Oles admit homecoming defeat: St. John’s eliminates hopes for first conference victory
The stage was set for a St. Olaf football victory on Oct. 5 at Manitou Field. Despite suffering back-to-back MIAC losses, the Oles were looking to bounce back with a win in front of a healthy crowd of 4 152 on Homecoming Weekend.
Unfortunately for St. Olaf, what started out as a promising day ended in bitter disappointment after the Oles capitulated in a 0-31 loss at the hands of Saint John’s University.
The shutout was the first for St. John’s over St. Olaf since Oct. 31, 1998. It also set a record for the lowest number of first downs (6) allowed by the Johnnies since 2006.
The Johnnies’ Connor Bruns ’13 threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns in an offensive riot that was simply too much for the Oles to handle. Rob Voshell ’14 was another key offensive weapon for St. John’s, as he registered eight receptions for 116 yards and two touchdowns.
The St. Olaf defense had its bright moments, stopping St. John’s on three 4th–and–short situations, once in the second quarter and twice in the third quarter, but the Ole offense was unable to capitalize.
Cam Smith ’13 was a standout for St. Olaf, making 15 tackles. Erick Marigi ’14 also performed well, making 13 tackles.
St. Olaf quarterback Nate Penz ’16 completed 10 of 24 passes for a total of 172 yards. A large proportion of those yards came of a 52 yard completion to receiver Jake Schmiesing ’13 in the third quarter.
The loss leaves St. Olaf (1–4, 0–3 MIAC) at the bottom of the MIAC standings, alongside Hamline University as the only other team that has yet to record a conference victory. The Oles will have a chance to change that on Saturday, Oct. 12, as they take on Hamline at home at 1 p.m.
St. Olaf comfortably accounted for Hamline last time the teams met in 2012, with the Oles winning 48-14. That game added to the 14-game winning streak the Oles hold over Hamline University, dating back to the 1999 season.
Photo Credit: ABBEY THOMSEN/MANITOU MESSENGER