CSS football drops conference opener

By KBJR News 1

September 26, 2010 Updated Sep 26, 2010 at 12:24 AM CST

The St. Scholastica football team held a 7-0 halftime lead, but Martin Luther punched the ball in the end zone three times in the second half to rally past the Saints 21-7 on Saturday at the MLC Bowl.

In the previous three meetings, Martin Luther (2-2, 1-1 UMAC) defeated the Saints (2-2, 0-1 UMAC) by an average margin of 34 points. That was the not the case this afternoon.

It was both defenses making stands in the first quarter. The Knights went for it on fourth-and-three at the CSS 34-yard line, but Scott Greening (Antigo, Wis./Antigo HS (Mesabi CC)) made the stop for a one-yard loss to give the ball to the Saints.

St. Scholastica proceeded to move the ball into Knight territory and on fourth-and-nine at the MLC 24-yard line, Alex Thiry (Cambridge, Minn./Braham HS (Minn.-Duluth))’s pass to Keegan O’Neill (Superior, Wis./Superior HS) was complete, but two yards short of the sticks.

Martin Luther took the ball to the Saints’ 28-yard line, but Chas Lemon (Minneapolis, Minn./DeLaSalle HS) intercepted a Greg Holzheuter pass and the Saints regained possession. The Saints capitalized off of the turnover when Alex Thiry connected with Nick Thiry (Braham, Minn./Braham HS) for 37-yard touchdown strike early in the second quarter. After a Taylor McGinnis (Eau Claire, Wis./Eau Claire Memorial HS) extra point it was 7-0 St. Scholastica.

The St. Scholastica defense held firm the rest of the half, forcing two more turnovers as the teams went into the locker room with CSS holding on to its 7-0 advantage.

The Knights came out at the start of the second half and took only four plays on the opening possession to tie it up as Aaron Voss ran for 36-yard touchdown.

After the teams exchanged punts, the Knights would put together an 11-play, 95-yard drive. MLC converted three third-and-longs on the drive, including its first two pass completions of the day of 31 and 34 yards. Voss capped off the drive with a plunge from a yard out to give the Knights a 14-7 lead.

The Saints would get intercepted on its first drive of the fourth quarter and Martin Luther took advantage of the short field. Greg Holzhueter ran for 26-yard touchdown to make the score 21-7.

The Saints would not threaten the rest of the way, falling by a score of 21-7.

Martin Luther out-gained the Saints 369-283 in the game, including 253 yards on the ground. The Saints punted eight times on the afternoon.

Alex Thiry was 17-of-32 for 177 yards and a touchdown. Nick Thiry led the receiving corps with five receptions for 47 yards and a score. Jake Jensen (South St. Paul, Minn./South St. Paul HS) ran for 84 yards on 19 carries.
JP Leary (South St. Paul, Minn./South St. Paul HS) matched his own program record with 16 tackles and also forced a fumble. Jordan Hanson (Albert Lea, Minn./Albert Lea HS (Ridgewater CC)) added a season-high 13 tackles.

The Saints will host their third Homecoming game next Saturday at UMD’s Malosky Stadium. CSS will go up against Crown, the same opponent from their first-ever Homecoming game. Kickoff is scheduled for 4 p.m. It will also be Military Appreciation Day and anyone with a military ID that is active or retired will have free admission into the game.

Courtesy: CSS Athletics