Division III football rivalry: St. John's vs. St. Thomas
All eyes in Division III football will be on Clemens Stadium when No. 9 St. John's (Minn.) and No. 15 St. Thomas (Minn.) meet once again in their historic rivalry.
Nearly 90 miles along Interstate 94 in Minnesota separates the two campuses, but 114 years of history brings the rivals together. Saturday's game marks the 84th meeting between the Johnnies and Tommies, who have played every year since 1952.
Before the teams kickoff at 1 p.m. EST, take a look at some interesting notes and memorable games in the Johnnies vs. Tommies showdowns.
1901: The first meeting between the Johnnies and Tommies took place on Thanksgiving Day 1901. St. John's marched into Lexington Park in St. Paul, Minn. and handed St. Thomas a 16-0 shutout loss.
1935: The only tie in the series ended 0-0 in Collegeville.
1953: St. Thomas held a 12-6-1 advantage in the rivalry but that all changed in 1953 when legendary Hall of Fame coach John Gagliardi took over the St. John's program in 1953. Gagliardi, who would go onto win a record 489 games and four national titles, earned his first win of the series 14-6.
2001: Much like other rivalries, bragging rights are up for grabs, but what's a rivalry without a trophy? The Holy Grail trophy was created in 2001 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the rivalry. While the original disppeared some time during the late 2000s, it still holds significance as a symbol of the rivalry.
2008: St. John's defense stuffed St. Thomas on the 1-yard line twice in the final seconds to win 12-9.
2010: The rivalry set a NCAA Division III attendance record in 2010 as 16,421 fans crowded in Collegeville to watch the Tommies earn the road win in overtime, 27-26. It was the first win for Glenn Caruso against SJU and Coach Gagliardi and it also snapped a 12-game winless streak in the series.
SJU leads the series 51-31-1 and the Johnnies have won 18 of the last 22 overall meetings. However, the road team has won three straight games and four of the last five. Seven games have been decided by one point and 11 other games were decided by four points or less.
St. Thomas is 2-6 in the rivalry when a pope named John or Benedict visits the United States and 0-1 when the name of another pope is in the country. The last win during a Papal visit was in 1987.
The rivalry has created a new word "rurple," which refers to the mix of school colors in the crowd--red for SJU and purple for STU-- at games and tailgates.