October 29, 2011
Defense leads Tommies to NCAA playoff berth
The No. 3-ranked Tommies (9-0 overall, 7-0 MIAC) used three interceptions and eight tackles for loss in another rock solid defensive day to fuel Saturday's 20-7 home win over Gustavus in MIAC football play at O'Shaughnessy Stadium.
St. Thomas claimed the conference's automatic berth into the NCAA playoffs -- the program's third consecutive postseason trip. UST also clinched a share of the MIAC title, St. Thomas' first back-to-back MIAC football crowns since 1948 and 1949. UST will attempt another repeat 10-0 regular season when it plays next Saturday at Carleton.
The Tommies, who outgained Gustavus 339-212 in total offense, allowed just 27 points in five October victories.
UST raced to a 13-0 lead in the first eight minutes on two Dakota Tracy TD passes. The score stayed the same until Colin Tobin's 15-yard touchdown run on the last play of the third quarter built a 20-0 lead.
A fourth-down roughing-the-passer penalty on St. Thomas kept a fourth-quarter drive alive. The Gusties converted with an 8-yard pass from Logan Becker to Elliott Herdina for a TD, capping a 13-play, 85-yard scoring drive. The PAT kick made it 20-7 with 8:42 left.
The Tommies blanked Gusties on two late possessions, the latter capped by Jack Gavin's second interception of the game at the UST 6-yard line.
Fritz Waldvogel scored his 40th career TD, a 27-yarder to make it 13-0. He finished with seven catches for 108 yards. Tracy passed for 188 yards and rushed for 58 yards and was responsible for 17 of UST's 22 first downs (11 passing, six running).