/seasons/2010/contrib/20101030burumm

Toms secure conference title share, NCAA berth

More news about: St. Thomas

Tommies won its first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship in two decades with a 43-6 thumping of Gustavus Adolphus on wind-swept Lloyd Hollingsworth Field.

The victory pushed the No. 4 Tommies' record to 9-0 (7-0 MIAC), clinched a tie for the conference title and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs.

They also became the first St. Thomas team to start since 1923. They can win their first outright title since 1983 – and the only 10-0 squad in school history – with a win over Carleton next Saturday.

Coach Glenn Caruso, in congratulating Tommy Becker on a strong game, joked that his senior linebacker must have been one or two years old the last time St. Thomas won the MIAC. Becker laughed later and said he actually was three at the time, but Fritz Waldvogel was only a newborn. He celebrated his 20th birthday earlier this month.

"This has been a long time coming," said Waldvogel, a junior wide receiver from St. Thomas Academy, who ran back the second-half kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. "We've been breaking records, we beat St. John's, we're the first 9-0 team since 1923 and now we have won the conference title. It's all special."

The formula for St. Thomas on Saturday again proved to be a dominant second half. Leading only 14-6 at halftime, they took firm control of both lines of scrimmage in the third quarter, scoring touchdowns on three straight series over a nine-minute span and holding the Gusties to only 69 yards.

"We're built for the fourth quarter, emotionally," Caruso said. "As the game goes on, we get sharper – emotionally and physically and mentally."

St. Thomas started strong, moving 76 yards in 11 plays to open the scoring. Halfback Ben Wartman, who picked up 24 yards rushing on the drive, threw for the last 14 to Waldvogel for a touchdown. He had four receptions for 51 yards on the drive.

After stopping Gustavus on a 3-and-out series, St. Thomas went up 14-0 on a two-yard run by quarterback Dakota Tracy, who improved his record as a starter to 13-0.

The Gusties bounced back on the next series with a flashy exotic pass of their own to cut the deficit to 14-6. Tight end Cody Williams hit a wide-open Cody Sukalski 10 yards behind the St. Thomas secondary for a 50-yard touchdown pass. Becker blocked the extra point.

Gustavus threatened to score at the end of the half after blocking Garrett Maloney's punt and recovering at the Tommies' 18 with 18 seconds to go. But Becker intercepted Logan Becker (no relation) on the next play to snuff out the threat.

"The blocked punt was partially my fault," said UST's Becker, who comes in to block on punts. "On the interception, he threw a low ball and I just got my hands on it."

Waldvogel magic

Waldvogel gave the Tommies some appreciated breathing room 12 seconds into the third quarter when he returned his first kickoff or punt of the year for a touchdown after scoring six such touchdowns a year ago. He credited "perfect" blocking.

"You need all 11 guys clicking on a play like that, and they did," he said. "They made some great blocks early, and once I hit the 50, I knew I had it."

The touchdown pushed Waldvogel over 5,000 all-purpose yards for his career, and he finished the game at 5,045, No. 2 on the career list behind Gary Trettel's 6,044 yards from 1988 to 1990 . . . the last year St. Thomas won the MIAC title. Waldvogel also had seven catches for 66 yards against the Gusties, giving him 204 for his career.

Neither team could mount a drive in its next two possessions, and then St. Thomas took charge after Ayo Idowu recovered a fumble at the Gustavus 35.

A sack and a penalty pushed the ball back into St. Thomas territory, but three straight pass completions – two by Tracy and one by Waldvogel – covered 49 yards and gave the Tommies a first down at the 5. Wartman ran it in for a touchdown and a 29-6 lead. It was the 45th touchdown of his career, tying Trettel for first on the all-time Tommie list.

"That's an honor," said Wartman, the All-American running back who rushed for 81 yards and is just 185 yards shy of Jake Barkley's career record of 3,969 set in 1999-2002. "But the win is the most important thing. It's a wonderful feeling. Who would have thought, after finishing 2-8 (in 2007), that we would turn everything around and get to this point?"

Gustavus went 3-and-out on its next series, after which St. Thomas launched its longest drive of the game – 84 yards in 11 plays – to increase its lead to 36-6 early in the fourth quarter. Colin Tobin picked up 44 yards on five carries, scoring from five yards out.

The Tommies took advantage of another short field on the next series, needing just three plays to go 49 yards for the final score. Tobin scored again, this time from 11 yards out, to match Wartman's 81 yards on the ground. It was the second straight week that Tobin gained 80 yards in the second half – he did the same against Bethel on Oct. 22.

"I was just banging away," Tobin, a junior from Chicago Fenwick, said of his average of 8.1 yards per carry against the Gusties. "The offensive line never stopped working hard. It opened some really nice holes."

Total offense edge

For the game, St. Thomas more than doubled Gustavus in yardage – 430 to 197 – and had a 23-12 advantage in first downs. The Tommies had 228 yards on the ground and 202 in the air, continuing their remarkable balance – coming into the game, they had averaged 205 rushing yards and 204 passing yards.

St. Thomas also racked up a season high 92 yards on 12 penalties. Caruso called those "unacceptable," and Becker agreed that the team needs to cut down on penalties heading into the playoffs.

"We'll work harder in practice," he said. "It comes down to little things. We'll get back to work and clean those things up."

The only obstacle to a perfect regular season is Carleton. The Knights, who lost to St. John's and fell to 3-5 (2-4 MIAC), will travel to O'Shaughnessy Stadium for Saturday's 1 p.m. game. St. Thomas then has a bye week before the NCAA playoffs begin Nov. 20.

Click here for box score:

http://gustavus.edu/athletics/fb/archives/2010/stats/ust.htm

 

Oct. 14: All times Eastern
Final
Salve Regina 45, at Nichols 10
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Mount Ida 14, at Dean 7
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at Thomas More 59, Waynesburg 7
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Final
at Maine Maritime 34, Coast Guard 16
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at Finlandia 27, Trinity Bible 21
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Hamilton 28, at Bowdoin 7
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at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
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at Olivet 47, Albion 26
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at Wesleyan 41, Bates 23
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Union 27, at Rochester 0
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Amherst 40, at Colby 7
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at Western New England 41, Endicott 14
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at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final - OT
at Plymouth State 16, Framingham State 13
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at RPI 27, Ithaca 14
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Hobart 49, at Hartwick 27
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at Ferrum 34, LaGrange 20
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at Carnegie Mellon 42, Geneva 27
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Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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DePauw 26, at Denison 17
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at Trine 42, Kalamazoo 7
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at Washington and Lee 47, Guilford 26
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at Husson 49, Castleton 0
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Gallaudet 35, at Alfred State 19
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Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Brevard 41, at Methodist 17
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at Lebanon Valley 31, Stevenson 24
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Buffalo State 24, at St. Lawrence 21
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Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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at Randolph-Macon 52, Emory and Henry 29
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at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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at Hampden-Sydney 58, Apprentice 28
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Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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at N.C. Wesleyan 45, Greensboro 0
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at Westminster (Pa.) 49, Grove City 27
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Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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at Westminster (Mo.) 56, Crown 15
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at Northwestern (Minn.) 29, Iowa Wesleyan 7
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at Knox 56, Grinnell 14
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at Widener 31, Lycoming 17
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Trinity (Conn.) 23, at Tufts 16
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at Mount St. Joseph 66, Earlham 7
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Final - 2OT
Ohio Northern 27, at John Carroll 20
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Baldwin Wallace 23, at Muskingum 20
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at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Rose-Hulman 44, at Manchester 13
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at Hanover 31, Bluffton 28
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Defiance 45, at Anderson 0
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at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Hiram 62, at Kenyon 56
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Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Williams 27, at Middlebury 26
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at Westfield State 33, Fitchburg State 21
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Marietta 43, at Wilmington 33
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at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Curry 40, at Becker 0
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TCNJ 20, at Rowan 14
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at SUNY-Maritime 51, Anna Maria 15
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Salisbury 28, at Montclair State 10
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at Huntingdon 28, Maryville (Tenn.) 16
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at Austin 33, Millsaps 19
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at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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at Washington U. 55, Buena Vista 20
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Alma 27, at Aurora 19
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at Rockford 29, Concordia-Chicago 14
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Wisconsin Lutheran 22, at Concordia (Wis.) 19
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at Lakeland 57, Benedictine 21
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at St. Norbert 10, Chicago 0
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Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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St. Olaf 22, at Augsburg 20
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Final
Bethel 24, at Gustavus Adolphus 3
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St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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at Eureka 30, Greenville 19
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Final
Centre 27, at Trinity (Texas) 21
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Final
Dubuque 42, at Nebraska Wesleyan 27
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Central 30, at Coe 19
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Lake Forest 56, at Cornell 28
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at Carthage 31, Elmhurst 8
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at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Final
Millikin 28, at Augustana 27
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Final
Ripon 52, at Beloit 28
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Final
MacMurray 49, at Minnesota-Morris 13
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Macalester 21, at Lawrence 18
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at Monmouth 59, Illinois College 14
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at UW-Stevens Point 26, UW-Eau Claire 3
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Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Final
at Wooster 38, Oberlin 28
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Final
Texas Lutheran 41, at East Texas Baptist 34
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at UW-Stout 21, UW-River Falls 16
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Final
Sewanee 34, at Birmingham-Southern 13
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Final
at Hope 22, Adrian 3
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Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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Cancelled
La Verne at Occidental
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Final
Whitworth 17, at Pacific Lutheran 14
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Final
at Cal Lutheran 42, Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 20
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Final
at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Final
at Pacific 35, Puget Sound 27
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Final
Pomona-Pitzer 45, at Whittier 23
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Final
at Western Connecticut 28, Massachusetts Maritime 21
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Final
at St. Scholastica 56, Martin Luther 21
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Final - 5OT
at St. John Fisher 39, Utica 36
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Final - OT
at Heidelberg 48, Otterbein 45
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Final
at Shenandoah 38, Bridgewater 20
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Final
Southwestern 60, at Belhaven 31
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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at Louisiana College 52, McMurry 34
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Final
at Simpson 38, Luther 17
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at Chapman 45, Redlands 26
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
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Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
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Oct. 14: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 49, King's 14
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Cortland 20, Alfred 17
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Final
at Wesley 29, Kean 9
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Final
Frostburg State 59, at William Paterson 7
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Final
at Wittenberg 49, Allegheny 15
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Final
at Brockport 48, Morrisville State 7
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Final
Washington and Jefferson 49, at Bethany 14
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Final
Ohio Wesleyan 16, at Wabash 13
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Final
at Mount Union 72, Capital 14
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Final
at Wartburg 42, Loras 11
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Final
at Berry 34, Hendrix 10
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Final
Springfield 35, at Merchant Marine 13
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Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 65, Howard Payne 0
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Final
St. John's 35, at Carleton 0
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Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 30, Carroll 0
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Final
Concordia-Moorhead 45, at Hamline 0
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Final
Case Western Reserve 63, at Thiel 28
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Final
UW-Oshkosh 28, at UW-Platteville 14
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Final
Linfield 49, at Lewis and Clark 14
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Final
at George Fox 58, Willamette 12
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Final
Hardin-Simmons 35, at Sul Ross State 10
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Oct. 16: All times Eastern
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 42, North Central (Ill.) 20
Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
7:00 PM
Gettysburg at Johns Hopkins
Video Video Live stats Live stats