Quarterback Matt O'Connell and freshman running back Brenton Braddock each contributed three touchdowns Saturday to lead No. 5-ranked St. Thomas to a 47-24 win over Carleton in MIAC football.
Big plays on offense characterized the day for the Tommies (4-0, 3-0 MIAC), who had three touchdowns of more than 50 yards in the first half. They won their 28th consecutive regular season game and ran their MIAC winning streak to 21.
Braddock rushed for three touchdowns – the first of his career – and had his first 100-yard rushing game. O'Connell had scoring passes of 79 and 54 yards as well as a 56-yard touchdown run.
O'Connell set the tone on the first play from scrimmage. He hit Dan Ferrazzo with a bubble screen in the left flat and the sophomore wide receiver raced 79 yards for the score. Braddock later ran for a 54-yard touchdown and O'Connell added his 56-yard scoring run to give the Tommies a 20-10 lead at halftime.
O'Connell connected on his second touchdown pass – a 20-yard strike to Dan Noehring – to open St. Thomas scoring in the second half. Braddock had touchdown runs of two and five yards later in the third quarter to give the Tommies a 41-10 lead, and junior Caleb Rissman concluded their scoring with a six-yard touchdown run in the fourth.
St. Thomas had no turnovers and rolled up 589 yards of offense. But the Tommies failed to execute several plays and led only 20-10 at halftime. The Knights scored a passing touchdown off a fake punt in the second quarter, and stopped UST twice in the red zone in the final minutes of the first half. UST came away wih no points on two possessions inside the Knights' 10-yard-line.
After three games on the road in September, the Tommies return home for two straight games in O'Shaughnessy Stadium. They will face Gustavus Adolphus on Oct. 6 and No. 7 Bethel on Oct. 13 at Homecoming.