DULUTH, Minn. (csssaints.com) – In gale force winds and constant rain and mist, the St. Scholastica football team ran for 383 yards in a 42-6 victory over MacMurray College (Ill.) on Saturday at Public Schools Stadium.
Throwing was going to be an adventure with sustained wins in the 20s and gusts around 40 miles-per-hour. After the Saints were forced to a three-and-out on the opening possession, MacMurray's quarterback would mishandle the snap from center on the team's first play from scrimmage and Alec French scooped up the ball and ran it in from 13 yards out to give the Saints a 7-0 lead.
On the next CSS possession, Jake Jensen ran six times, culminating in an 18-yard TD run up the middle to make it 14-0. That would be the score at the end of the first quarter. The Highlanders ran 11 plays in the first 15 minutes and accumulated only two yards.
With six minutes left in the first half, Jensen took the handoff to the left side and out-ran the MacMurray defenders down the sideline for a 59-yard touchdown. Mike Theismann tacked on the extra point to make it 21-0.
Jensen took a break on the following CSS possession as Chris Gassert broke a 50-yard run up the middle to make it 28-0 at the half.
The Saints out-gained the Highlanders 273-50 in the first half with 243 of those yards coming on the ground. Jensen had 134 yards on 14 carries and Gassert had 102 yards on nine carries.
MacMurray (0-5, 0-4 UMAC) put a good drive together to start the second half, but Joe Geiselman forced a fumble inside the CSS 30-yard-line and Mike LaValley recovered it for the Saints. St. Scholastica proceeded to pound the ball down the field and Matt Pint scored his first collegiate touchdown from three yards out to make it 35-0.
After MacMurray found the ground game and scored on a four-yard touchdown run, the final score of the day came in the fourth quarter when Tyler Harper found Mitch O'Neil on a three-yard pop pass to make the final score 42-6.
Harper threw for only 42 yards on six completions in the victory. Gassert finished with 211 yards rushing on 18 carries. He is the fourth Saint to rush for over 200 yards in a game. Jensen wound up with 146 yards on 16 carries. Patrick Hall had 126 yards rushing for the Highlanders.
Keaton Rush led the Saints defense with 14 tackles. French added 12 tackles and a half sack. Geiselman had nine tackles, a sack and a forced fumble. Anthony McKinney led MacMurray with 10 tackles.
The Saints (4-1, 4-0 UMAC) will be on the road next weekend as it travels to the University of Northwestern to face the Eagles. Northwestern is the only conference team to defeat the Saints in the last two-plus seasons. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and all of the action can be heard live on Saints Sports Net.