SJU football falls to UST, 20-17

SJU football falls to UST, 20-17

By Brandon Spratt
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SJU went into last Saturday’s game averaging more than 67 points per game, but they managed just 17 in a loss to St. Thomas.

“We just didn’t execute on some plays and missed a few holes . . . they just played good defense,” SJU senior running back Dusty Krueger said.

SJU lost to St. Thomas 20-17 at Target Field in front of an NCAA Division III record crowd of 37,355. The Johnnies were outgained 386-151 in offensive yards, and managed just one rushing yard on 20 attempts.

SJU senior left tackle Noah Voigt missed the game with a concussion.

“It’s hard when you don’t have your starting line in there,” Krueger said, “They work as one unit so they need to be on the same page.”

The Johnnies did not convert a third down in the game, finishing 0-11.

“3rd downs were especially difficult because we put ourselves in long yardage situations, and it allowed them to dictate the defense,” SJU Head Coach Gary Fasching said via email.

Senior wide receiver Evan Clark racked up 59 total yards on three catches and one rush. He hauled in his first touchdown reception of the season, after a 13 TD season in 2016, on a 40-yard pass from Sophomore quarterback Jackson Erdmann in the fourth quarter.

“Our hope is that every game we can get Evan 10-15 touches,” Fasching said, “We have to get him the ball more, no question.”

Trailing 14-10 at halftime, the SJU offense was on the field for just over five minutes in the second half. The Johnnies ran 15 offensive plays compared to UST’s 46.

“The biggest thing we need to do is be able to make changes at halftime instead of just sticking with certain plays,” Krueger said.

As the SJU offense struggled to stay on the field, the defense needed to step up. They held UST to three points in the second half.

“They had a pretty long drive in that third quarter and we ended up intercepting a pass on our goal line which was a huge play,” SJU senior linebacker David Franta said.

Being on the field nearly 40 minutes during the game presented challenges for the defense.

“The heat definitely played a factor … you couldn’t drink enough water,” Franta said. “We had a few guys who were cramping up out there.”

The defense was stingy outside of two long UST touchdown passes.

“You certainly can’t put those pass plays on our defensive backs,” Franta said. “It’s a team dynamic. There were definitely mistakes we made as linebackers.”

SJU limited the Tommie running game to three yards per attempt, but UST found success with a fullback dive play.

“They typically run that play about 2 times a game. They had success, so they ran it a few more times,” Fasching said.

“We were maybe lined up incorrectly a few times … they found a weakness on us and hit it a few times,” Franta said.

The majority SJU crowd came to life late in the fourth quarter with the Johnnies trailing by three.

“We’re thankful for all the students and the rest of Johnnie nation who came out to support us like they always do,” Franta said.

“The fan noise was loud, we had to change our snap count,” Krueger said.

The Johnnies got a defensive stop with about four minutes to go, but were unable to gain a first down on offense. UST ran out the clock to finish the game.

SJU returns to Collegeville this week to host MIAC foe Bethel.

“We will have our hands full,” Fasching said. “We need to improve greatly from last week’s game.”

The Johnnies likely need to win their remaining six games to qualify for the Division III playoffs.

According to Franta, “Playoff time starts now.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF STAR TRIBUNE • Sophomore Tommie running back Josh Parks hurdles over junior Johnnie defensive back Max Jackson during SJU’s loss.

Folk music legend revisits campus

Folk music legend revisits campus

By George Dornbach
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The first fiddle John McCutcheon learned to play was salvaged from a trashcan on campus in 1970. He’s since rebuilt it, been a yearly headliner at the university’s former Swayed Pines Folk Festival, recorded 36 albums and has six
Grammy nominations. He’ll have the chance to share the fiddle’s sound and his
other musical talents when he returns to campus for a performance at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 30 in the Escher Auditorium at CSB.

Born and raised in Wausau, Wisconsin, McCutcheon came to St. John’s by luck. It was the only school he applied to and after receiving a scholarship, McCutcheon thought he’d give it a shot.

While on campus, he took his wide-ranging idea of his liberal arts education to the next level. He wanted to create his own individualized major focused on folk music, but since there was no formal coursework on campus to help him hone his craft, he approached Fr. Hillary Thimmesh, who then headed the individualized major program. McCutcheon proposed the idea of learning through lived experience.

“It’s amazing what people will let you do if you just ask,” McCutcheon said.

In the fall of his junior year, he headed into the Appalachian Mountains where he spent the rest of his time as a Johnnie immersing himself into a community of musicians, storytellers and keepers of American folk-music history.

McCutcheon will showcase his studies, stories and talents when he comes back to play a show this Saturday. In addition, he tries to come back yearly to visit good friend and artist in residence Richard Bresnahan.

“Coming back to campus is always exciting for me,” McCutcheon said. “St. John’s taught me how to begin learning and introduced me to the rest of my life; my life as an eternal student.”

For six songs on his set list, he’ll be accompanied by students in the CSB/SJU
Orchestra, Chamber Choir and his former director, Axel Theimer. Theimer, a professor of music at CSB/SJU began teaching in 1969 and directed McCutcheon when he joined the Chamber Choir in 1970. He remembers John as “very much an individualist” and a “phenomenal musician” while he was in school.

When Theimer was approached by orchestra director Dr. David Arnott three weeks ago about the possibility of working with McCutcheon, he couldn’t pass up theopportunity.

“Having the chance to collaborate with John is a wonderful way to create a
different sense of community,” Themier said, who used to perform Peter, Paul and Mary tunes with John McCutcheon in the middle of choir concerts back in the day. “By making music together and learning from someone like John, the choir gets the chance to perform music that traditionally isn’t apart of our repertoire.”

McCutcheon is also looking forward to further defining and creating community by collaborating with students.

“One of the great things about music is that you’re not segregated by generation,” McCutchen said. “You always have the elders who are there who have paved the way, and you have the young people who bring the enthusiasm and energy that’s so vital to making guys like me be a life long learner.”

PHOTO COURTESY OF JOHN MCCUTCHEN • John McCutcheon, an SJU alumnus, will be playing at Escher Auditorium this Saturday, Sept. 30. After elevating himself in music, he still makes time to visit home at CSB/SJU.

Johnnie/Tommie shatters attendance record

Johnnie/Tommie shatters attendance record

By Charly Frisk
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The University of St. Thomas beat St. John’s University’s football team 20-17 this past Saturday, Sept. 23. While the Tommies wore purple and the Johnnies wore red, all attendees in the stands no matter what team, appeared to have notes of red facial hues as a result of hot temperatures exceeding 84 degrees paired with 64 percent humidity.

Just as the hot, summery weather still holds a tight grip on lower half of Minnesota, the traditional importance of the Johnnie/Tommie game held strong and true for both members of the crowd and members of the football team of St. John’s this past Saturday.

Though it was first-year Emma Culhane’s first time watching the Johnnie/Tommie game, from looking around the stadium, it was visible that some of the alumni have been coming to the games for years.

PHOTOS BY ALEX RUDELIUS • [email protected]
For the first time at Target Field, excited CSB/SJU students cheer on the Johnnies as the DIII attendance record was more than doubled.

“I thought the game was super fun,” Culhane said. “I really enjoyed seeing the St. John’s community come together from past to present. I think one of the reasons why the attendance was so high because of the community that they have built over the years.”

First-year wide receiver Keenon Mills, reminisced on what the game meant for him as a new member of the team.

“It meant that I was a part of a great rivalry and tradition,” Mills said. “It meant I was able to go to battle with my brothers on a very big stage in front of an
enormous crowd.”

Some CSB/SJU students, like sophomore Logan Schmidt, had friends on the opposing team.

“We love to be competitive with each other and honestly feel a bit of hatred towards one another during the game… having fun with the rivalry between St. John’s and St. Thomas by getting a little heated with my Tommie friends is just part of the experience,” Schmidt said via Snapchat.

Though the infamous rivalry remained a constant for this past game, both schools experienced a new set of firsts. Not only did the two schools christen Target Field with its first football game, but the game now the holds the record for the highest attendance in DIII football history.

While sophomore Peter Lenz appreciated the allure of playing at such a large field, he believes that the infamous Johnnie/Tommie game should be kept closer to home next time.

“I think the importance of playing at Target Field in front of such a large attendance was to show the kind of love the rivalry game between the Johnnies and Tommies gets from fans. Other than that I think that the game should stay at the school campuses in the future in order to keep tradition and everything else that comes with games on campus,” said Lenz via Snapchat.

While playing at Target Field may have been fun for students, it is not likely to happen again. In an earlier email sent out to the community by Vice President of Student Development Dough Mullin expressed his desire for the Johnnie/Tommie game to be held at SJU.

“We have no desire whatsoever to ever host the Johnnie-Tommie game at Target Field or at any off-campus venue,” Mullin said in his email. “We will host the 2018 Johnnie-Tommie game at Clemens Stadium, and we have already began planning for that Oct. 13 game.”

SJU football preps for UST

SJU football preps for UST

By Kevin Dudley

[email protected]


The Johnnie football team is rolling heading into a huge matchup against archrival St. Thomas. They have started the season 3-0 with each victory coming in convincing fashion.

The season started on Sept. 2, at home with a 98-0 victory over St. Scholastica. The Johnnies shined on both sides of the ball in the game, outgaining the Saints 560-52 in yards and scoring a pair of defensive touchdowns.

The Johnnies got going quickly after the Saints mishandled the punt following their first drive. The mistake led to a 43-yard touchdown strike between sophomore quarterback Jackson Erdmann and sophomore running back Kai Barber. The 98 points scored was a record for a game played between two Division III teams.

The Johnnies faced NAIA Presentation (S.D.) on Sept. 9 at home the following week. Senior wide receiver Evan Clark set the tone for the Johnnies with a 69-yard touchdown run on the second play of the game. Senior running back Dusty Krueger also played a large role rushing for 144 yards in the Johnnies 49-14 win.

The Johnnies opened MIAC play on Sept.16 at St. Olaf with a 56-7 victory. They struck early again scoring on the second offensive play from scrimmage when Erdmann found junior wide receiver Joey Eckhoff for a 26-yard touchdown. Erdmann was strong for the Johnnies throwing for 194 yards and a pair of touchdown passes.

The Johnnies have now shifted their attention to week four where a crucial MIAC matchup against St. Thomas awaits them in Minneapolis at Target Field. The Johnnies head to the game ranked No.6 in Division III and The Tommies are ranked No.11. The Tommies will be the home team Saturday, electing to play the game at Target Field due to space limitations at their own O’Shaughnessy Stadium.

The game expects to draw more than 30,000 fans, which would break the Division III attendance record that was set Oct. 8, 2016 at UW-Whitewater with 17,535 fans.

Erdmann is ready to take in the experience at Target Field, but is not quite sure what to expect.“I can’t comprehend it yet, but it will be exciting,” Erdmann said.

Junior wide receiver Will Gillach is also looking forward to taking part in the special game. “It’s a great stage to represent both a school and football program I am proud of,” Gillach said.

While everyone locally and nationally is focusing on the location, the Johnnies are focused on their opponent.

The Tommies figure to be a tough test as always, however SJU is confident they will find the right formula to win.

The Tommies have used an aggressive style against the Johnnies in the past, often stacking the box with eight or nine defenders. This takes away the run, but may give the Johnnies opportunities in the vertical passing game.

Both Erdmann and Gillach stressed the importance of Johnnie receivers winning one-on-one battles against the aggressive Tommie cornerbacks.

“In order to win this game we need to win some one-on-one battles,” Gillach said.

Erdmann echoed Gillach’s statement.

“They do a lot of one-on-ones, and we need to take advantage of that,” Erdmann said.

Kickoff will be at 1:10 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 23 from Target Field in Minneapolis.

Student “stands-up” for new opportunity

Student “stands-up” for new opportunity

JILLIAN SCHULZ• [email protected] • Zach Eichten performed stand-up during his Washignton, D.C. internship. He had no previous experience before, but felt that the trip allowed for him the ability to try stand-up.

By Katarina Podewils
[email protected]

This past summer, students from CSB/SJU participated in a Washington, D.C. internship program run through the Political Science Department. During this time, one student decided that this would be an opportune time for him to try his hand at stand-up comedy. SJU senior Zach Eichten was this same student.

Eichten performed at a bar called the Chinese Disco in Georgetown. The venue hosted weekly stand-up shows, and Eichten performed five weeks during his 12 week stay in D.C.

He discovered the venue by first watching an open mic-night.

“I saw that some of the comics were really good, and some were okay,” Eichten said. “I told myself at the time, ‘I can do that. I can be okay at this. If these guys can do it, I can do it too.’”

In order to participate, Eichten had to bring a minimum of ten guests to see his first show. Before his first gig, Eichten extended an invitation to other CSB/SJU students on his trip, and they came to watch.

During his shows, Eichten described how it was hard to judge how well he was doing.

“What you don’t think about is once you get on stage, you can’t see the audience because the lights are right in your eyes,” Eichten said. “I could see the front row of people, and that was it. So I used those people as my metric to see how I was doing.”

Eichten stated that he has always enjoyed comedy, but he needed a change of scene in order to have the confidence to try stand-up.

“Two summers ago when I was working in St. Paul, I wrote a bunch of material and never did anything with it because I lived there and I was nervous to run into someone I knew,” Eichten said. “By going out to D.C., this seemed like the opportunity to try it out.”

In addition, Eichten attributes his story-like comedic bits to comics like John Mulaney, T.J. Miller and Pete Holms.

“I especially like story-like bits,” Eichten said. “I don’t do shock value jokes.”Eichten states that he hopes to continue performing stand-up on campus if given the opportunity. He also hopes to try stand-up at one of the open mic-nights available in St. Cloud.

Lastly, Eichten offers advice to other students interested in stand-up on campus.

“If you have jokes, you can always try,” Eichten said. “If you fail, who cares. Those twenty people who saw you are not going to care two days from now.”