/seasons/2012/contrib/20121124prjzn5

Elmhurst Falls to St. Thomas 24-17

More news about: Elmhurst

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The Elmhurst football team's outstanding 2012 season came to a close after dropping a 24-17 decision to fourth-ranked University of St. Thomas in the second round of the NCAA Playoffs.

Elmhurst came storming out of the gate, scoring the game's first 14 points, but St. Thomas (12-0) used a pair of big plays to close the first half on a 21-0 run and open up a 21-14 lead at the break.

"There are certain games that come down to one play here or there," said Elmhurst head coach Tim Lester. "Today's game fit that description. I give St. Thomas a lot of credit, they made the big plays when they needed to and got the job done.

St. Thomas took the opening kickoff down to the Elmhurst 18-yard line, but Paul Gaupner's 42-yard field goal was blocked by the Bluejays. Elmhurst went to work immediately, driving 73 yards and taking a 7-0 lead on a six-yard touchdown run from Scottie Williams. The drive was keyed by a 46-yard completion from Joe Furco to Vince Gabrys.

"We were able to take advantage of some shots down the field a few times today," said Lester. "We know St. Thomas has a great defense, but we took advantage of a few match-ups and found some openings."

Elmhurst's defense forced a turnover on St. Thomas' next possession. Dan Vicari ripped the ball away from Brenton Braddock and recovered the loose ball at the Tommies' 30-yard line. Seven plays later, the Bluejays capitalized on the turnover as Furco scored on an 11-yard run around the right side to put Elmhurst on top 14-0.

St. Thomas answered back at the end of the first quarter. The Tommies drove 74 yards in just seven plays Braddock capped the drive with a one-yard touchdown plunge to cut the Elmhurst lead in half.

After an Elmhurst punt, the Tommies knotted the score on just one play. Matt O'Connell connected on an 88-yard strike down the middle to Matt Misiewicz to pull the Tommies even at 14-14. Elmhurst appeared to be on the verge of going back on top as the Bluejays drove down inside the Tommies' 10-yard line. On a first-and-goal from the St. Thomas six-yard line, a botched pitch on an option play was recovered by the Tommies' Ayo Idowu. Idowu rumbled 86 yards to the end zone to put the Tommies on top 21-14.

"The St. Thomas cornerback made a great play," said Lester. "He was able to get in to the backfield and hit Scottie before the pitch got to him. We were close to recovering the fumble, but it just bounced back to St. Thomas. Sometimes the bounces go your way and sometimes they don't."

Trailing 21-14 to open the second half, the Bluejays received the opening kick in the third quarter and promptly cut into the Tommies' lead. Aided by a roughing the kicker penalty on St. Thomas, the Bluejays drove down to the Tommies' 10-yard and settled for a 27-yard field goal from David Tomis to make the score 21-17.

St. Thomas answered back with a 17-play scoring drive. The Tommies kept the drive alive by converting on third down on three occasions, including twice on third-and-long. St. Thomas drove to the Elmhurst 11-yard line and went up 24-17 on a 28-yard field goal from Gaupner.

Elmhurst had several chances to even the score in the fourth quarter, but the Bluejays were turned away by the Tommies' defense three times. After Gaupner's field goal, the Bluejays drove to the St. Thomas 30-yard line before turning the ball over on downs after failing to convert and a fourth-and-10. Elmhurst's defense held St. Thomas to a three-and-out and Elmhurst drove the ball down to the Tommies' 16-yard line before coming up short on a fourth-and-six pass play.

Elmhurst's defense forced St. Thomas to punt on fourth down allowing the Bluejays one final drive. Elmhurst took over at their own 20-yard line with 1:17 left on the clock and no timeouts left. St. Thomas stopped the Bluejays' on a fourth-and-seven attempt from the Elmhurst 23-yard line and then ran out the clock to preserve the win.

"Our defense has always played well with our backs to the wall," said Elmhurst cornerback Jamall Lane. "We made some key stops when we needed to, but it just wasn't enough today."

Elmhurst finished the contest with 368 yards of offense and 20 first downs, running 70 plays at St. Thomas. The Bluejays proved they could run against the Tommmies' defense, rushing 41 times for 174 yards. Williams rushed 25 times for 105 yards to close out his career with over 2,000 yards on the season and over 5,100 in his career.

"This was a special season for us," said Williams. "I told people four years ago when we were freshman that Elmhurst was going to win a league championship and we did that. My offensive line was amazing this year and I wouldn't trade a single one of them."

Furco finished 14-of-29 through the air for 194 yards. Corey Thonn caught three passes for 44 yards while Gabys hauled in two passes for 82 yards.

St. Thomas totaled 387 yards of offense, rushing for 186 and passing for 201. O'Connell finished 11-of-14 for 201 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 90 yards. Braddock totaled 91 yards on the ground on 18 carries for the Tommies. Dan Ferrazzo caught six passes for 70 yards to lead the Tommies' receivers.

Lester is proud of all that the Bluejays accomplished in 2012. Elmhurst finished the season with a 10-2 overall record and won a share of their first league championship since the 1980 season while also becoming the first team in school history to participate in the NCAA Playoffs and win an NCAA playoff game. The Bluejays also earned their first-ever national rankings, climbing to 17th in the final regular season D3football.com poll.

"At the beginning of the season, I told them that this was the 93rd season of Elmhurst football and that every year is remembered differently," Lester said. "We accomplished so much this season, that I don't think people are going to forger number 93 any time soon. We may have lost today, but I told our team in the locker room after the game was over to not hang their heads. They played their hearts out this whole season and should be proud of they accomplished."

Oct. 19: All times Eastern
Final
Martin Luther 21, at Northwestern (Minn.) 6
Video Box Score Recap
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
at Stevenson 33, Wilkes 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at RPI 31, Hobart 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at MIT 13, Coast Guard 0
Video Box Score
Final
Norwich 15, at Maine Maritime 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Moravian 31, Juniata 14
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Dean 53, Gallaudet 21
Video Box Score
Final
Endicott 45, at Becker 13
Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Montclair State 17
Video
Final
SUNY-Maritime 68, at Castleton 41
Video Box Score
Final
at Trinity (Texas) 28, Sewanee 14
Video Box Score
Final
Johns Hopkins 51, at Gettysburg 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
N.C. Wesleyan 29, at Brevard 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Misericordia 37, FDU-Florham 33
Video
Final
Union 29, at St. Lawrence 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Ithaca 28, Rochester 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Colby 23, Hamilton 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Middlebury 35, Bates 34
Video Box Score
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 48, at Bowdoin 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Springfield 23, at Catholic 11
Video Box Score
Final
Amherst 33, at Wesleyan 3
Video Box Score
Final
at Plymouth State 17, Massachusetts Maritime 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Husson 54, Anna Maria 14
Box Score
Final
TCNJ 13, at Kean 8
Video Box Score
Final
Carnegie Mellon 41, at Thiel 7
Video Box Score
Final
Salve Regina 30, at Curry 21
Video
Final
King's 37, at Albright 26
Video Box Score
Final
Trine 31, at Finlandia 0
Video
Final - OT
Susquehanna 41, at Ursinus 35
Video Video Box Score
Final
Delaware Valley 52, at Lebanon Valley 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Western New England 70, University of New England 13
Video Box Score
Final
Franklin and Marshall 35, at Dickinson 14
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Wittenberg 38, DePauw 23
Box Score
Final
at Emory and Henry 52, Shenandoah 50
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wabash 32, Oberlin 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 27, Washington and Jefferson 20
Video
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 38, Guilford 35
Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Randolph-Macon 44, Bridgewater 41
Video Box Score Recap Audio Audio
Final
Cortland 56, at Hartwick 3
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Denison 27, Ohio Wesleyan 10
Video Box Score
Final
Waynesburg 12, at St. Vincent 10
Video
Final
Salisbury 33, at Southern Virginia 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Methodist 42, Greensboro 6
Video Box Score
Final
Christopher Newport 39, at William Paterson 10
Video
Final
Albion 49, at Adrian 42
Video Box Score
Final
Thomas More 35, at St. Scholastica 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Westminster (Mo.) 25, Minnesota-Morris 7
Video Box Score
Final
Lake Forest 24, at Grinnell 0
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Greenville 41, Crown 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Merchant Marine 25, WPI 24
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at John Carroll 27, Marietta 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Tufts 28, Williams 21
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Ohio Northern 49, at Capital 46
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Baldwin Wallace 35, at Wilmington 33
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mount Union 54, Heidelberg 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Lycoming 52, Alvernia 0
Video
Final
at Rose-Hulman 44, Anderson 6
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Franklin 64, Earlham 20
Video Box Score
Final
Hanover 48, at Manchester 14
Video Box Score
Final
Mount St. Joseph 20, at Defiance 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Utica 30, Alfred 22
Video
Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 37, at LaGrange 17
Video Box Score
Final
Framingham State 27, at Westfield State 2
Video Box Score
Final
Morrisville State 35, at St. John Fisher 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Muskingum 21, Otterbein 14
Video Box Score
Final - OT
at Berry 28, Millsaps 21
Video Box Score Live stats Audio
Final
at Muhlenberg 42, McDaniel 18
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Rowan 28, Wesley 27
Video Box Score
Final
at Wooster 28, Hiram 21
Video Box Score
Final
Allegheny 54, at Kenyon 10
Video Box Score
Final
at Nebraska Wesleyan 23, Luther 15
Video
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 20, at Augustana 3
Video
Final
at Eureka 50, Benedictine 20
Video Box Score
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 49, at Belhaven 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 58, Texas Lutheran 14
Box Score
Final
Chicago 63, at Beloit 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Concordia (Wis.) 45, Concordia-Chicago 34
Video Box Score
Final
Aurora 25, at Rockford 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Bethel 41, Concordia-Moorhead 13
Box Score
Final
Lakeland 38, at Wisconsin Lutheran 12
Video Box Score
Final
at St. John's 57, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 42, Augsburg 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Dubuque 38, at Buena Vista 7
Video Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 26, at Carthage 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Ripon 58, Macalester 34
Video Box Score
Final
at Monmouth 51, Cornell 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Simpson 38, Loras 33
Video Box Score
Final
at Knox 20, Illinois College 6
Video
Final
UW-Stout 31, at UW-Stevens Point 27
Video
Final
Millikin 14, at Elmhurst 13
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at MacMurray 20, Iowa Wesleyan 13
Box Score
Final
UW-Eau Claire 40, at UW-Platteville 16
Video Box Score
Final
at St. Thomas 68, Carleton 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Mass-Dartmouth 41, Worcester State 27
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Wartburg 47, Central 20
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 24, UW-La Crosse 13
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Whitewater 44, UW-River Falls 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Birmingham-Southern 47, Austin 35
Video Box Score
Final
Centre 41, at Rhodes 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Carroll 23, North Park 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Kalamazoo 17, Alma 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Pacific Lutheran 33, Willamette 20
Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 65, Buffalo State 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Averett 45, Huntingdon 17
Video Video Box Score
Final
Washington and Lee 38, at Ferrum 35
Video Box Score
4:00 PM
Lewis and Clark at Pacific
Video Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
Final
Redlands 35, at La Verne 17
Video Box Score
4th - 00:46
47 Whitworth
13 Puget Sound
Video Preview Live stats Audio
Final
Claremont-Mudd-Scripps 27, at Occidental 7
Video Box Score
Final
Linfield 14, at George Fox 0
Video Box Score
4th 10:11
16 Olivet
35 Hope
Video Preview Live stats
6:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Western Connecticut
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
Howard Payne at Sul Ross State
Video Live stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
East Texas Baptist at Louisiana College
Video Live stats
7:49 1st
7 Illinois Wesleyan
0 Washington U.
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
St. Norbert at Lawrence
Video
10:00 PM
Whittier at Pomona-Pitzer
Video Live stats
10:00 PM
Chapman at Cal Lutheran
Video Preview Live stats
Oct. 20: All times Eastern
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Montclair State 17
Video
Final
at RPI 31, Hobart 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Trine 31, at Finlandia 0
Video
Final
at Wittenberg 38, DePauw 23
Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 27, Washington and Jefferson 20
Video
Final
Delaware Valley 52, at Lebanon Valley 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 51, at Gettysburg 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Mount Union 54, Heidelberg 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at John Carroll 27, Marietta 24
Box Score Recap Video
Final - OT
at Berry 28, Millsaps 21
Video Box Score Live stats Audio
Final
at Rowan 28, Wesley 27
Video Box Score
Final
at Muhlenberg 42, McDaniel 18
Video Video Box Score
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 20, at Augustana 3
Video
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 49, at Belhaven 0
Video Box Score
Final
at St. John's 57, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Hardin-Simmons 58, Texas Lutheran 14
Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 26, at Carthage 14
Video Box Score
Final
at St. Thomas 68, Carleton 0
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Oshkosh 24, UW-La Crosse 13
Video Box Score
Final
at UW-Whitewater 44, UW-River Falls 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Brockport 65, Buffalo State 7
Video Box Score
4th - 00:46
47 Whitworth
13 Puget Sound
Video Preview Live stats Audio
Final
Linfield 14, at George Fox 0
Video Box Score
7:00 PM
Case Western Reserve at Geneva
Video Preview Live stats
7:49 1st
7 Illinois Wesleyan
0 Washington U.
Video Preview Live stats Audio Audio