-CSS scored 21 consecutive points twice in the contest.
-First Home Overtime game in program history (2-1 all-time)
-CSS has now won 12 games in a row at Malosky Stadium
-Adrian sets a program record with 14 receptions
-First Head Coaching win for Mike Heffernan
DULUTH, Minn. (csssaints.com) – Will Halloran intercepted a Mayville State University (N.D.) pass in the end zone of the first overtime to seal the St. Scholastica football team's season-opening come-from-behind 42-35 victory on Saturday at Malosky Stadium.
How it Happened
The Comets jumped out to a 19-0 lead on the Saints just over 20 minutes into the game. Mayville State out-gained the Saints 151-48 in the first quarter, as CSS recorded only two first downs in its first five possessions.
After a CSS defensive stop, the game seemed to change when Zach Edwards connected with Mitchell Adrian on a third-and-17 to keep a drive alive. Later in the drive, Edwards ran it in from four yards out to make it 19-7.
The Comets then fumbled the ensuing kickoff as Wyatt Lahr forced it and recovered it. Edwards found Eddie Lee on a fourth down play to once again keep the drive alive. Two plays later it was Edwards to Lee for a 10-yard score to cut the margin to 19-14.
Another key moment in the game came at the end of the first half as the Comets drove the ball all the way down inside the CSS 5-yard-line, but would be stopped on downs after a sack by Jason Thorud.
CSS trailed only 19-14 at halftime despite being out-gained 298-121. Third downs were a big reason as the Comets were 4-of-7 and the Saints 1-of-7.
After punts were traded early in the second half, the Saints had a 56-yard touchdown run by Bryceton Butkiewicz called back due to a blind-side block. However, it was another fourth down conversion that kept the drive alive as Edwards scrambled to avoid trouble and ultimately got all the way down to the Mayville 1-yard-line. On the very next play Edwards handed it off to Butkiewicz who was stood up behind the line, but Butkiewicz would lateral it back to Edwards who dove into the end zone to give the Saints their first lead at 21-19.
Mayville State responded by converting a fourth down on their ensuing drive en route to a 12-yard TD pass in the final minute of the third quarter. The Comets would fail the two-point conversion and the score stood at 25-21 after three quarters.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Saints would be stopped on fourth down at midfield. The CSS defense then held MSU to a three-and-out, but a roughing the punter penalty extended the drive. The Comets would ultimately get a 24-yard field goal out of it to make the score 28-21.
The Saints quickly went three-and-out on their next possession and a bad snap on the punt put MSU in great field position. The Comets would extend the lead to 35-21 with nine minutes remaining on a 23-yard touchdown pass.
St. Scholastica answered with Edwards connecting with four different receivers during the drive and would hit Adrian for a 14-yard catch and run touchdown to make it 35-28 with 5:30 to go.
After Mayville State did nothing with its possession, the Saints took over around midfield. Edwards found Reese Jansen for a 17-yard gain on a third down. Dominic Klaas then had a 16-yard run to push the Saints inside the MSU 10-yard-line. On third-and-goal, Edwards connected with Lee for an 8-yard touchdown with one minute remaining in regulation. Jacob Carter connected on his fifth PAT of the day to make it 35-35.
The Comets would have a chance, advancing to the CSS 20-yard-line, but Ty Chisholm intercepted a desperation heave with no time remaining to send the game into overtime.
The Saints would have the ball first in overtime and needed only one play as Edwards found Jansen for a 25-yard score to make it 42-35. That meant Mayville State needed a touchdown and PAT to extend the game.
MSU would push the ball down to the 1-yard-line. The Comets failed to convert a QB sneak on first down, then had a pass deflected on second down. A false start penalty on third down, moved the ball back to the six-yard-line. On the next play, the Comets tried a fade to the back corner, but Halloran played it perfectly and intercepted the pass to end the game and give the Saints the 42-35 win.
Top Performers for the Saints
Edwards was 34-of-48 for 291 yards and four touchdown passes. He also ran for two scores to contribute to all six CSS touchdowns. Adrian had 14 receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown. Lee had seven receptions for 63 yards and two scores.
Eric Soderberg and Chase Kleppe each had 13 tackles to lead the defense. Carter was 6-for-6 on extra points on the day.
Top Performers for the Opponents
Quarterback Creighton Pfau threw for 353 yards and four touchdowns, but had two interceptions. His main target was Jacquante Pitts, who had nine receptions for 150 yards and three scores.
Josiah Walker led the defense with 14 tackles, including two sacks.
The Saints will be back in Duluth next Saturday to face another NAIA opponent in Presentation College (S.D.) Kickoff is scheduled for noon.