Saints Do Enough to Beat Crown
ST. BONIFACIUS, Minn. (csssaints.com) – The St. Scholastica football team entered the new KleinBank Stadium and came away with a 24-14 victory Saturday night over Crown College.
The Saints took the ball first and just like last week drove the ball down the field thanks to Jake Jensen on the ground. However, the game's first pass attempt for CSS in the red zone of the Storm resulted in an interception. It was the first time this season, the Saints failed to convert a red zone opportunity.
After a Crown punt, however, Tyler Harper found Cory Gebhard for a 42-yard touchdown reception to make it 7-0. On the ensuing possession, after a CSS "targeting" personal foul penalty prolonged the Crown drive, Wes Stafford found Ben Olson for a 41-yard touchdown reception to tie the game at 7-7 at the end of first quarter.
CSS drove into Crown territory on the next possession, but the drive stalled and Mike Theismann missed a 38-yard field goal. It was the first time in his career he missed a field goal outside of 30 yards (10-10).
However, the CSS defense held again and the Saints took it back down the field and Tyler Harper finished off the drive with a 12-yard TD run to make it 14-7. After a three-and-out by Crown, Theismann would connect on a 21-yard field goal to make the halftime score 17-7.
The Saints out-gained the Storm 266-86 in the first half, including 132-10 on the ground. Jake Jensen had 115 yards on 21 carries in the first 30 minutes.
It was a relatively quiet third quarter. The Saints had just one scoring opportunity and that was a 45-yard field goal that fell short. Blake Cedarleaf forced a fumble on a sack with Crown inside the CSS 30-yard line and it was recovered by Jake Cruz. However, the Saints would punt it right back to the Storm.
The Storm (0-3, 0-2 UMAC) had their best drive of the game to start the fourth quarter, going 80 yards on 17 plays which resulted in a Matt Michaud one-yard TD plunge to make it 17-14 with 6:18 left in the game.
With home crowd into it, it didn't take long for the Saints to answer. It took just three Chris Gassert rushes with the first being a 44-yard run and the last being a 18-yard touchdown scamper to make it a 10-point game again at 24-14.
Jack Miller recorded an interception on Crown's next possession and Alec French had another interception to ice the game to make the final score 24-14.
For the game, the Saints out-gained the Storm 425-256. CSS ran for 271 yards and Crown found something on the ground in the second half as it finished with 120 yards. CSS was only 4-for-12 on third down, while Crown was 7-for-15.
Jensen was held in check in the second half as he finished with 119 yards on 26 carries. Gassert rushed for 74 yards on eight attempts. Harper threw for 154 yards and rushed for 64. The Saints completed just one pass in the second half. Spencer Specht had four receptions for 41 yards and Gebhard had three catches for 70 yards.
Paul Olson led the defense with 12 tackles and a half sack. Tyler Zurn added 11 tackles and a forced fumble.
The Saints (2-1, 2-0 UMAC) will be back at Malosky Stadium next weekend for Homecoming when they face Westminster College (Mo.) The kickoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. All of the action can be seen live on Saints Sports Net.