DULUTH, Minn. - Alex Thiry threw for a record 377 yards and six touchdowns and Sean Graskey had a record 19 tackles leading the Saints to a 51-21 victory over the Crown College Storm.
The Saints also broke a scoring record by putting up 51 on the Storm (0-7, 0-6 UMAC). The previous record was 49 set against MacMurray earlier this season.
The Saints got on the board first capping off a 45-yard drive with a 27-yard Mike Theismann field goal and taking the early 3-0 lead.
Crown would answer on the very next drive taking the ball 66 yards in seven plays and ending it with a seven-yard touchdown run by Amos Schmidt. Kurt Fickle's extra point was good to give the Storm a 7-3 lead. This was not only the first time St. Scholastica has trailed in the first quarter of a game, but also the first points given up by the Saints in the first quarter this year.
The back-and-forth play continued as Thiry found Jonny Bennett for a 33-yard touchdown. The extra point put CSS up 10-7.
The Saints defense would hold and on the next offensive drive Travis Nehowig ran for a three-yard touchdown. Theismann's extra point was good giving the Saints a 17-7 lead.
Crown got a big return on the ensuing kickoff, taking it all the way back to the Saints' five yard line. The Storm would need all four downs to score, but Wes Safford eventually got the one-yard rushing touchdown. With the extra point, the Storm cut the deficit to three at 17-14.
St. Scholastica continued their offensive success as Thiry found Bennett again, this time for a long 61-yard touchdown reception to give the Saints a 23-14 lead after Theismann's extra point was no good.
The Saints started to pour it on scoring on the final three drives of the first half on a 22-yard pass from Thiry to Don Anderson and 76-yard and 2-yard touchdown passes to Keegan O'Neill respectively. All of the extra points were good and CSS went into halftime with a 44-14 lead.
Crown drove the ball down inside the red zone on the opening drive of the second half, only to be stuffed by the Saints defense on fourth down. The Saints offense then drove the ball 82 yards, ending it with a 12-yard touchdown pass from Thiry to Nick Thiry for both the passing touchdown record and team scoring record. Theismann's extra point made it 51-14, and the Saints had then scored on all of their drives in the game making it seven straight.
The scoring slowed the rest of the half, but the Storm would get a late touchdown with just over a minute left when Safford found Kevin Klingbiel for a seven-yard score. Fickle's extra point went through to make the score 51-21, where it would stay and become the final.
A. Thiry led the passing attack going 16-19 with 377 yards and six touchdowns. Thiry also broke the record for single game passer rating registering an incredible 355.1.
Nehowig was the leading rusher for the Saints carrying the ball 12 times for 100 yards and a touchdown. Thomas Fragale added 57 yards on seven carries as the Saints rushed for 165 yards as a team.
Bennett ended the day with five catches for 129 yards and two touchdowns. O'Neill made three catches for 95 yards and two touchdowns. N. Thiry had four receptions for 55 yards and a touchdown and Anderson made one catch for 22 yards and a touchdown as well. Fragale gained 64 yards receiving, Matthew Johnson had 12 yards and Craig Kneeland had two yards to round out the receiving for CSS.
Graskey also had a sack on his record-breaking team-leading 19-tackle day. Shreome Milon had the next most tackles with eight, and Zack Dubanoski, Tyler Zurn and JP Leary each had seven on the day. Milon had a fumble recovery and returned it 35 yards, also breaking a program record for longest fumble return. Jake Turkowski added an interception to give CSS a +2 turnover margin on the day and +18 on the season. Dubanoski and Christopher Doran also each had a sack on the day to give the Saints four total.
For Crown, Safford ended the day going 17-28 for 173 yards, a touchdown and an interception. Schmidt carried the ball 27 times for 111 yards and Zach Freitas led the way receiving with four catches for 57 yards.
The Saints (7-0, 6-0 UMAC) have a short week as they travel to Mall of America Field on Friday to take on the Presentation Saints (3-4, 3-3 UMAC) at 7:00 p.m. for the 12th and final UMAC Dome Day.