|Luke Zajac and Thomas More cleared another hurdle in their quest to get a playoff bid as an independent.
Thomas More athletics photo
UW-Platteville, Linfield, UW-Oshkosh and Illinois Welseyan each turned their most recent results around, although that was bad news for the Pioneers. RPI survived in triple overtime, while Union handed Springfield, a key playoff rival of Thomas More's, its first loss of the season.
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UW-Platteville saw the tables turned in Week 3, as the No. 16 Pioneers rolled out to a 21-0 lead before Thomas More rallied for a 35-28 win. The Saints tied the game before halftime as Justin Post hit Logan Winkler for a 35-yard touchdown pass. The Pioneers (1-1) retook the lead with a 64-yard drive to open the second half, but Thomas More answered on the next possession with a long drive, capped by a 17-yard touchdown run by Luke Zajac.
Post found Hjavier Pitts for a 28-yard touchdown pass with 5:01 left in the game, and the Saints defense held on fourth-and-goal from the 13 as Kyle Davis broke up a pass to the end zone. Pitts had 123 yards on the ground and 38 yards through the air, with two touchdowns.
No. 15 UW-Oshkosh got the biggest output its had from its offense all season as the Titans won at Division II Lincoln (Mo.) 17-7, a week after losing to a third-year Division II program. Kyle Radavich was an efficient 19-for-31 passing for 156 yards and a touchdown and ran for a TD as well in the win. And No. 11 Linfield got back on track as well, with 389 yards of total offense, though it led to just 13 points in a 13-0 win vs. Redlands. The Wildcat defense held Redlands quarterback Levi Plante to 10-for-26 passing for 111 yards and an interception. Duke Mackle had the interception for Linfield, while Brian Pullman had two sacks and forced a fumble.
Illinois Welseyan fell out of the Top 25 last week, but could vault itself right back in after a 24-14 win vs. No. 12 Wheaton. The Thunder scored twice in the first two minutes of the second half to cut IWU's lead to 17-14 but could not get back on the scoreboard.
Union receiver Andre Ross had six catches for 178 yards and the Springfield rushing offense was held completely in check as the Dutchmen upended the No. 25 Pride 45-10. The Dutchmen's defense limited the Pride to just 126 total yards of offense -- just 1.9 per play -- after they averaged 400-plus yards on the ground in their first two games, both victories. With the NEWMAC not yet eligible for an automatic bid, Springfield, the rest of its conference, and Thomas More are competing for one playoff bid, which comes from Pool B.
No. 5 North Central rolled up 577 yards of total offense and fended off a frantic comeback attempt to defeat Washington U. 32-19. Cardinal quarterback Broc Rutter established a benchmark for the program with 35 completions in his 47 passes. Washington U. scored with 43 seconds left to cut the lead to 13 and lined up for an onside kick once again, but Michael Sfikas snagged the ball out of the air to finish the contest.
Sophomore Sanjay Krishnan made two field goals in overtime and defensive back D.J. Stefonsky sealed the win with an interception in the end zone as No. 21 RPI defeated Utica, 23-20. The Engineers (3-0) scored with 3:41 left in regulation to force an extra session and the teams traded missed field goals in the first overtime, made kicks in the second before RPI emerged victorious after the third overtime.
After scoring the first 28 points of the game, No. 18 Berry had to hold on to defeat Rhodes 42-35 in an SAA game. The Lynx responded by cutting that 28-0 lead to 35-28 and it was a seven-point deficit again in the fourth quarter before Kevin Grier and Mark Sommerville each intercepted passes in the final minute-plus to seal the win.
Wilkes held the ball for nearly 40 minutes, but let an upset slip out of its hands at Delaware Valley where the No. 22 Aggies hung on for a 21-10 victory. Dashawn Darden ran for 145 yards and two touchdowns including the game-clinching score with 1:08 to play.
The 1,000th game in St. Thomas football history was like many others in the past decade as the No. 3-ranked Tommies opened MIAC play with a 62-0 win vs. Hamline. Will Toonen had return touchdowns of two and 42 yards and Josh Parks rushed 10 times for 100 yards in less than two quarters as UST broke a record with its 29th consecutive victory over MIAC opponents dating to October 2014. The includes 28 MIAC regular-season games and one NCAA playoff victory over St. John's. The Tommie defense held Hamline to minus-15 net yards on 44 plays with just two first downs (one by penalty), and forced 11 punts. UST had three takeaways and 19 tackles for loss.