/playoffs/2012/tommies-fast-start-lands-them-in-salem

Tommies' fast start lands them in Stagg Bowl

More news about: St. Thomas | UW-Oshkosh
Logan Marks' touchdown catch put St. Thomas up 14-0 less than five minutes into the game.
Photo by Scott Pierson, d3photography.com
More photos from this game 

St. Thomas punched its first ticket to the Division III football national championship game with a 28-14 win against UW-Oshkosh in front of a packed house at home on Saturday, Dec. 8.

The Tommies scored twice in the first five minutes to put some distance between them and the Titans, who were playing in their first national semifinals, then held UW-Oshkosh at arm's length the rest of the way. St. Thomas (14-0) will play Mount Union (14-0) on Friday night in Salem, Va., in Stagg Bowl XL. For more, read the full game story and box score.

St. Thomas jumped out to the lead in the first 15 seconds of the game, as Ayo Idowu took a fumbled option pitch 25 yards to the end zone to make the lead 7-0. And like last week, the Tommies took advantage of a punting miscue. Kyle Coyne blocked a punt attempt and Ryan Deitz recovered it at the Oshkosh 24-yard line. Logan Marks caught a pass from Matt O'Connell for a 6-yard touchdown that made the lead 14-0.

UW-Oshkosh, which had started slowly in each of its previous Division III playoff games, went three-and-out, punting the Tommies back to their 25-yard line. But the lack of field position didn't faze St. Thomas, which embarked on a 16-play, 75-yard drive to make it a 21-0 game.

The Tommies held from there, allowing a second-quarter touchdown but never letting the Titans within 14 points. They held UW-Oshkosh to just 25 rushing yards and Nate Wara completed 20 of 34 passes, being sacked four times.

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