/seasons/2010/contrib/20101030burumm

Toms secure conference title share, NCAA berth

More news about: St. Thomas

Tommies won its first Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship in two decades with a 43-6 thumping of Gustavus Adolphus on wind-swept Lloyd Hollingsworth Field.

The victory pushed the No. 4 Tommies' record to 9-0 (7-0 MIAC), clinched a tie for the conference title and earned an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III playoffs.

They also became the first St. Thomas team to start since 1923. They can win their first outright title since 1983 – and the only 10-0 squad in school history – with a win over Carleton next Saturday.

Coach Glenn Caruso, in congratulating Tommy Becker on a strong game, joked that his senior linebacker must have been one or two years old the last time St. Thomas won the MIAC. Becker laughed later and said he actually was three at the time, but Fritz Waldvogel was only a newborn. He celebrated his 20th birthday earlier this month.

"This has been a long time coming," said Waldvogel, a junior wide receiver from St. Thomas Academy, who ran back the second-half kickoff 96 yards for a touchdown. "We've been breaking records, we beat St. John's, we're the first 9-0 team since 1923 and now we have won the conference title. It's all special."

The formula for St. Thomas on Saturday again proved to be a dominant second half. Leading only 14-6 at halftime, they took firm control of both lines of scrimmage in the third quarter, scoring touchdowns on three straight series over a nine-minute span and holding the Gusties to only 69 yards.

"We're built for the fourth quarter, emotionally," Caruso said. "As the game goes on, we get sharper – emotionally and physically and mentally."

St. Thomas started strong, moving 76 yards in 11 plays to open the scoring. Halfback Ben Wartman, who picked up 24 yards rushing on the drive, threw for the last 14 to Waldvogel for a touchdown. He had four receptions for 51 yards on the drive.

After stopping Gustavus on a 3-and-out series, St. Thomas went up 14-0 on a two-yard run by quarterback Dakota Tracy, who improved his record as a starter to 13-0.

The Gusties bounced back on the next series with a flashy exotic pass of their own to cut the deficit to 14-6. Tight end Cody Williams hit a wide-open Cody Sukalski 10 yards behind the St. Thomas secondary for a 50-yard touchdown pass. Becker blocked the extra point.

Gustavus threatened to score at the end of the half after blocking Garrett Maloney's punt and recovering at the Tommies' 18 with 18 seconds to go. But Becker intercepted Logan Becker (no relation) on the next play to snuff out the threat.

"The blocked punt was partially my fault," said UST's Becker, who comes in to block on punts. "On the interception, he threw a low ball and I just got my hands on it."

Waldvogel magic

Waldvogel gave the Tommies some appreciated breathing room 12 seconds into the third quarter when he returned his first kickoff or punt of the year for a touchdown after scoring six such touchdowns a year ago. He credited "perfect" blocking.

"You need all 11 guys clicking on a play like that, and they did," he said. "They made some great blocks early, and once I hit the 50, I knew I had it."

The touchdown pushed Waldvogel over 5,000 all-purpose yards for his career, and he finished the game at 5,045, No. 2 on the career list behind Gary Trettel's 6,044 yards from 1988 to 1990 . . . the last year St. Thomas won the MIAC title. Waldvogel also had seven catches for 66 yards against the Gusties, giving him 204 for his career.

Neither team could mount a drive in its next two possessions, and then St. Thomas took charge after Ayo Idowu recovered a fumble at the Gustavus 35.

A sack and a penalty pushed the ball back into St. Thomas territory, but three straight pass completions – two by Tracy and one by Waldvogel – covered 49 yards and gave the Tommies a first down at the 5. Wartman ran it in for a touchdown and a 29-6 lead. It was the 45th touchdown of his career, tying Trettel for first on the all-time Tommie list.

"That's an honor," said Wartman, the All-American running back who rushed for 81 yards and is just 185 yards shy of Jake Barkley's career record of 3,969 set in 1999-2002. "But the win is the most important thing. It's a wonderful feeling. Who would have thought, after finishing 2-8 (in 2007), that we would turn everything around and get to this point?"

Gustavus went 3-and-out on its next series, after which St. Thomas launched its longest drive of the game – 84 yards in 11 plays – to increase its lead to 36-6 early in the fourth quarter. Colin Tobin picked up 44 yards on five carries, scoring from five yards out.

The Tommies took advantage of another short field on the next series, needing just three plays to go 49 yards for the final score. Tobin scored again, this time from 11 yards out, to match Wartman's 81 yards on the ground. It was the second straight week that Tobin gained 80 yards in the second half – he did the same against Bethel on Oct. 22.

"I was just banging away," Tobin, a junior from Chicago Fenwick, said of his average of 8.1 yards per carry against the Gusties. "The offensive line never stopped working hard. It opened some really nice holes."

Total offense edge

For the game, St. Thomas more than doubled Gustavus in yardage – 430 to 197 – and had a 23-12 advantage in first downs. The Tommies had 228 yards on the ground and 202 in the air, continuing their remarkable balance – coming into the game, they had averaged 205 rushing yards and 204 passing yards.

St. Thomas also racked up a season high 92 yards on 12 penalties. Caruso called those "unacceptable," and Becker agreed that the team needs to cut down on penalties heading into the playoffs.

"We'll work harder in practice," he said. "It comes down to little things. We'll get back to work and clean those things up."

The only obstacle to a perfect regular season is Carleton. The Knights, who lost to St. John's and fell to 3-5 (2-4 MIAC), will travel to O'Shaughnessy Stadium for Saturday's 1 p.m. game. St. Thomas then has a bye week before the NCAA playoffs begin Nov. 20.

Click here for box score:

http://gustavus.edu/athletics/fb/archives/2010/stats/ust.htm

 

Sep. 23: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Massachusetts Maritime at Framingham State
Video Preview Live stats
12:00 PM
Muhlenberg at Juniata
Live stats
12:00 PM
Becker at Dean
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Salisbury at TCNJ
Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
MIT at Catholic
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Merchant Marine at Maine Maritime
Video Preview
12:00 PM
Endicott at Hobart
Video Live stats Audio
12:00 PM
Nichols at Morrisville State
Video Live stats
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Widener at Albright
Audio
1:00 PM
Christopher Newport at Montclair State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Bethany at Westminster (Pa.)
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Middlebury at Bowdoin
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Williams at Colby
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Amherst at Hamilton
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Ursinus at Moravian
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Trinity (Conn.) at Bates
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Brevard at LaGrange
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Geneva at Thiel
Live stats
1:00 PM
Mass-Dartmouth at Plymouth State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Kean at Southern Virginia
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Frostburg State at Rowan
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Union at Curry
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Thomas More at Carnegie Mellon
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Lycoming at King's
Video Live stats Audio Audio Tickets
1:00 PM
Husson at Western New England
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Dickinson
1:00 PM
Wooster at DePauw
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Allegheny at Ohio Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
Wilkes at Misericordia
Video Live stats Audio
1:00 PM
FDU-Florham at Lebanon Valley
1:00 PM
Rochester at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesley at William Paterson
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Maryville (Tenn.) at N.C. Wesleyan
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Huntingdon at Ferrum
Video Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Gettysburg at McDaniel
Video Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
RPI at Buffalo State
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Franklin and Marshall at Susquehanna
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Oberlin at Denison
Video Preview Live stats
1:00 PM
Westminster (Mo.) at Northwestern (Minn.)
1:00 PM
Crown at Eureka
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Heidelberg
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Otterbein at Ohio Northern
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio
1:30 PM
Defiance at Rose-Hulman
Video Live stats
1:30 PM
Muskingum at Marietta
1:30 PM
Franklin at Bluffton
Live stats
1:30 PM
Anderson at Hanover
1:30 PM
Mount St. Joseph at Manchester
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Worcester State at Westfield State
2:00 PM
Coast Guard at Norwich
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Bridgewater State at Fitchburg State
Live stats
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Kenyon
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hiram at Wabash
Video Video Live stats Tickets
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Sewanee at Millsaps
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Birmingham-Southern at Rhodes
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Austin at Hendrix
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Greenville at Martin Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Chapman at Trinity (Texas)
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Buena Vista at Loras
Video Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Washington U. at Wartburg
Video Preview Live stats
2:00 PM
Hamline at Gustavus Adolphus
Live stats
2:00 PM
Augsburg at Carleton
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Olaf at Bethel
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Dubuque at Luther
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Nebraska Wesleyan at Central
Audio
2:00 PM
Simpson at Coe
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
North Park at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
St. Norbert at Grinnell
2:00 PM
Ripon at Knox
2:00 PM
Iowa Wesleyan at MacMurray
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Audio
2:00 PM
Southwestern at Louisiana College
Video
2:00 PM
Monmouth at Macalester
2:10 PM
St. John's at St. Thomas
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:30 PM
WPI at Springfield
Video Live stats
3:00 PM
Beloit at Cornell
4:00 PM
Utica at Brockport
Video Live stats
4:00 PM
St. John Fisher at Hartwick
Audio
4:00 PM
Carroll at UW-La Crosse
4:00 PM
Minnesota-Morris at St. Scholastica
Video Live stats
4:30 PM
UW-Eau Claire at George Fox
Video Preview Preview Live stats Audio
5:00 PM
Salve Regina at Western Connecticut
Video Live stats
5:00 PM
Adrian at UW-Stevens Point
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Tufts at Wesleyan
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Methodist at Averett
Video Live stats
6:00 PM
Centre at Berry
Video Live stats Audio Tickets
6:00 PM
Lake Forest at Lawrence
Video Video
7:00 PM
Waynesburg at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
St. Vincent at Grove City
Box Score Live stats
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio Audio
7:00 PM
Lakeland at UW-Platteville
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Carthage at Augustana
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Chicago at Illinois College
Video Preview Live stats
7:00 PM
McMurry at Sul Ross State
Audio
7:30 PM
Capital at Wilmington
Video Live stats
8:00 PM
Belhaven at East Texas Baptist
8:00 PM
Arizona Christian at Whittier
Video Live stats
Sep. 23: All times Eastern
12:00 PM
Stevenson at Delaware Valley
Live stats
1:00 PM
Wesley at William Paterson
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:00 PM
Rochester at Alfred
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Johns Hopkins at Dickinson
Video Live stats
1:00 PM
Frostburg State at Rowan
Video Video Live stats Live stats Audio Audio Audio
1:30 PM
John Carroll at Heidelberg
Video Live stats Audio Audio
1:30 PM
Baldwin Wallace at Mount Union
Video Live stats Audio
2:00 PM
Wittenberg at Kenyon
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
Hardin-Simmons at Howard Payne
Audio
2:00 PM
North Central (Ill.) at Millikin
Video Live stats Audio Audio
2:00 PM
Wheaton (Ill.) at Elmhurst
Video Live stats
2:00 PM
North Park at Illinois Wesleyan
Video Live stats Audio
2:10 PM
St. John's at St. Thomas
@ Target Field, Minneapolis
Video Live stats Audio Audio
4:00 PM
Utica at Brockport
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Waynesburg at Case Western Reserve
Video Live stats
7:00 PM
Lakeland at UW-Platteville
Live stats Video
7:00 PM
Texas Lutheran at Mary Hardin-Baylor
Video Live stats Audio Audio