-Klaas runs for over 100 yards
-CSS won the time of possession battle for the first time this season
-CSS out-gained UNW on the ground for the first time since 2015
-Northwestern held to only five pass completions
ST. PAUL (csssaints.com) – The St. Scholastica football team entered Saturday night's contest at the University of Northwestern (Minn.) with the lowest rushing offense in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC). However, led by freshman Dominic Klaas, the Saints ran for 145 yards in a 26-16 victory over the Eagles.
How It Happened
After the Saints were forced to a three-and-out on the opening possession of the game, CSS' Jake Kukowski intercepted a Northwestern pass on its first play from scrimmage. CSS then went to the bag of tricks as former high school quarterback Reese Jansen would find current CSS quarterback Zach Edwards for 41-yard touchdown. A Jacob Carter extra-point made it 7-0.
The Eagles (1-5, 1-3 UMAC) got on the board on their first possession of the second quarter after a CSS fumble, connecting on a 22-yard field goal to make it 7-3.
A special team's miscue on a punt by Northwestern would result in points for the Saints as freshman Chase Kleppe picked up the loose ball and ran it in to make the score 14-3 with seven minutes to go in the first half.
The Saints were looking to tack on more at the end of the half as Andy Lakmann forced a fumble that was recovered by Tandrell Foster at the Northwestern 15-yard-line. CSS then had a swing pass out to the flats that fell incomplete, but was not ruled incomplete on the field as it was ruled a backwards pass and the Eagles returned it 95 yards for a touchdown. The PAT would be blocked and the scored stood at 14-9 at the half.
The Eagles were knocking on the door early in the third quarter after an interception. However, the CSS defense stepped up and held UNW on downs. The score remained 14-9 entering the fourth quarter.
On the first play of the fourth quarter, the Eagles faced a fourth-and-9 at the CSS 28-yard-line and Foster would bust through the line, sack the quarterback, force a fumble and recover the fumble to give the Saints the ball back.
The Saints then went 59 yards on 14 plays, eating up over seven minutes. A key play on the drive was a Klaas five-yard run on fourth-and-3. The drive culminated with an Edwards flip to Mitchell Adrian in motion, who plunged in the end zone to make it 20-9 with less than eight minutes remaining. That seven-minute drive was by far St. Scholastica's longest of the season.
On the ensuing possession, Kukowski recorded his second interception of the night as the Eagles tried a wide receiver pass, but Kukowski was not falling for it. Edwards then found Klaas on a screen play for a big 37-yard game inside Northwestern's 10-yard-line. Two plays later, Klaas punched it in to extend the lead to 26-9.
The Eagles added a touchdown to make it 26-16, but the Saints gained a couple of first downs to run down the clock and then Daniel Voxland recovered a muffed punt in the final 40 seconds to seal the 26-16 win for the Saints.
Top Performers for the Saints
Edwards threw for 178 yards on 19-of-34 passing. Klaas ran for 104 yards on 22 carries and one touchdown. He is the team's first 100-yard rusher this season. Klaas also led the team with 59 receiving yards. Adrian had 10 receptions for 53 yards and a score.
Eric Soderberg once again led the defense with 10 tackles. Kukowski finished with two interceptions and two pass breakups. Foster had a sack and two fumble recoveries with three quarterback hurries.
Top Performers for the Opponents
The Eagles threw from only 105 yards and completed just five passes on the night. Payton Bowdry ran for 94 yards on 22 carries with one touchdown. George Obitz had 11 tackles to lead the defense.
The Saints (5-1, 3-1 UMAC) remain away from Duluth as they head to Southern Illinois to face Greenville University (Ill.) next Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.