September 18, 2010

Waldvogel's fast start lifts No. 4-ranked Tommies

More news about: St. Thomas

NORTHFIELD -- Junior WR Fritz Waldvogel caught TD passes of 48, 42 and 22 yards in the game's first 24:00 to help turn an expected tight game into a 49-14 St. Thomas victory over previously-unbeaten St. Olaf in the 2010 MIAC opener on Saturday.

The No. 4-ranked Tommies, now 3-0 this season, have won 16 of their last 18 games since November 2008. They did it without All-America running back Ben Wartman, who sat out with soreness. Junior halfback Colin Tobin made his first career start and rushed for 85 yards and threw a 22-yard scoring pass.

Three St. Thomas players combined to throw five touchdown passes, a team total exceeded just twice in school history. Junior Dakota Tracy (9-for-15) and junior Greg Morse (10-of-11) combined to complete 73% percent of their throws for 296 yards, four TDs and no interceptions.

Coach Glenn Caruso's Tommies had no turnovers for the second week in a row, while his defense had four takeaways and five sacks. UST senior Brady Ervin snared his 13th career interception in his 26-game career.

UST, which rolled up 428 yards of offense on just 54 plays, raced to leads of 28-0 at halftime and 42-7 after three quarters.

Chinni Oji capped the Tommie scoring with an interception and 60-yard TD return –- St. Thomas' second defensive touchdown of the season. St. Thomas ranks among the NCAA leaders with 11 return TDs on special teams and defense in 16 games in 2009 and 2010.

Since 2005, the Oles were 21-2 at home in September games, including a 13-0 record at home. They also had won three in a row over St. Thomas at Manitou Field, including an NCAA Division III record six-overtime decision in 2008.

Playing just three quarters, Waldvogel had a career-high 239 reception yards on 12 catches. That yardage total ranks second at UST and in the top-10 in the conference in single-game reception yards. He also went over 4,000 career all-purpose yards (4,110) with 295 on the day. Waldvogel has 533 all-purpose yards on the season, including 316 receiving yards on 21 catches. In 26 career games, the junior WR-KR has 22 touchdowns and 28 gains of 38 or more yards, and the Tommies are 13-2 when he scores a touchdown.

UST also had a solid day in special teams, with freshman Garrett Maloney averaging 43.3 yards on four punts, with one downed at the Oles' 5-yard line; sophomore PK Tim Albright going 7-for-7 on PATs and executing well on eight kickoffs; and Waldvogel adding a 20-yard punt return into St. Olaf territory that preceded an early UST touchdown.

Junior linebacker Willy Baregi had three tackles for loss, a sack and a forced fumble and was in on 10 tackles to lead the Tommie defense. St. Thomas shut out Oles over the first 2 1-2 quarters and on the afternoon allowed 270 net yards on 70 plays. On the season, Baregi has 21 tackles, a conference-best 7.5 tackles for loss, four sacks, a forced fumble and one fumble recovery. Tony Danna added nine tackles and a sack; Kirk Baglien had his eighth career interception; and Kevin Potas had a fumble recovery.

UST also had a solid day in special teams, with freshman Garrett Maloney averaging 43.3 yards on four punts, with one downed at the Oles' 5-yard line; sophomore PK Tim Albright going 7-for-7 on PATs and executing well on eight kickoffs; and Waldvogel adding a 20-yard punt return into St. Olaf territory that preceded an early UST touchdown.

In its 3-0 start, the UST defense has eight takeaways and 23 tackles for loss and has allowed just 24 points.

The Tommies will put a nine-game home win streak on the line next Saturday when the play host to Concordia-Moorhead at UST's Palmer Field in O'Shaughnessy Stadium.

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