/seasons/2017/contrib/20171118a1cqnw

Tommies use defense, special teams to pull away

More news about: St. Thomas

Sophomore Josh Parks rushed for 106 yards and a touchdown and Adam Brant led another impressive defensive display to lead No. 4-ranked St. Thomas (10-1) to Saturday's 47-8 win over Eureka (8-3) in a first-round NCAA playoff game at UST's O'Shaughnessy Stadium.

The Tommies played turnover free for the second game in a row and had three takeaways and a blocked punt to end the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference champion's win streak at eight.

St. Thomas limited the Red Devils to one first down and 24 net yards on 26 plays in the first half as it built a 19-0 halftime lead. Sophomore Tom Loeffler literally leaped over a Eureka defender for a 27-yard touchdown run for the video highlight of the day -- and possibly the season.

Brant had a 28-yard interception return for a touchdown in the third quarter. That was followed seven plays later by Jack Dummer's blocked punt that Andrew Inserra scooped and returned four yards for another TD and a 40-0 lead.

The St. Thomas' defense and special teams have recorded nine scores in the last five games.

Dummer later recovered a Eureka fourth-quarter red-zone fumble at the Tommie five-yard line, forced by teammate Adam Kraft. Brant had two tackles for loss among his seven tackles and also had a forced fumble.

Tommie QB Jacques Perra completed 11 of 24 passes for 115 yards and one touchdown.

UST outgained Eureka 397-155, including just 46 net rushing yards on 36 carries. The Toms lead the nation in tackles for loss and added 14 more on Saturday.

The Red Devils standout running back LeAnthony Reasnover came into the game averaging 183 rushing yards. He was limited to 12 offensive yards in the first half on 12 touches rushing and receiving, and finished with 76 offensive yards on the day on 31 touches before leaving late in the game with an injury.

The definitive history of the USFL: Football for a Buck, by Jeff Pearlman. Available now!
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