Football Returns The Favor to Northwestern
The College of St. Scholastica football team had one thing on their mind heading down to St. Paul Saturday afternoon: spoiling Northwestern’s homecoming football game. A year ago, the Eagles had the privilege of doing the same thing to the Saints at Public Schools Stadium. The Saints returned the favor this year, however, defeating the Eagles 14-7 on a late go-ahead touchdown in the fourth quarter.
After driving down the majority of the field on the first possession, the Saints were held short of the goal line and came up empty. The Eagles found a tougher going their first time with the ball, going three-and-out quickly. The Saints capitalized on the great field position after the punt, with Zach Edwards finding Aaron Olson for a 28-yard touchdown to put CSS up 7-0.
The rest of the half resulted in neither team putting points on the scoreboard, as they each headed to their respective locker rooms with the score at 7-0. In
the second quarter, Edwards connected with Hunter Thompson on a 62-yard touchdown, but it was called back due to a holding penalty.
The Eagles started the second half on the right foot, marching down the field in 12 plays and finishing it off with a Taylor Lindahl one-yard touchdown run. The Saints fumbled on the ensuing possession, giving the Eagles a great opportunity to put more points on the board and take the lead from the Saints. However, Donovan Blatz forced a fumble of his own at the CSS 18-yard line to negate any momentum Northwestern had gained.
The score remained 7-7 into the fourth quarter, which is when Edwards put together a magnificent drive to give the Saints the go-ahead score. After marching down the field on a few key third and fourth down conversions thanks to Ben Buthe and Jack Peru, the Saints were faced with a fourth and goal situation on the Northwestern one-yard line. With the whole stadium thinking run, St. Scholastica called a play-action rollout that led to an easy Edwards dump down to Jeff LeMay to put the Saints up 14-7.
The Eagles were held scoreless the rest of the quarter, with the CSS defense holding them to yet another three-and-out series. The final score of 14-7 was the exact reflection of the score a year ago at Public School Stadiums, this time with the Saints on top instead of the rival Eagles.
Of course, this game had been in every St. Scholastica player’s mind ever since the loss on Homecoming last year.
“I had that game circled on my calendar as soon as the schedule came out,” said LeMay. “We certainly owed them one after they crashed our Homecoming last year,
and it felt good walking out of there with the win.”
LeMay himself scored the game-winner, which seemed appropriate considering his closeness to the University of Northwestern.
“I grew up fairly close to Northwestern and had family and friends in attendance, so it was awesome to share that moment with them as well as my teammates,” said LeMay. “Personally, it was incredible to have the faith of my teammates and coaches in that situation [drawing up the game-winning play].”
The Saints have been holding teams to less than 20 points a game (except Greenville, who scored 27 in the CSS 47-27 win) ever since the loss to St. John’s, but it hasn’t meant much as the offense has been piling on the points. This game, the impressive defensive play finally paid off. Cal Germain led the way defensively, recording a team-high ten tackles. Although Germain played a huge role in stopping the Eagles, he didn’t notice how many tackles he had accumulated throughout the game.
“I didn’t really realize my involvement in the game,” said Germain. “It was such an intense game that I wasn’t thinking about anything other than winning.”
Winning is what they came for, and it is exactly what they left with. It seemed, from a spectator view, that the CSS team had outworked and out-hustled the UNW squad.
“I definitely felt that we all wanted to win more than Northwestern,” said Germain. “I think that the defense as a whole played outstanding.”
With the win St. Scholastica remains undefeated (4-0) in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference play, while the Eagles drop to 2-2 in the UMAC standings. The Saints
will now host their own homecoming this upcoming Saturday as they host Iowa Wesleyan at 2:30 p.m. at Malosky Stadium.