September 6, 2013

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

More news about: St. John-s

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.

River Falls answered right back with a 73-yard scoring drive, on only nine plays. On first-and-goal from the 19, quarterback Ryan Kusilek scrambled right and found Charles Dixon all alone in the back of the end zone to tie the game. UWRF went three-and-out to start the drive, but SJU was called for offsides on the punt (on fourth-and-one), giving the home team a fresh set of downs from its own 41.

Both teams exchanged a pair of punts before SJU took over one its own 40-yard line with 5:27 left in the first half. On third-and-eight, junior J.T. Ford (Stevens Point, Wis.) got behind the Falcons' defense but the likely touchdown pass from Martin slipped through his hands.

SJU cruised on its opening drive of the second half before stalling at the UWRF 29. The snap on fourth-and-one went wide of Martin, however, and the Johnnies were forced to turn the ball over on downs.

The Falcons moved down to the Johnnies' 17-yard line but Johnson's field goal from 34 yards out went wide right.

The Johnnies threw a deep interception on first down and shanked a punt on the next possession. UWRF took advantage of the shift in momentum with a 66-yard scoring drive, ending on another Kusilek-to-Dixon touchdown from 19 yards out, on third-and-16. The extra point gave River Falls a 14-7 lead with 14:45 remaining.

Both teams exchanged a pair of punts once again until SJU took over on its own 26 with 3:04 to play. As mentioned above, Martin extended the drive with a 20-yard strike to Belland on fourth-and-11, and then re-connected with the senior for 17 yards on third-and-10. Martin hit Bungum on consecutive passes for 29 and seven yards before Essler's game-tying score. The Johnnies initially looked to go for the two-point conversion, but a delay-of-game penalty moved the ball back to the eight. Johnson connected with the abnormal extra point to tie the game.

UWRF gained three yards on first down, out of bounds, before junior Matt Workman (Minneapolis, Minn./Holy Angels) sacked Kusilek on second down and dropped him for a three-yard loss on third down, forcing the punt with under 30 seconds left.

Martin hit Krebsbach for the 39-yard gain, out to the UWRF 23, on first down. His second-down pass fell incomplete, leaving six seconds left on the clock for Johnson's game-winner.

Essler led the Johnnies' ground game with 65 yards on nine carries. Martin added 31 yards on 13 attempts and freshman Jakob Certeza(Temecula, Calif./Great Oak) added 29 yards on five carries. Martin finished the night 13 of 28 passing for 184 yards. Bungum snagged seven passes for 63 yards and Belland finished with 54 yards on three catches. Krebsbach recorded two catches for 52 yards.

Sophomore Nick Simon (New Ulm, Minn./Cathedral) led the SJU defense with nine tackles (six solo), while senior Darryl Williams(Hawthorne, Calif./Verbum Dei) added eight (six solo). Sophomore Blake Bellefeuille (Sartell, Minn./St. Cloud Cathedral) posted seven tackles, including two for a loss.

Kusilek posted 344 yards of total offense in the game, 106 on 18 carries and another 238 thru the air (22 of 35 passing). Dixon accounted for 130 yards on seven receptions.

UWRF out-gained the visiting Johnnies 413-323 in the game but was hampered by 10 penalties for 90 yards. SJU was six of 14 on third down but a perfect 2-for-2 in the red zone, while the Falcons were 2-for-4.

The Johnnies return home to host Wisconsin-Eau Claire for a 1 p.m. kickoff on Saturday, Sept. 14, at Clemens Stadium in Collegeville. The matchup will also be the Johnnies' Tackle Cancer game to benefit the Randy Shaver Cancer Research and Community Fund. Monetary donations will be collected throughout the stadium.

comments powered by Disqus
Sep. 18: All times Eastern
Final
Christopher Newport 31, at N.C. Wesleyan 28
Box Score
Sep. 19: All times Eastern
Final
Framingham State 29, at Fitchburg State 26
Box Score Recap
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
Final
RPI 41, at Castleton State 13
Box Score Recap
Final - 2OT
at Massachusetts Maritime 26, Maine Maritime 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Rochester 30, Gallaudet 2
Box Score Recap Recap
Final - OT
at Husson 34, Alfred State 28
Box Score
Final
at Randolph-Macon 34, Sewanee 20
Box Score
Final
at Johns Hopkins 33, Moravian 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Utica 20, Frostburg State 12
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
Alfred 29, at Buffalo State 21
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Catholic 31, Newport News Apprentice 24
Box Score
Final
at Nichols 10, Becker 3
Box Score
Final
Wesleyan 22, at Middlebury 14
Box Score
Final
Bridgewater State 51, at Worcester State 27
Box Score Recap
Final
at Tufts 24, Hamilton 17
Box Score Recap Recap Photos
Final
at Amherst 14, Bates 6
Box Score Photos
Final
at Trinity (Conn.) 32, Colby 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at William Paterson 36, Salve Regina 32
Box Score Recap
Final
at Stevenson 20, Lebanon Valley 14
Box Score
Final
Allegheny 24, at Hiram 21
Box Score Recap
Final
at Merchant Marine 34, SUNY-Maritime 17
Box Score
Final
at St. Vincent 23, Case Western Reserve 20
Box Score
Final
Thomas More 66, at Thiel 27
Box Score Recap
Final
Ursinus 31, at Franklin and Marshall 24
Box Score Recap
Final
Endicott 41, at Kean 28
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 56, Coast Guard 0
Box Score
Final
Maryville (Tenn.) 40, at Averett 17
Box Score
Final
at Widener 41, Albright 23
Final
Hobart 43, at Curry 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Greensboro 37, LaGrange 35
Box Score
Final
at Dickinson 29, Susquehanna 28
Box Score Photos
Final
at Wesley 37, Rowan 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Lawrence 31, Morrisville State 14
Box Score
Final
at Misericordia 35, FDU-Florham 0
Final
at Gettysburg 31, Juniata 17
Box Score Recap
Final
at Montclair State 27, Lincoln (Pa.) 14
Box Score
Final
Wabash 31, at Denison 12
Box Score
Final - OT
Bethany 21, at Westminster (Pa.) 14
Final
at Springfield 47, Mount Ida 16
Box Score Recap
Final
at Ithaca 42, Hartwick 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Norwich 10, WPI 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Iowa Wesleyan 13, at Minnesota-Morris 7
Box Score
Final
at Methodist 41, Huntingdon 34
Box Score
Final
Ohio Northern 37, at Baldwin Wallace 35
Box Score
Final
at Capital 34, Wilmington 21
Box Score Recap
Final
Franklin 62, at Anderson 14
Box Score
Final
at Washington and Jefferson 48, Carnegie Mellon 30
Box Score Recap
Final
at John Carroll 43, Heidelberg 16
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Lycoming 28, King's 13
Box Score Recap
Final - 2OT
at Waynesburg 44, Geneva 38
Final
Mount Union 62, at Muskingum 6
Box Score
Final
Mount St. Joseph 24, at Defiance 21
Box Score
Final
at Manchester 55, Earlham 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Williams 36, Bowdoin 0
Box Score Photos
Final
Muhlenberg 59, at McDaniel 10
Box Score
Final
UW-Whitewater 48, at TCNJ 0
Final
at Otterbein 20, Marietta 0
Box Score
Final
Hope 25, at Lakeland 22
Box Score
Final
Olivet 49, at Aurora 20
Box Score Recap
Final
Albion 57, at Concordia (Wis.) 20
Box Score
Final
at Washington U. 24, North Park 19
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wisconsin Lutheran 32, Kalamazoo 20
Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 17, UW-Eau Claire 0
Box Score Recap
Final
Concordia-Moorhead 23, at St. John's 14
Box Score
Final
at Bethel 40, St. Olaf 0
Box Score
Final
Augsburg 42, at Carleton 14
Box Score
Final
at Gustavus Adolphus 48, Hamline 19
Box Score
Final
Stetson 37, at Birmingham-Southern 19
Box Score
Final
Trinity (Texas) 14, at Sul Ross State 6
Box Score
Final
at Austin 21, Occidental 12
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Howard Payne 38, Southwestern Assemblies 25
Final
at Central 65, Maranatha Baptist 12
Box Score Recap
Final
at Luther 49, Grinnell 21
Box Score
Final
UW-Stevens Point 37, at Coe 21
Box Score
Final
at Greenville 30, Eureka 27
Box Score
Final
Westminster (Mo.) 27, at MacMurray 21
Box Score
Final
Texas Lutheran 38, at Louisiana College 32
Box Score Recap
Final
at Simpson 13, Illinois Wesleyan 3
Box Score
Final
Trine 27, at Rockford 7
Box Score Recap
Final - 2OT
Rose-Hulman 48, at Hanover 42
Box Score Recap Photos
Final
at Western Connecticut 45, Plymouth State 7
Box Score
Final
Hardin-Simmons 37, at Wayland Baptist 23
Box Score
Final
at Whittier 23, Lewis and Clark 10
Box Score
Final
Willamette 42, at Cal Lutheran 24
Box Score
Final
Alma 24, at Concordia-Chicago 21
Box Score
Final
Carroll 28, at Lake Forest 7
Box Score
Final
Whitworth 50, at La Verne 48
Box Score Recap
Final
Westfield State 14, at Mass-Dartmouth 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at St. Scholastica 48, Crown 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wittenberg 34, DePauw 17
Box Score Photos
Final
St. John Fisher 36, at Brockport State 20
Box Score Recap
Final
Guilford 35, at Southern Virginia 27
@ Salem Stadium
Box Score Recap
Final
Wooster 63, at Oberlin 10
Box Score
Final
at Shenandoah 45, Ferrum 20
Box Score Photos
Final
Centre 28, at Washington and Lee 23
Box Score
Final
at Ohio Wesleyan 35, Kenyon 25
Box Score
Final
at Delaware Valley 54, Wilkes 35
7:00 PM
UW-River Falls at South Dakota Mines
Final
at Augustana 34, Loras 17
Final
at Dubuque 16, Pacific 10
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 28, UW-Platteville 7
Box Score
Final
Chicago 29, at Elmhurst 17
Box Score Recap
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 41, at UW-La Crosse 22
Box Score
Final
at South Dakota State 41, UW-Oshkosh 3
Box Score
Final
Adrian 23, at Benedictine 6
Box Score Recap
7:00 4th
14 UW-Stout
45 Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
4th Quarter
27 Martin Luther
41 Northwestern (Minn.)
Live Stats Video
8:00 PM
Southwestern at East Texas Baptist
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
End of 2nd
14 Rhodes
7 Pomona-Pitzer
Preview Live Stats Video
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
Sep. 20: All times Eastern
Final
St. John Fisher 36, at Brockport State 20
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wittenberg 34, DePauw 17
Box Score Photos
7:00 4th
14 UW-Stout
45 Wartburg
Live Stats Video Audio
Final
at South Dakota State 41, UW-Oshkosh 3
Box Score
Final
at North Central (Ill.) 28, UW-Platteville 7
Box Score
Final
Mary Hardin-Baylor 41, at UW-La Crosse 22
Box Score
10:00 PM
Linfield at Redlands
Preview Live Stats Video Audio Audio
Final
UW-Whitewater 48, at TCNJ 0
Final
Mount Union 62, at Muskingum 6
Box Score
Final
at John Carroll 43, Heidelberg 16
Box Score Recap Recap
Final
at Lycoming 28, King's 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Wesley 37, Rowan 7
Box Score Recap
Final
at Hampden-Sydney 56, Coast Guard 0
Box Score
Final
Wabash 31, at Denison 12
Box Score
Final
Thomas More 66, at Thiel 27
Box Score Recap
Final
at Ithaca 42, Hartwick 7
Box Score Recap
Final
Hobart 43, at Curry 13
Box Score Recap
Final
at Johns Hopkins 33, Moravian 14
Box Score Recap
Final
at Bethel 40, St. Olaf 0
Box Score
Final
at Wheaton (Ill.) 17, UW-Eau Claire 0
Box Score Recap
Final
at Simpson 13, Illinois Wesleyan 3
Box Score

What We're Reading