St. Olafs 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 teams 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. Olafs 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. Johns, 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.