Defense does it again for 9-0 Tommies
MOORHEAD – St. Thomas clinched a tie for its third consecutive MIAC football championship and a spot in the NCAA Division III playoffs for the fourth straight year with a 21-7 win over Concordia on Saturday.
The No. 3 Tommies (9-0, 7-0) who ran their regular-season winning streaks to 33 overall and 26 in the conference, won the title outright after second-place Bethel lost 24-17 at St. Olaf. Its the first time since 1947-49 that St. Thomas has won three consecutive conference football crowns.
Matt O'Connell, coming off a leg injury that kept him out of last week's win over Augsburg, starred for St. Thomas against the No. 16 Cobbers (7-2, 5-2). He finished with 283 yards of offense (11/18 completions for 217 yards and 66 yards rushing), including 247 in the first half.
The Tommies' defense also came up big against one of the MIAC's premier offenses for the second time in four games. They shut out previously unbeaten Bethel 37-0 at Homecoming on Oct. 13 in O'Shaughnessy Stadium. In this game, a Cobber team averaging 38 points a game was held to 272 total yards and no points over the first 54 minutes.
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