-Edwards breaks program's single-season passing yards record (2,891)
-CSS ran for a season-high 241 yards, 92 more yards than any other game this season
-The Saints scored three TDs on fourth down plays
-The Saints did not punt
DULUTH, Minn. (csssaints.com) – The St. Scholastica football team jumped out to a 28-0 lead in the opening 20 minutes of the game en route to a convincing Senior Day victory over the University of Minnesota Morris by a score of 47-16 Saturday at Public Schools Stadium.
How it Happened
The Saints got off to a slow start with an interception on their first possession followed by a blocked field goal attempt on their next possession. Following the blocked kick, senior Frank Cerar would force a Morris fumble, which would be recovered by fellow senior Jonathan Senger.
CSS took full advantage this time with Zach Edwards finding senior Aaron Olson for a 34-yard gain. On the next play, Edwards found Olson again from 11 yards out with Olson snagging it one-handed, while getting a foot down in the end zone to make it 7-0.
After a Cougar punt, St. Scholastica got the ball down to the Morris 8-yard-line, but faced a fourth down. The Saints went for it and Edwards would hit senior Christian Rund on a curl, who avoided one defender and dove into the end zone to extend the margin to 14-0.
The Cougars (2-7, 2-5 UMAC) fumbled again on their first play of the second quarter with Senger coming from behind and clubbing the ball out of the carrier's hands. Davon Bryant recovered for the Saints. On the ensuing possession. CSS would face another fourth down at the Morris 20-yard-line. This time Edwards found a wide open Ben Buthe in the end zone and the senior gave the Saints a 21-0 advantage.
A three-and-out by Morris gave it back to the Saints and freshman ball carrier Spencer Ross took over. First he broke a 57-yard run to put it in the red zone. Two plays later it was Ross scoring his first collegiate touchdown from five yards out to make it 28-0 with 10:22 remaining.
St. Scholastica added one more score in the waning moments of the first half with Edwards finding Eddie Lee for a 25-yard score to make the halftime margin 34-0.
Only one score took place in the second half as Ross scampered in from seven yards out on another fourth down play to make it 40-0 at the end of three quarters.
After two Morris passing TDs, the Saints got their final TD of the day when Bryceton Butkiewicz scored his first collegiate TD to make the final 47-16.
Total Offense: CSS-608, UMM-279
Rushing Yards: CSS-241, UMM-141
Fourth Down Conversions: CSS-5 of 6, UMM-1 of 4
Fumbles: CSS-Lost 2, UMM-Lost 3
Top Performers for the Saints
In his first collegiate start, Ross rushed for 153 yards on 15 carries and two scores. Edwards was 25-of-42 through the air for 318 yards and four touchdowns. In doing so, Edwards broke the single-season program record for passing yards. Lee had another big day with eight receptions for 110 yards and a score. Buthe added six receptions for 69 yards and a TD.
Senior Donovan Blatz led the defense with nine tackles. Senger added eight tackles, including a sack, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery.
Top Performers for the Opponent
Quarterback Justin Masloski threw for 138 yards and two scores and also led the team in rushing with 64 yards. Branden Carlson had five receptions for 69 yards and two scores.
Joseph Loija led the defense with nine tackles.
The Saints (6-3, 6-1) will conclude their season next Saturday down in Jacksonville, Illinois against MacMurray College. The Highlanders lost to Martin Luther College on Saturday, thus eliminating the Saints from NCAA postseason contention. Kickoff is scheduled for noon.