Nov. 21, 2009

Courtesy of St. Thomas (Minn.) Athletics

Gamebreakers Fritz Waldvogel and Ben Wartman combined for 418 all-purpose running yards and St. Thomas (10-1) shut out potent Monmouth College (10-1) in the second half en route to Saturday's 43-21 victory over the host Scots in Saturday's first-round NCAA football playoff game in Monmouth, Ill.

The Toms rallied from an early 7-0 deficit and scored the game's final 16 points. The Toms had no turnovers, got a key touchdown off a blocked punt, and didn't allow a sack as they handed Mommouth its first loss of the season and its lowest point total in 26 games.

Coach Glenn Caruso's Tommies will advance to a second-round game vs. Coe, a 34-27 winner today over No. 4-ranked St. John's in Collegeville. The site of the Nov. 28 noon game will be announced Sunday, although its expected that UST will play host to the Kohawks.

Senior kicker Brady Beeson drilled three field goals, each one breaking his old career best for distance, as St. Thomas secured the school's first-ever 10-win season in football. Beeson had made just 2-of-6 field goals in the 10-game regular season.

The competitive West Bracket, dubbed the "Coffin Corner" in the 32-team field, produced three home teams losing on Saturday as all three surrendured 34 or more points as Central lost to Mary Hardin-Baylor, 42-40.

Wartman rushed 29 times for 177 yards and two TDs and caught three passes for 33 yards. He surpassed 100 yards for the 17th time in the last 19 games.

Waldvogel had a 71-yard kickoff return to set up a key second-quarter TD and regain momentum for the Tommies. He had 208 all-purpose yards on the day on 16 touches, including 10 catches for 96 yards.

Colin Tobin rushed 10 times for 87 yards as the Tommies tolled up 492 yards of offense. Special teams star freshman Tyler Erstad returned a blocked punt 22 yards for a TD that put UST ahead 20-7.

Zack Sturm had a 26-yard fumble return to set up a go-ahead score in the second quarter. Kirk Baglien had two breakups and a forced fumble and the UST defense had three sacks. UST held Monmouth to 30 net rushing yards on 24 carries but did allow 361 passing yards in the Scots' dangerous spread, no-huddle offense.