ST. PETER, Minn. - Westminster football opened the season with a 38-0 loss to the Golden Gusties of Gustavus Adolphus.
"We went into the game looking at the best opponent we'd face all season," said Westminster Head Coach John Welty. "We took this as an opportunity to see our young kids compete."
The Blue Jays were encouraged by the production from the team, most notably the young offensive line.
"They exceeded my expectations today," said Welty. "We anticipated them being young, but they were the MVP this game."
The Gusties scored one touchdown and one field goal in the first quarter to lead the Blue Jays 10-0. In the second quarter, the Westminster defense stepped up to play 14 minutes of shutdown defense, including a fumble recovery from Anthony Washington and interceptions from Antoine Harris and Washington.
In the final minute of the first half, the Gusties scored again to go into the half 17-0 to lead the Blue Jays.
One of the best Westminster chances was halfway through the third quarter, after Chase Abbington rushed for 16 yards to the Gustavus Adolphus 39. From there, senior quarterback Trent White completed a 28-yard pass to Jerod Mattingly to put Westminster within 11 yards of a touchdown. A Westminster fumble from Abbington ended the drive.
Three more touchdowns from the Gusties in the second half secured the win for Gustavus Adolphus.
"I am pleased with the effort we gave in this game," said Welty. "We got out of it what we wanted and I'm happy we came out healthy."
White completed 14 passes for 109 yards, including no interceptions. Abbington led the team in rushing yards with 25. Lucas Robinson and Mattingly came up with the two biggest catches of the day to lead the team in receiving. Robinson made six catches for 52 yards with Mattingly's two catches resulted in 37 yards.
"We are now focused on Minnesota-Morris and the rest of our conference schedule," said Welty. "We played a bad game against them last year so the extra incentive is there for next weekend."
The Blue Jays open at home and the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference schedule next Saturday, Sept. 9, at noon on Priest Field.