Saint John's scores twice in final minute to win opener

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RIVER FALLS, Wis. – Saint John's University freshman Alexi Johnson (Shakopee, Minn.) made a 40-yard field goal with two seconds remaining to give the Johnnies a 17-14 win to open the 2013 season, and Gary Fasching's collegiate coaching career, at Wisconsin-River Falls on Friday, Sept. 6.

SJU scored 10 points in the final 3:04. The Johnnies tied the game on a 2-yard run by senior Jake Essler (New London, Minn./New London-Spicer), his second of the game, with 55 seconds left. The scoring drive spanned 74 yards on 11 plays and ticked 2:09 off the clock. SophomoreNick Martin (Plymouth, Minn./Wayzata) connected with senior Blake Belland (Chaska, Minn.) for a 20-yard gain on fourth-and-11, and then with sophomore Josh Bungum (Paynesville, Minn.) for 29 yards, on the game-tying drive.

UWRF gained only one yard on three plays, burning 32 seconds off the clock, on the ensuing drive. Martin hit senior Ben Krebsbach (Plymouth, Minn./Benilde-St. Margaret's) for a 39-yard gain on first down to set up Johnson's game-winning kick.

The Falcons marched 57 yards on 12 plays during the opening drive, but the 39-yard attempt from the UWRF freshman kicker, Taylor Johnson, fell well short. The Johnnies took over and chewed up 78 yards on 11 plays, ending on Essler's first 2-yard score of the game with 5:34 left in the first quarter.

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