-Second straight trip to Westminster where the Saints rallied from a two-touchdown deficit in the fourth quarter (2016)
-Soderberg had 13 tackles, 4.5 for a loss, one sack, one interception and the GW PAT
-Edwards sets program record with 36 completions
-Lee becomes seventh player in program history to go over 100 receptions in a career
FULTON, Mo. (csssaints.com) – Eddie Lee hauled in a five-yard TD with nine seconds remaining as the St. Scholastica football team scored 21 points in the final 17 minutes to rally from a 20-point deficit to defeat Westminster College (Mo.) 28-27 on Saturday in Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) action.
Blue Jays in Control for Three Quarters
The Blue Jays (1-3, 1-1 UMAC) picked off the Saints on the opening possession of the game and ultimately capitalized with a three-yard TD pass to make it 7-0 less than two minutes into the contest. After CSS was forced to punt on its next possession, Westminster was knocking on the door again, but Eric Soderberg picked off the Westminster quarterback in the end zone to keep it a one score game.
Moving to the second quarter, the Blue Jays once again moved the ball inside the CSS 25-yard-line, but a big sack by Tandrell Foster would force a Westminster punt. The Saints took over on their own 7-yard-line and drove the field. A big play on the drive was when the Saints converted a fourth-and-21 as Zach Edwards avoided pressure and somehow was able to find Lee for 26 yards down to the Westminster one-yard-line. Two plays later, Edwards found Mitchell Adrian for a touchdown to even things up at 7-7.
The Blue Jays needed just four plays on the ensuing possession to regain the lead with a 14-yard touchdown reception capping the drive as the score stood at 13-7 after the missed extra point. St. Scholastica looked to answer in the final minutes of the first half, but was intercepted near the goal line to keep the score 13-7 Westminster at the half.
After the Saints turned the ball over on downs early in the third quarter, the Blue Jays went 57 yards on six plays and made it 20-7 after two-yard rushing TD. Things started to look bleak for the Saints after the Blue Jays connected on a 36-yard TD reception on their next possession to push the margin to 27-7 with six minutes left in the third quarter.
Lee returned the ensuing kickoff into Westminster territory, as the Saints needed some points to change momentum. CSS was forced to a fourth down on its first set of downs, which they would convert. Later in the drive, the Saints faced a fourth-and-goal from the 10-yard-line, but Edwards found Reese Jansen in the end zone. Edwards then connected with Adrian for the two-point conversion to make it 27-15 with 1:30 remaining in the third quarter.
Saints Comeback in the Fourth
The Blue Jays looked to put the game away early in the fourth, driving inside the CSS 10-yard-line. After a holding penalty negated a Westminster touchdown, Eric Soderberg, then recorded a sack for a 14-yard loss. He followed that up with a four-yard tackle for a loss on the next play and the Blue Jays decided to pin the Saints deep with a punt.
On the next possession, the Saints got big plays to Lee and Jansen to put them in position for another score. Edwards paired with Jansen for the second time in as many drives for a three-yard score with nine minutes remaining. The PAT would be off and the score was 27-21.
The St. Scholastica defense then forced a three-and-out, but the Blue Jays recorded their third interception of the game with six minutes remaining.
Westminster had a chance with less than three minutes remaining to extend its drive as it had a third-and-3. Soderberg once again stepped up on the defensive side with a big seven-yard loss to force a punt.
The Saints took over on their own 28-yard-line with 2:05 remaining. After just four plays, they were on the Westminster side of the field. A couple of Edwards scrambles and completions had the Saints at the Westminster 5-yard-line with 16 seconds left. On third down, Edwards found Lee on an out pattern to tie the game at 27-27 with nine seconds left. Soderberg then entered to attempt his first PAT of the game and the year. He calmly split the uprights giving the Saints their first lead at 28-27.
Westminster would get one last heave, but was picked off by Daniel Voxland to end the game with the Saints pulling off the comeback 28-27.
Top Performers for the Saints
Edwards threw for 396 yards, fourth most in program history, with a program record 36 completions and once again had four TD passes. Lee and Adrian each had 11 receptions with Lee going for 130 yards and Adrian 94 yards. Jansen had seven receptions for 93 yards.
Soderberg led the defense with 13 tackles, including 4.5 for a loss, one sack and one interception. The 4.5 tackles are tied for the third-most in a game in program history. Soderberg also had the game-winning PAT, his first attempt of the season. He also had a 63-yard punt in the game, which was the seventh longest in program history.
Top Performers for the Opponents
Wyatt Ellis was 15-of-27 for 242 yards and three touchdowns. DeQuintin Smith ran for 93 yards and Travion Mosby had four receptions for 62 yards and three touchdowns.
Logan Decker led the defense with seven tackles, while De'Monn Martin had two interceptions.
The Saints (4-0, 2-0 UMAC) are back at home for the fourth time in the first five weeks next Saturday as reigning UMAC champion Martin Luther College visits Public Schools Stadium. Kickoff is scheduled for 3 p.m.