/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."

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Framingham State 50, Massachusetts Maritime 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Muhlenberg 56, at Juniata 40
Video Box Score
Final
at Dean 25, Becker 10
Box Score
Final
Salisbury 27, at TCNJ 7
Box Score
Final
MIT 38, at Catholic 21
Video Box Score
Final
Merchant Marine 56, at Maine Maritime 31
Video Box Score
Final
at Hobart 34, Endicott 17
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Morrisville State 44, Nichols 22
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Albright 9, Widener 7
Video Box Score
Final
Christopher Newport 16, at Montclair State 8
Video Box Score
Final
at Westminster (Pa.) 41, Bethany 14
Video Box Score
Final
Middlebury 41, at Bowdoin 14
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Williams 24, at Colby 7
Video Box Score
Final
Amherst 36, at Hamilton 6
Video Box Score
Final
Ursinus 35, at Moravian 17
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Trinity (Conn.) 51, at Bates 0
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at LaGrange 38, Brevard 28
Video Box Score
Final
Geneva 33, at Thiel 24
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Plymouth State 37, Mass-Dartmouth 7
Video Box Score
Final
Kean 28, at Southern Virginia 14
Video Box Score
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Union 17, at Curry 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Lycoming 44, at King's 41
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Western New England 21, Husson 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at DePauw 51, Wooster 24
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Ohio Wesleyan 37, Allegheny 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Misericordia 43, Wilkes 14
Video
Final
at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at N.C. Wesleyan 35, Maryville (Tenn.) 25
Video Box Score
Final
Huntingdon 31, at Ferrum 28
Video Video Box Score
Final - OT
at McDaniel 27, Gettysburg 20
Video Video Preview Box Score
Final
at Buffalo State 33, RPI 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin and Marshall 27, at Susquehanna 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Denison 45, Oberlin 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Northwestern (Minn.) 10, Westminster (Mo.) 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Eureka 44, Crown 20
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Lebanon Valley 24, FDU-Florham 14
Video Box Score
Final
at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Ohio Northern 35, Otterbein 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Rose-Hulman 37, Defiance 14
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Marietta 49, Muskingum 25
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Franklin 59, at Bluffton 30
Box Score
Final
at Hanover 64, Anderson 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Mount St. Joseph 31, at Manchester 14
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Worcester State 34, at Westfield State 10
Video Box Score
Final
Coast Guard 13, at Norwich 9
Video Box Score
Final
at Fitchburg State 31, Bridgewater State 29
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
Video Video Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Millsaps 17, Sewanee 13
Video Box Score
Final
at Rhodes 35, Birmingham-Southern 9
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hendrix 36, Austin 24
Video Box Score
Final
at Martin Luther 34, Greenville 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final - OT
at Trinity (Texas) 41, Chapman 35
Video Preview Box Score Live stats
Final
at Loras 73, Buena Vista 34
Video Video Box Score
Final
at Wartburg 30, Washington U. 20
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 51, Hamline 7
Video Box Score
Final
Augsburg 48, at Carleton 28
Video Box Score
Final
at Bethel 64, St. Olaf 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Luther 21, Dubuque 17
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Central 52, Nebraska Wesleyan 27
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Simpson 38, at Coe 33
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
St. Norbert 66, at Grinnell 13
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Knox 13, Ripon 6
Video Box Score
Final
at MacMurray 32, Iowa Wesleyan 14
Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
Box Score
Final
Southwestern 37, at Louisiana College 34
Video Box Score
Final
Monmouth 26, at Macalester 0
Video Box Score
Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Springfield 42, WPI 10
Video Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Cornell 55, Beloit 36
Video Box Score
Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Hartwick 24, St. John Fisher 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-La Crosse 41, Carroll 6
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Scholastica 37, Minnesota-Morris 3
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at George Fox 44, UW-Eau Claire 0
Video Box Score
Final
at Western Connecticut 37, Salve Regina 23
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at UW-Stevens Point 41, Adrian 28
Video Box Score
Final - OT
at Wesleyan 24, Tufts 17
Video Preview Box Score Photos
Final
at Averett 35, Methodist 6
Video Box Score
Final
at Berry 28, Centre 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Grove City 24, St. Vincent 14
Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
Video
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Carthage 55, at Augustana 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Chicago 28, at Illinois College 7
Video Box Score
Final
at Sul Ross State 35, McMurry 7
Final - OT
at Wilmington 37, Capital 30
Video Preview Box Score Photos
Final
Lake Forest 42, at Lawrence 26
Video Video Box Score Recap
Final
at East Texas Baptist 79, Belhaven 40
Box Score Recap
Final
Arizona Christian 56, at Whittier 38
Video Box Score
Sep. 28: All times Eastern
6:30 PM
Shenandoah at Randolph-Macon
Video Preview Live stats Audio
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
Final
at Delaware Valley 27, Stevenson 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Wesley 66, at William Paterson 0
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Alfred 45, Rochester 7
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Johns Hopkins 41, at Dickinson 10
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Frostburg State 24, at Rowan 10
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Heidelberg 47, John Carroll 21
Video Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Mount Union 55, Baldwin Wallace 7
Video Box Score Photos
Final
Wittenberg 48, at Kenyon 11
Video Box Score
Final
at Wabash 25, Hiram 21
Video Video Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 63, at Howard Payne 3
Box Score
Final
North Central (Ill.) 51, at Millikin 21
Video Box Score Recap
Final
Wheaton (Ill.) 40, at Elmhurst 15
Video Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at St. Thomas 20, St. John's 17
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Brockport 28, Utica 14
Video Box Score Recap
Final
at Case Western Reserve 56, Waynesburg 21
Video Box Score
Final
at Illinois Wesleyan 18, North Park 0
Video
Final
at UW-Platteville 56, Lakeland 22
Video Box Score Photos
Final
at Mary Hardin-Baylor 50, Texas Lutheran 7
Video Box Score Recap