FULTON, Mo. (csssaints.com) – The St. Scholastica football team picked up its fifth UMAC win led by its defense who held the Westminster Blue Jays to negative two yards rushing to win 20-6 on Saturday at Priest Field.
The game was called with 3:28 left in the fourth quarter due to lightning.
After CSS had its 17-game winning streak ended last week by Northwestern, it looked to start a new streak this weekend as it made the 14-hour drive to Fulton, Missouri to take on the Westminster Blue Jays.
The Saints would get on the board first after their defense forced the Blue Jays to a three-and-out. Tyler Harper would engineer a 17-play, 50-yard drive that would be capped off by a Mike Theismann 34-yard field goal to make the score 3-0 with 6:01 left in the first quarter.
The teams would exchange punts after three-and-outs before Westminster regained possession of the ball and would drive down the field behind 65 passing yards from Joe Plassmeyer, including a 29-yard touchdown pass to Scott Rodgers. The two-point attempt from the Blue Jays was no good to make the score 6-3 in favor of the home team.
The Saints would get the ensuing kickoff at the start of the second quarter and start at the drive at their own 44. Harper would get his team going strong on the drive as he completed a pass to his favorite target, Nick Thiry, for 38 yards. Two plays later, Thomas Fragale would run the ball in from 20 yards out for the touchdown to make the score 10-6 in favor of the Saints after the Theismann extra point.
After a Blue Jay punt, the Saints drove the ball 55 yards down the field in nine plays, but would be stopped on a fourth-and-five at the Westminster 15-yard-line.
On the next Blue Jay possession, the stifling Saints defense would come up big again when Blake Cedarleaf recovered a fumble from Scott Rodgers. The Saints would capitalize on the turnover. After converting a fourth-and-17 with a 20-yard completion to Thiry, Harper ran it in from nine yards out and would make the score 17-6.
The third quarter was a battle of defenses as the teams combined for five punts and an interception.
The Saints would take over possession of the ball with 12:39 left to go in the fourth quarter and would hold onto the ball for the rest of the game. After a penalty called back a Harper interception the Saints would keep the ball on the ground for the rest of the game including eight straight runs from Chris Gassert for 70 yards. Mike Theismann would conclude the scoring for the game with a 25-yard field goal to make the final score 20-6. Gassert has 73 yards on the drive that took over nine minutes off the clock.
The weather not the clock would conclude the game as lightning overhead forced the teams into about a 50-minute delay and the game was eventually called.
Westminster was led by Plassmeyer who was 21-36 for 184 yards and the touchdown throw to Rodgers. Seven of Plassmeyer's completions went to James Gladstone for 33 yards. Gus Lyles led the team in tackles with nine including one tackle for loss. Brother Rodney Lyles had six tackle including 2.5 for loss with one sack.
Harper was 12-for-24 for 149 yards with one INT. Fragale was the leading rusher for the Saints with starting running backs, Jake Jensen and Travis Nehowig out. Fragale rushed 21 times for 93 yards and the touchdown run. Gassert had a strong game as well with 75 yards on 12 carries. Harper gained 35 yards on the ground as well with the touchdown run. Nick Thiry had seven receptions for 102 yards.
Jake Turkowski led a Saints defense that gave up only 183 yards and negative two yards rushing with seven tackles from his safety position. Jake Church had the lone sack for the defense to go along with three tackles.
The Saints (5-2, 4-1) will be back in Duluth for their final home game of the year as they take on Crown College for Senior Day next Saturday at Ordean Stadium at 1 p.m. All of the action can be seen live on Saints Sports Net.