Saints Survive Presentation in Overtime

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ABERDEEN, S.D. ( – The St. Scholastica football team needed to win its first overtime game in program history on a 25-yard Mike Theismann field goal to get past Presentation College on Saturday afternoon 20-17 in non-conference action at Swisher Field.

This was the second overtime game in the program's history with the first coming way back during the inaugural season of 2008 when the Saints fell to Macalester 27-21 in one overtime. Meanwhile, Presentation, in just its second year as a program, was competing in its first overtime game.

The Saints had a chance to win the game in the regulation, but Mike Theismann's 28-yard attempt went wide right, marking his first miss of his collegiate career and the program's first field goal miss.

Presentation got the ball first in overtime and would fail to convert a first down, setting up a 34-yard field goal by Gavin Voss. Voss' attempt would miss wide left, meaning any points the Saints would get on their possession would give them the win.

Chris Gassert had rushes of eight and nine yards on the first two plays to get the ball down to the Presentation 8-yard-line. CSS would not be able to advance it any farther giving Theismann a chance to redeem himself and he would do just that, connecting on a 25-yard field goal to give the Saints the 20-17 victory.

The Saints jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first 16 minutes of the game. Jake Jensen scored the first touchdown of the game on a 3-yard rush on their opening possession. On CSS's third possession, it was Tyler Harper connecting with Cory Gebhard for a 6-yard touchdown pass to make it 14-0.

Presentation got on the board on the ensuing possession with a Voss 27-yard field goal. The Saints tried to add to its lead before the end of the half, but were stopped on a fourth-and-one at the Presentation 15.

Presentation got things clicking offensively in the second half. After the Saints were forced to a three-and-out, Presentation had a short field and took advantage as Stephen Braswell hit Jalanni James for a 14-yard touchdown pass.

The PC Saints then took the lead on their next possession as Braswell hit Will Vealy for a 5-yard touchdown to make the score 17-14 Presentation. A Theismann 23-yard field goal tied the game with 10 minutes in the fourth quarter.

The Saints picked up 350 yards of total offense, while holding Presentation to 246 yards. Gassert led the rushing attack with 86 yards on 18 carries, while Jensen added 51 yards on 15 carries with a score.

Harper was 14-of-30 for 164 yards and one touchdown. Gebhard had five receptions for 65 yards and a touchdown. Nick Thiry had four receptions for 52 yards. Keenan Honore had nine receptions for 119 yards to lead Presentation.

Blake Cedarleaf led the defense with six tackles, including 2.5 for a loss and a pass breakup. Presentation quarterback from a season ago, Cullen O'Brien, led the PC Saints with 14 tackles.  

The Saints will close the regular season next Saturday at the University of Minnesota Morris. CSS still has an outside chance at making the NCAA Playoffs for a second consecutive year. They need to win and also have Greenville College (Ill.) defeat Northwestern College to set up a three-way tie for the conference regular season crown. That would setup a random draw on who gets the automatic qualifier.

Kickoff for next Saturday's game at Big Cat Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m. All of the action can be heard live on Saints Sports Net.