-25 for 266-yards and a touchdown. He also ran for 19-yards and a score. Martinez gained 133-yards on the ground and scored three times on 21-carries. Johnson had 118-yards receiving and a TD for Gustavus Adolophus. Jordan Kahlow led the defense with 6-tackles.
The Gustavus Adolphus Gusties will welcome the University of Wisconsin-River Falls next Saturday. Game time is 1:00PM.
By Robert Pannier