Join us at the Touchdown Tent before the game. Food will be served from 11-12:30. Join us to enjoy burgers, dogs and chili before the game!
Pray for our Ole's as they look to continue their winning streak!
St. Olaf sophomore safety Coleman Foley now leads the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference in total tackles, with 60, in 7 games. In addition, Coleman is third in the league in tackles per game, at 8.6. He is also second in the league in tackles for loss, with 6.5.
The Edina High School graduate is really coming on for the Ole defense. He had an eye-popping 15 total tackles and a sack in Saturday's 17-13 win at Carleton and has been a force for the Oles on the edge. Coleman now has 3 sacks, a forced fumble and an interception.
Colin Brown, a senior defensive end from Florida, leads the MIAC in tackles for loss with 9. Colin is having an impact year for the Ole defense and is proviing tough to block in the trenches.
St. Olaf's other strong safety -- they start 2 in their 3-3-5 defense -- also is among the league leaders in tackles. Seamus Walsh has 45 tackles, a forced fumble, a pass breakup and 3.5 tackles for loss. The total tackles put Seamus in 12th place in the MIAC.
On offense, St. Olaf quarterback Nate Penz, a junior from Rochester Mayo, is fifth in the MIAC in passing yards at 1,303. He is sixth in the league in passing yards per game, with 186.1. Nate, a co-captain, has thrown 7 touchdown passes and tossed 2 on Saturday in the win over Carleton.
Receiver Joel Reinhardt, a senior from Eagan and Minnehaha Academy, is third in the league in total receptions with 45 catches in 7 games. Joel, another co-captain, also has 3 touchdown receptions and 452 receiving yards. Alex Nelson, another Oles senior receiver, is sixth in the league with 31 receptions for 339 yards and 2 touchdowns.
Running back J.J. Strnad, who scored the winning touchdown against Carleton on a 9-yard pass from Penz, has 28 receptions -- good for ninth place in the MIAC. The big junior from California has 1 touchdown catch and 224 receiving yards, to go along with 3 rushing touchdowns and 344 yards rushing.
So, that's what it feels like.
That's how it feels when a defense makes goal line stands and an offense drives 75 yards in 4 minutes and a thundering running back carries tacklers on his back, a safety compiles 15 tackles and a sack, defensive backs shut down a passing game and receivers grab crucial passes to keep drives alive.
Pretty doggone nice.
On Saturday, the Oles had heroes galore in winning their first game of the year, reclaiming the Goat, capturing the Cereal Bowl and injecting euphoria into Coach Craig Stern's post-game remarks for the first time in 16 games. Where to start?
What about J.J. Strnad? With more than 70 yards rushing and the game-winning touchdown catch with only a minute to play, J.J. for the second week in a row played like a man who refused to be stopped, ran like a bull moose among little forest creatures. For the second week in a row, the Oles' ground game gave their offense viable options to keep drives alive and burn up clock.
What about Coleman Foley? The sophomore safety had an eye-popping 15 tackles and a sack, spearheading an Oles defense that collected 5 sacks on the day and harassed Carleton into just 122 yards passing.
What about the entire Ole defense, with a couple of goal line stands and a late stand to hold Carleton to only a field goal and a 13-10 lead, giving the Oles' offense the ball with 5 minutes remaining and a chance to win?
What about that Ole offense? Led by quarterback Nate Penz, who passed for 260 yards and two touchdowns and repeatedly ran for crucial yardage when the Knights managed to cover up everyone else, St. Olaf for the second week in a row turned in an impressive offensive performance.
What about Brice Peterson, the junior safety who forced a Carleton fumble at the goal line to prevent a score? Or John Bennett, the nose guard who totalled 7 tackles, including 2.5 tackles for loss and 1.5 sacks? He sacked the Carleton quarterback to end their hopes for a win. Or David Jean, the junior linebacker, with several tackles and a sack? Or Troy Peterson, the freshman receiver, who had 6 catches for 78 yards and a touchdown? Or Joel Reinhardt, who again proved to have hands as sticky as flypaper as he pulled in 5 passes for 92 yards?
What about this team, that has played the best football of its season -- maybe of the last two seasons -- in the past two games, proving again that these young men do not quit on each other, their coaches or their school?
And what about these coaches, who have held this team together, given them the schemes and the motivation to hamper their last two opponents and begin to realize their until-now untapped potential?
The truth is, I could name every single player on this team today. Every coach. Every manager and trainer and helper. They all played a role, they all fulfilled their assignment, whether it showed up in the statistics or the scoring summary or not. They battled, again. They fought, again. They picked each other up, again.
Only this time, this week, this game, they earned the reward of a win. A huge, tear-inducing, laughter-sparking, song-singing, goat-carrying, bowl-toting, brotherhood-reinforcing WIN.
What a great day.
St. Olaf's dramatic game against undefeated Gustavus, in which the Oles were playing for the tie late after recovering an onside kick, resulted in some recognition for three members of the Ole offense.
Quarterback Nate Penz, from Rochester, was recognized for passing for 296 yards and two touchdowns against the Gusties, actually getting more yards through the air than Gustavus' quarterback, who leads the national in passing yards.
Running back J.J. Strnad was recognized for his 145 rushing yards on 35 carries. J.J. also scored two touchdowns in a breakout day.
Senior receiver Joel Reinhardt is making a habit of top performances, this time gaining 105 yards through the air on six receptions. Joel caught two touchdown passes, one on a scintillating catch and run for the Oles first score of the day and one on a late reception to bring the Oles within 8 points near the end of the game.
The Oles lost the game 37-29 and will head across town Saturday to take on Carleton College and the battle for the Goat trophy.