DULUTH, Minn. -- Alex Thiry threw five touchdowns to break his own record in a 49-6 pummeling of the MacMurray Highlanders at Public Schools Stadium in Duluth on Saturday.
Thiry's five touchdowns wasn't the only record on the day for CSS, as the team scored a record high 49 points, beating the previous total of 48 set last year against MacMurray on Dome Day 2010. Other records broken on the day were: Thiry, passer rating, 272.1, Jake Jensen, longest rush from scrimmage, 67 yards, and largest yard-per-carry average, 10.3 yards, and the defense had a record seven sacks and 15 tackles for a loss on the day.
The victory over the Highlanders (0-4, 0-3 UMAC) puts the Saints in a tie for first place in the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) with the Eureka Red Devils, as Eureka defeated Westminister 22-18 on Saturday as well.
The Saints wasted very little time scoring after a failed onside kick by the Highlanders left CSS with outstanding field position to start the game. Two plays into the game, Thiry found Keegan O'Neill for a 32-yard touchdown. With the extra point from Mike Theismann, the Saints had a 7-0 lead just over a minute into the game.
On the first play of the ensuing Highlander drive, Cameron West's pass was intercepted by JP Leary. Six plays later Thiry found Jonny Bennett in the end zone for the second passing touchdown of the day. Theismann's extra point made it 14-0 CSS with only 4:33 gone by on the clock.
The Saints defense forced a punt on the next MacMurray drive, and the offense proceeded to drive the ball 73 yards on two plays, ending with a 25-yard touchdown pass from Thiry to Jensen. Theismann made the extra point again to give CSS a 21-0 advantage in the first quarter.
The St. Scholastica offense slowed down in the second quarter, but the defense would make up for it in a big way. The Highlanders were backed up in their own territory when Sean Graskey got to the quarterback for a sack and a forced fumble. Chas Lemon scooped up the fumble in the end zone for a defensive touchdown. Theismann put in the point after attempt (PAT) was good to put CSS up 28-0.
The defense wasn't done there, as the very next MacMurray drive ended in a Mike LaValley interception that he returned 54 yards for another defensive score. Theismann put in his fifth PAT of the day, putting the Saints up 35-0.
The Highlanders next drive would be a long one, but the Saints defense would hold them to a turnover on downs at the CSS 29 yard line. The Saints would be forced to punt on their next drive, but a fumble on the punt return was recovered by Graskey and the CSS offense took over at the Highlander three yard line. Three plays later Thiry found Bennett for the second time on the afternoon for the fourth passing touchdown of the day. Theismann made the PAT and the Saints had a 42-0 lead going into halftime.
The Highlanders took the opening drive of the second half near the red zone, only to be stopped on a fourth down attempt once again. CSS would once again convert on the opportunity, as the Saints took the ball 76 yards on three plays, ending with Thiry's record breaking fifth touchdown pass to O'Neill. Theismann remained perfect on the day with his seventh extra point going through to put CSS up 49-0.
Early in the fourth quarter, the Highlanders would score their lone touchdown on the day on an 11-yard touchdown pass from Cody Hussey to Deshonta Smallwood. The extra point from Taylor Hosta was no good, and that would lead to the final score of the game with the Saints coming out ahead 49-6.
Thiry's record breaking game was made up of 12-16 passing with 179 yards, the aforementioned five touchdowns and still no interceptions on the season. Stephen Jensen went 3-4 for 15 yards, and rounding out the passing attack was Tyler Harper, who went 1-1 for 13 yards.
Jensen had another outstanding and record breaking day carrying the ball 17 times for 175 yards. Thomas Fragale added 10 carries for 61 yards, Alex Hiess had 15 yards and Kristian Cogdill added seven more to put the Saints rushing total at 232 yards on the day.
Bennett led the receiving for CSS with five catches for 67 yards and two touchdowns. O'Neill had three catches for 55 yards and two touchdowns. Jensen's only touchdown on the day was a receiving one along with his 36 receiving yards. Nick Thiry, Joe Rice, Tyler Olson, Spencer Specht and Travis Ambuehl all had a catch on the day, combining for 49 yards. Jensen also had 211 all-purpose yards in the game.
The Saints defense had a big day as well, with Leary leading the way with seven tackles, an interception and a sack. Zack Dubanoski added six tackles, Graskey had five tackles and a sack, and Keaton Rush added five tackles of his own. Leading the way with 2.5 sacks on the day was Jared Moran, with Lemon right behind him with two. Rounding out the sacks for CSS was Jerad Sikkink with .5 sacks on the day. LaValley had the only other pick for CSS, and along with Lemon, a defensive touchdown, giving the defense a total of two.
For MacMurray, Hussey went 20-38 for 160 yards, one touchdown and one interception. Hussey also led the way in rushing with 46 yards, and Smallwood led the way receiving for the Highlanders with 11 catches, 99 yards and the lone touchdown.
The Saints (4-0, 3-0 UMAC) will head to St. Paul next week for a big road test against the Northwestern College Eagles (3-2, 3-1 UMAC) for their homecoming football game.