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ISSUE 119 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 10/28/2005

Offensive outburst continues: Football trounces Hamline, looks ahead to St. John's

By Joel Stjernholm
Staff Writer

Friday, October 28, 2005

The St. Olaf football team defeated Hamline Saturday 49-14, maintaining its position atop the MIAC standings. The team remains unbeaten through seven games, the first Ole squad to do so since 1970.

St. Olaf’s defense dominated the Piper offense, holding Hamline to just 174 yards on 55 plays, including only five rushing yards on 33 carries.

Defensive end James Bechdol ’08 earned nine tackles, including five tackles for a loss and one sack. Linebacker John Davis ’06 recorded two tackles, sacked the quarterback once, and intercepted one pass. Nick Rydberg ‘08 earned 4 tackles, including one tackle for loss that cost the Pipers 22 yards.

Linebackers Thomas Warfield ’07 and Craig Botnen ’07 added interceptions of their own, bringing the turnover total to three for the game.

“We just played really well; everyone did,” Bechdol said of his team’s defense. “We shut down the middle first. And that was it.”

“Our defense fully came together,” Peter St. Lawerence ‘07 said. “We made big plays, caught momentum early and rode it out through the entire game.”

The St. Olaf offense accumulated 432 total yards against Hamline, earning 212 through the air and 220 on the ground. Quarterback Jason Wilsey ‘06 led the St. Olaf offense with 187 passing yards on 14 completions, connecting with receivers for three touchdowns and did not throw an interception.

Andrew Schmesing ’08 led Ole receivers with 87 yards on five receptions and two touchdowns. Preston St. John caught three passes for 60 yards and one touchdown, while tight end Brandon Joyce ’07 added 38 yards on three receptions.

The Ole offense was successful on the ground as well.

Running back Jay Higgins ’08 led St. Olaf’s rushing attack, earning 55 yards on eight carries. Bobby Andrade ’07 added 50 yards on 14 carries and gained a rushing touchdown.

In addition to strong offensive and defensive efforts, St. Olaf special teams played very well against the Pipers.

Kicker Paul Fortman ’08 was a perfect 2-2 on field goal attempts and 5-5 on extra point attempts. Schmesing rushed for a two-point conversion, and Marc Olson ‘07 returned a kickoff for 83 yards, earning MIAC special teams player of the week honors.

Having improved their record to 7-0, the Oles are one of only two MIAC teams to remain undefeated at this point in the season.

They will meet the other undefeated team, St. John’s, this weekend in Collegeville, Minn. in what will be the most important game for St. Olaf football in decades.

Though the Johnnies have a very long history of MIAC championships, the Oles have beat them twice in the past four years, including a 19-17 victory last season. Kickoff is set for 1 p.m.

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