Lars Prestemon senior threw for 309 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a third score as the St. Olaf College football team lost their first game of the season to No. 14 Central College on Saturday afternoon at the Klein Manitou Field.
Prestemon threw touchdowns at tight ends Isaac Coutier and Derek Hansen and ran for a score for St. Olaf (0-1), who was playing their first game in 658 days. Nationally-ranked Central (1-0) racked up 591 attacking yards in the win and edged the Oles by a 183-62 margin in the win behind 156 yards and two rushing scores from Jason Hopp.
Fifth-year senior Blaine Hawkins was 28-for-39 for 383 yards and two touchdowns for the Dutch, hitting Logan Mont 14 times for 170 yards and two scores.
After St. Olaf started the game with a three-and-out on offense, the Dutch struck quickly after starting in St. Olaf territory thanks to a punt return from Mt. Central covered 45 yards in just four plays, culminating in Hawkins’ first touchdown connection of the game at Mont at 11 yards.
An extra point missed left the Dutch in the lead 6-0 until Hawkins found Mont for a 56-yard touchdown with 3:29 left in the second quarter to extend the visitors’ lead to 13-0. Early in the second quarter, the Oles put up a 10-game, 80-yard drive ending in a six-yard touchdown from junior Jordan Embry to make it a 13-7 game.
Central responded just over two minutes later with a 15-yard touchdown by Jason Hopp and scored the next 23 points to open a 36-7 lead five minutes into the second half. After trailing by 29, St. Olaf compiled long touchdowns over his last three possessions of the game, starting with a six-game, 68-yard practice at the end of the third quarter that culminated in a six-yard touchdown from Prestemon. in Coutier.
On the Dutchman’s next possession, Hopp dove a meter on a fourth and goal play to make it a 43-14 game. St. Olaf continued to run 73 yards on 13 plays for his second straight touchdown with Prestemon slipping a yard to third for the score.
After a center placement, Prestemon knocked out Hansen on the last game of the match for the first touchdown of Hansen’s career. Earlier on the 14-play, 80-yard drive, Prestemon found first-year Evan Hammonds and Theo Simmons in second-year for straight wins of 12 and 19 to move the ball inside the 10-yard line.
Senior Gabe Alada and junior Payton Schott were Prestemon’s preferred targets in the game. Alada had seven receptions for 80 yards, while Schott had six catches for a top 91 yards. Coutier added five catches for 63 yards.
Defensively, senior Brandon Foster and sophomore Ben Hestorff each had nine tackles, with Foster recording 1.5 tackles for a loss. Junior Kris Kurtz added seven tackles and a sack.
St. Olaf first hits the road in 2021 on Saturday September 11 when the Oles visit Luther for a 2pm kickoff.