Saints Use Fast Start on the Road to Defeat Eureka
EUREKA, Ill. (csssaints.com) – The St. Scholastica football team jumped out to a 24-0 lead and took care of Eureka College 38-25 on Saturday in a key Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) contest.
The Red Devils would get the first possession of the game and would be forced to punt. On St. Scholastica's first possession, the Saints gave Eureka a heavy dose of Jake Jensen, but Tyler Harper was also 3-for-3 through the air on the drive. The Saints capped off the 9-play, 61-yard drive with an 11-yard Jake Jensen TD run.
After the CSS defense forced a three-and-out, the Saints started in Eureka territory and reached the end zone again as Harper connected with Spencer Specht from four yards out to make it 14-0 at the end of the first quarter.
Mike Theismann drilled a 33-yard field goal at the beginning of the first quarter to extend to the lead to 17-0. The Red Devils, who picked up a first down on its first play from scrimmage, would not get their second first down of the game until its fifth drive.
The Saints went up 24-0 with five minutes to go in the first half when wide receiver Josh Simmons connected with Cory Gebhard on a 47-yard touchdown pass. The Red Devils got on the board on the ensuing possession as Blake Robles hit Matt Mogged for a 67-yard pass-and-catch to make it 24-7 at halftime.
Through the first 30 minutes, the Saints had out-gained Eureka 235-112. The Red Devils had negative-6 yards rushing and were only 6-for-21 through the air.
On Eureka's first drive of the second half, the Red Devils drove the ball down to the Saints' 26-yard-line, but Mike LaValley would pick off Robles' pass in the end zone. CSS then proceeded to move the ball down the field and would take a 31-7 lead when Harper found Jake Jensen for a 47-yard touchdown.
The Red Devils (6-2, 5-2 UMAC) would not go away as the game entered the fourth quarter. On fourth-and-goal from the 19, Robles found Jake Bane for the touchdown. The point after was blocked to make the score 31-13.
On the ensuing possession, the Saints failed to convert a fourth down at the Eureka 31-yard-line. It took the Red Devils only five plays to find the end zone again as Robles and Bane connected from 12 yards out. The 2-point conversion attempt failed to make it 31-19.
On St. Scholastica's second play of the next possession, Jensen busted a 53-yard touchdown run to extend the Saints lead to 38-19. Eureka would find the end zone with less than four minutes to play to make the score 38-25, but the Saints would recover an onside kick to seal the victory.
CSS finished the game with 439 yards of total offense, compared to 385 yards for the Red Devils. Eureka had just 40 yards on the ground, compared to 151 for the Saints.
Jensen rushed for 128 yards and two touchdowns. Harper was an efficient 16-of-28 for 241 yards and two TDs through the air. Freshman Shannon James had a big day at receiver with six catches for 90 yards.
Robles was 25-for-47 for 345 yards and four touchdowns for Eureka. He was also sacked four times. Keaton Rush had 1.5 sacks and 12 tackles for the Saints. Alec French led the team with 15 tackles.
The Saints (7-1, 7-0 UMAC) will play their final home game of the season next Saturday when the University of Minnesota Morris visits for Senior Day. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. at Duluth East High School's Ordean Stadium. Catch all of the action live on Saints Sports Net.