2013 SJU football schedule released

Gary Fasching now knows exactly where and when he will coach his first game as the new head coach at St. John’s.

That date will be Sept. 6 when the Johnnies open the 2013 season with a Friday night game at Wisconsin-River Falls scheduled for a 7 p.m. kickoff.

The game against the Falcons was the final piece of the 2013 schedule to be determined before the official schedule could be released Monday.

“We didn’t have a whole lot of options for that first game,” said Fasching, who was hired in late December to replace John Gagliardi, who announced his retirement after 60 seasons at the school last November.

“It’s good to know when that first game is going to be. It’s on the road. I would have preferred it to be at home. But this is just the way it worked out.”

Both of the team’s two nonconference games – which also include a home game against Wisconsin-Eau Claire at 1 p.m. on Sept. 14 – are two-year deals. Which means the Johnnies will play host Wisconsin-River Falls and play at Wisconsin-Eau Claire in 2014.

The game against the Falcons – who finished 2-8 overall last season – is being played on a Friday night because Wisconsin-River Falls has a game scheduled on a Thursday the following week.

It will mark the first Friday night game for St. John’s since a 31-26 win over Bethel at the Metrodome in 2002.

“We haven’t had many of them over the years, that’s for sure,” said Fasching, a longtime assistant at the school before earning the head job. “But they have a game on Thursday the following week and they wanted an extra day of practice to get ready.”

The schedule means the Johnnies will face a pair of WIAC teams before opening MIAC play at defending conference champion St. Thomas at 1:10 p.m. on Sept. 21.

The Tommies advanced to the Division III national championship game this past season before falling to Mount Union.

“Those first two games should help us get ready right away,” Fasching said. “Any time you go against a WIAC school, you know you’re in for a big, physical game.”

The complete 2013 Johnnies’ schedule is as follows:

Sept. 6 – at Wisconsin-River Falls, 7 p.m.

Sept. 14 – vs. Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 1 p.m.

Sept. 21 – at St. Thomas, 1:10 p.m.

Sept. 28 – vs. Concordia (Homecoming), 1 p.m.

Oct. 5 – at St. Olaf, 1 p.m.

Oct. 12 – vs. Augsburg (Family Weekend), 1 p.m.

Oct. 19 – at Carleton, 1 p.m.

Nov. 2 – at Gustavus, 1 p.m.

Nov. 9 – vs. Hamline, 1 p.m.

Nov. 16 – vs. Bethel, 1 p.m.

Frank Rajkowski

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