A pair of Wayzata High School graduates are seeing healthy helpings of time under center this year for St. John’s University.
John Ries, a senior, and Nick Martin, a freshman, have played in all four games this season for the Johnnies and have combined for nearly 25 percent of SJU’s passing yardage. Connor Bruns is the Johnnies' starting quarterback, but Bruns was hurt in SJU’s game against Concordia on Saturday. His status for this week’s homecoming game against St. Olaf remains unclear—meaning Ries or Martin could get the starting nod from head coach John Gagliardi.
Martin, who led Wayzata to the Prep Bowl last season, has only thrown nine passes in his first collegiate season, but three of those tosses have gone for touchdowns—including a 95-yard strike to Ben Krebsbach in SJU’s week three 43-21 loss to Northwestern College. It was the only pass Martin threw in the game.
Martin entered Saturday’s game against Concordia with SJU down by 24. He led the Johnnies to a pair of late touchdowns and ended his day completing six of his eight pass attempts for 153 yards. He also ran twice for 17 yards.
After seeing late-game snaps in the first three weeks, Saturday’s performance by far Martin’s most productive outing this year, and it could earn the recent Wayzata graduate increased playing time moving forward.
Martin also serves as SJU’s starting punter and has averaged 39.8 yards per kick, including two boots of more than 50 yards.
Ries, a 2009 Wayzata High School grad, has completed six of his 13 passing attempts this season for 67 yards. He threw for more than 700 yards and six touchdowns last season and started four games for the Johnnies.
St. Johns is 2-2 overall, but both of their losses have come to conference opponents. A win against St. Olaf would lift the Johnnies out of the MIAC basement.