MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – The St. Thomas football team might have gotten one step closer to a postseason selection Saturday after escaping Augsburg with a victory and getting help elsewhere in the MIAC.
The Tommies, ranked No. 18 in Division III, survived a sluggish offensive day that featured four turnovers and left Minneapolis with a 17-14 victory over the Auggies. They also got some help from Gustavus, who beat St. John’s 23-20 in double overtime. That result all but eliminates the Johnnies from postseason contention.
Bethel can now clinch a MIAC title this week with a win over St. Olaf, which is winless in the MIAC at 0-6, and a St. Thomas win over Concordia (Moorhead) this week. At the very least, the Royals clinch a share of the league title with a win over the Oles and can win it outright with a victory over St. John’s in their regular season finale. If the Tommies can beat the Cobbers this week, Concordia will be fighting for its playoff life against Gustavus on Nov. 16.
There’s a decent chance St. Thomas can finish second alone in the MIAC if the Tommies win out. After losing to Bethel, that possibility seemed pretty slim.
Saturday was far from pretty for the Tommies, who committed five turnovers in Saturday’s win. Paul Graupner kicked a 23-yard field goal with 1:21 left in regulation to give St. Thomas a 17-14 lead. Josh Carey sealed the win for the Tommies, intercepting pass from Ayrton Scott that was headed for the end zone.
Jack Kaiser led St. Thomas in rushing with 88 yards on 20 carries, including a touchdown that gave the Tommies a 7-0 lead in the first quarter. Augsburg scored the next 14 points, and St. Thomas didn’t tie it until early in the fourth quarter on Nick Waldvogel’s 5-yard touchdown run. Alex Fenske had struggles all afternoon in the passing game as he went just 11-of-25 for 95 yards and threw three interceptions.
The Tommies also lost two fumbles, including one on an interception return.
Scott, one of the better quarterbacks in the MIAC and one of the more athletic players in the nation, threw for 234 yards and two touchdowns. He also led the Auggies with 92 yards rushing. St. Thomas also intercepted Scott three times in a game where the teams combined for eight turnovers. The Tommies managed just 231 yards of offense but made enough plays to escape with an ugly victory.
St. Thomas (6-2, 4-2) hosts Concordia (7-1, 5-1) on Saturday for its last regular season home game. It’s a must-win for both teams, and neither is coming off an impressive performance to build from. The Cobbers had to hold off Carleton, which scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, for a 35-27 victory. That’s the same Carleton squad that St. Thomas beat 65-6 earlier this season.
The WCCO Tommies Blog will preview the St. Thomas/Concordia match-up later this week.
Current MIAC Standings
Bethel (8-0, 6-0)
Concordia (7-1, 5-1)
St. Johns (6-2, 4-2)
St. Thomas (6-2, 4-2)
Gustavus (5-3, 3-3)
Augsburg (4-4, 3-4)
Carleton (4-4, 2-4)
Hamline (2-6, 1-6)
St. Olaf (1-7, 0-6)