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October 6, 2009

Lutes travel to Minnesota for Gustavus Adolphus' 2009 Homecoming Game

THIS WEEK: Gustavus Adolphus (1-3) hosts Pacific Lutheran (1-2 overall, 1-0 Northwest Conference) in a non-conference game at St. Peter, Minn., Saturday, 11:30 a.m.

THE SERIES: Pacific Lutheran and Gustavus Adolphus have only met once on the gridiron. In last year's PLU Homecoming Game, the Golden Gusties defeated the Lutes, 24-14.

LAST YEAR: Gustavus Adolphus limited host Pacific Lutheran to 223 yards of total offense as the Golden Gusties defeated the Lutes, 24-14. The Golden Gusties fell behind 7-0 and then scored 21 unanswered points before the Lutes made it interesting with a quick-strike touchdown drive six minutes into the final quarter. John Ostertag's 32-yard field goal with 2:33 left to play put the game away for the visitors from the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. Other than scoring drives in the first and fourth quarters, the Lutes managed little offense against the stingy Gusties. PLU opened the game with an eight-play, 72-yard touchdown drive, capped by Drew Griffin's 8-yard run. Griffin took a backward pass from Michael Byrne and dove into the end zone to put the Lutes ahead, 7-0. Gustavus Adolphus scored the next three touchdowns. The Gusties dominated the game in the middle quarters, so much so that they held the ball for almost 13 of the second period's 15 minutes. They put constant pressure on Byrne, forcing the PLU quarterback to throw five interceptions while completing just 15-of-37 passes for 159 yards. Joe Welch had a pair of interceptions and Hamada Omar, Perry and T.J. Ridley had one each. The PLU ground game was ineffective, netting just 58 yards on 19 carries. Gustavus Adolphus held the ball for almost 37 minutes compared to just 23 for the Lutes, and it finished the game with 85 offensive plays for a net of 314 yards. It was a credit to the PLU defense that the Lutes ended up averaging more yards per offensive play - 3.9 to 3.7 - than the Gusties. The PLU defense came up with four interceptions, two by Andy Sturza and one each by Justin Kelly and Haden Gienger.

ABOUT THE COACHES: Scott Westering is in his sixth year as head coach at Pacific Lutheran, where he has compiled a 24-24 overall record. Scott joined the PLU coaching staff in 1981 after playing tight end for the Lutes under his father, Frosty Westering. Since 1983, Scott has served as the Lutes' offensive coordinator, helping PLU to two NAIA Division II and one NCAA Division III national championships, as well as four runner-up finishes. He has coached 11 first-team All-Americans, including the 1999 NCAA Division III Player of the Year, Chad Johnson. Scott was a captain and All-American tight end on the 1980 PLU team that won the Lutes' first NAIA national championship. He was inducted into the PLU Hall of Fame in 1998. For the Golden Gusties, Peter Haugen steps in as head coach to replace Jay Schoenebeck after 15 years as head coach. Haugen has coached at Minneapolis Washburn High School the past 15 years, compiling a 111-44 overall record and winning 11 league championships.

GLANCE AT THE GUSTIES: Gustavus Adolphus has been outscored 134-76 through four games this season, an average score of 33.5-19 per game. The Gusties have averaged 96.2 rushing yards per game, 2.8 yards per carry, while giving up an average of 156.5 yards per game and 3.9 yards per carry. Through the air, the Gusties are completing less than 50 percent of their passes (62-126), averaging 202.5 yards per game. Gustavus quarterbacks have thrown six touchdowns and five interceptions through four games this season. Opponents have thrown for nine touchdowns and only three picks against the Gusties, completing 62.4 percent of their passes for an average of 252 yards per game. The Golden Gusties have also had issues with holding onto the ball through the first four games, fumbling nine times and losing six.

CONFERENCE HONORS FORD: Junior wide receiver Greg Ford was selected Northwest Conference Player of the Week for his performance against Lewis & Clark last weekend. Ford caught six passes for 172 yards and a score, including a 71-yard touchdown reception.

LUTES ON THE AIR: All Pacific Lutheran football games may be heard in the Puget Sound area on KLAY 1180 AM with Steve Thomas calling the action and Karl Hoseth handling the color commentary. The games may also be heard online at www.klay1180.com.

VIEW THE GAME ONLINE: Saturday's game at Gustavus Adolphus can be viewed online at the following web address: http://gustavus.edu/athletics/audio.cfm.

- PLU -