Video by Kari Jo Johnson
The day began cold and snowy but ended on a high note as the red-hot St. Thomas football team (5-0, 4-0) beat Concordia-Moorhead 31-17 at O’Shaughnessy Stadium.
The Cobbers (2-3, 0-3) roared out of the gate by returning the opening kickoff to the 2-yard line. Concordia punched the ball in moments later for the early 7-0 lead. But the Cobbers were unable to achieve any kind of rhythm through the air or on the ground for the rest of the game. The St. Thomas defense sacked Concordia eight times, interception three passes and held the Cobbers to just 295 offensive yards.
The defensive highlight for the day was freshman linebacker Kyle Mulrooney’s third-quarter interception and 53-yard return for a touchdown. Mulrooney’s key play put the game away for the Tommies.
“I saw the pass read,” Mulrooney said. “I dropped back, looked up, the ball was in the air and I made a play on it. The blocking was fantastic; I made a cut to the outside and I made it in.
“My heart might of stopped a little bit, but I made the catch and it was a blur after that.”
After the play, Mulrooney ran back to the sideline to celebrate and nearly tackled coach Glen Caruso.
“[Caruso] has pretty good ups,” Mulrooney said. “He jumped up there and I wasn’t expecting it and I kinda caught him and went down.”
Though the Tommies seemed to struggle at times on offense, there was no shortage of big plays. Fritz Waldvogel caught 12 passes for 141 yards and Greg Morse still threw for 218 yards even though the sophomore tossed three interceptions.
The duo helped stretch Concordia’s defense so that sophomore Colin Tobin could rush for 74 yards on just 11 carries for two touchdowns. Junior Ben Wartman recorded another 100-yard rushing day finishing with 105 yards and a score.
St. Thomas pounded out 388 yards on offense, averaging more than four yards per play.
Though he didn’t finish with the most yards, Tobin was the offensive star of the day, shining brightest on a 45-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
“Our line was great today,” Tobin said. “I thought they did a great job of adjusting to different looks because [Concordia’s defensive line] was mixing it up all day and the [offensive line] made the adjustments. They came out and did a great job today opening up lines for me and Ben [Wartman].”
Taking care of Concordia was key for St. Thomas as the Tommies’ next game is against St. John’s in Collegeville.
“This game was huge,” Tobin said. “They were a great team and they played us hard. It’s really important to go into the St. John’s game coming off a big win so we can kind of get the momentum running.”
St. Thomas takes on St. John’s at 1 p.m., Oct. 17, in Clemens Stadium.
Matt Wolfgram can be reached email@example.com