HU Football has forgettable day

Pipers have gut check in light of recent adversity.


Meagan Lynch

Junior Naji El-Araby runs the ball to the end zone in the 3rd quarter and scores the only touchdown for the Pipers.

Paul Patane, Sports Editor


Junior wideout Naji El-Araby had a productive Saturday, connecting with first-year quarterback Justice Spriggs for five receptions, 85 yards and a touchdown grab.

With senior running back and captain Austin Duncan banged up, sophomore Brendan Nachtrieb carried the load, rushing 17 times for 83 yards.

There weren’t many other bright spots for the Pipers as they fell to St. Thomas, 7-78 on Saturday, Oct. 17.

The theme of the day was adversity. The Hamline football team knew they had a tough uphill battle to climb as the offense in particular has been decimated by injuries to skill position players. Despite the injuries, the Pipers know the game must be played as younger and less experienced players step up.

“People have bought into the overall vision of the team,” El-Araby said. “Talent comes with experience. You have to know how to play on the football field.”

El-Araby stays focused and expects his younger teammates who are getting playing time to step up and take advantage of their opportunities.

“You’ve just got to work with what you’ve got. It’s a next man mentality. No matter if you’re second string or third string you still have to prepare the week with the focus that if I get into the game I have to perform at a high level, even though I’m a second or third string,” El-Araby said.

Spriggs and sophomore quarterback Luke Lindquist combined to complete 14 of 30 passes for 149 yards and one touchdown.

Sophomore Brendan Nachtrieb makes a run for the end zone from the 15-yard line in attempt to put the Pipers on the scoreboard.
Meagan Lynch
Sophomore Brendan Nachtrieb makes a run for the end zone from the 15-yard line in attempt to put the Pipers on the scoreboard.

Despite the one-sided loss, junior linebacker Jonny Nguyen and his teammates work to improve as they hunt for their first MIAC victory of the season.

“When we come in every week to practice we try to put as much enthusiasm and as much fight as we can into these teams,” Nguyen said.

Nguyen had five tackles against the Tommies. Junior defensive back Zach Schwalbach led the Pipers with 11 tackles and an interception.

Even with a healthy team, Lindquist and his team acknowledge how difficult of an opponent St. Thomas is.

“Their run game is their number one thing on offense,” Lindquist said. “They have a big offensive line, too.”

He didn’t play many snaps on Saturday, but as starting quarterback Kyle Johnson remains sidelined due to injury, Lindquist and Spriggs get increased snaps throughout the week during practice.

“My preparation has improved. My focus on the little things, like footwork and the small details that go into being prepared and ready to go for the game,” Lindquist said.

Against St. Thomas in particular, Lindquist noted how the quarterback needs to help his teammates as depth across the offensive line in particular is depleted.

“The quarterback’s gotta get rid of the ball. We’ve got to avoid negative plays. We’ve got to make sure we don’t get behind the chains,” Lindquist said.

Regardless of wins and losses, El-Araby takes pride in his preparation.

“We still want to fight. We still want to complete,” El-Araby said.

Hamline football’s next game will be at Klas Field against conference opponent Concordia at 1 p.m. this Saturday.