|Will Gillach grabbed 14 receptions, 256 yards and a school record as St. John's overwhelmed St. Thomas in the latest installment of the Johnnie-Tommie rivalry.
Photo by Ryan Coleman, d3photography.com
Will Gillach and Jackson Erdmann had record-setting days as No. 8 St. John's knocked off No. 3 St. Thomas 40-20 before a crowd of 16,922 Saturday afternoon in Collegeville.
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The win marked the Johnnies' first over their archrivals since 2014 and snapped the Tommies' streak of 31 consecutive victories over MIAC opponents. It also came nearly a week after the passing of John Gagliardi, the iconic figure who coached St. John's for six decades.
"I thought about him early this morning when I woke up and I couldn't sleep. I thought about him on my way here. I thought about him during the moment of silence before kickoff. And I'm sure he's looking down and smiling," said St. John's coach Gary Fasching about the late Gagliardi.
St. Thomas turned the ball over seven times -- five interceptions and two fumbles, including one that was returned 99 yards for a touchdown by St. John's senior safety Max Jackson in the fourth quarter.
The Johnnies, meanwhile, piled up 539 yards of total offense. Gillach had 14 catches for a single-game school record 256 yards and two touchdowns. Meanwhile, Erdmann, a junior quarterback, threw for a single-game school record 470 yards and three touchdowns.
"This is the first one I've experienced. It's about time. That's all I have to say," said Johnnies senior wideout Will Gillach. "This was amazing."
Senior Josh Parks had 22 carries for 256 yards and three touchdowns to lead St. Thomas, which had 610 yards of total offense.
"We had some huge shortcomings on our side today. But you have to give credit to St. John's for making a lot of things happen," said St. Thomas coach Glenn Caruso. "They played a tremendous game."