FU football faces unbeaten Olivet

Winless Lions kick off 1 p.m. Saturday

HANCOCK — A formidable test awaits the Finlandia University football team this week in undefeated Olivet College.

The 1 p.m. MIAA debut at McAfee Field could be the Lions most severe outing thus far.

“Olivet is a very good football team,” Finlandia coach Travis Wiltzius said. “They’re very balanced on both sides of the ball.”

The Lions (0-3) are coming of a week layoff following a strong showing against Concordia-Chicago in a 23-12 defeat.

Linebacker Ashton McNeil had a monster game against Concordia-Chicago, recording 18 tackles, 5.5 tackles for a loss, two sacks and forcing a fumble in being named MIAA Defensive Player of the Week.

Wiltzius said McNeil played a superb game.

“That’s as good a defensive effort as you’re going to see,” Wiltzius said.

Linebacker Dave Carlson, a strong performer all season for FU, registered 11 tackles against CUC, while Christian Creten had 10 more.

Freshman quarterback Darin Johnston (Gladstone) has been steady most of the season. He has a seasoned end in junior Kenny Kujawa.

“But we have to get more out of our passing game if we’re going to be successful,” Wiltzius said.

Olivet (3-0) quarterback Kaleb Jarrett had a big game last week against St. Benedictine, passing for 259 yards in a 21-6 win.

The Comets have a reliable runner in tailback Noah McMinn, who is among the rushing leaders for the team. McMinn totaled 96 yards on the ground last week.

And flanker Jake Broussard caught six passes for 86 yards versus St. Benedictine.

The home game is the third for Finlandia this season.