Tommies lead Bluejays at half in NCAA second round

Two 88-yard scoring plays from wide receiver Matt Misiewicz and defensive end Ayo Idowu lifted the St. Thomas football team to a 21-14 lead over Elmhurst (Ill.) in a NCAA second round game on a frigid Saturday afternoon at home.

Tommie kicker Paul Graupner’s 42-yard field goal attempt on the Tommies’ first possession was blocked early in the first quarter, and he also missed a 32-yard field goal with 27.2 seconds left in the half.

The Bluejays posted two rushing touchdowns in the first quarter. Running back Scottie Williams capped off Elmhurst’s first possession with a 6-yard touchdown run. Following Tommie running back Brenton Braddock’s fumble at the St. Thomas 34-yard line, Bluejay quarterback Joe Furco finished the drive with an 11-yard touchdown scamper, giving his team a 14-0 lead in the first quarter.

The Tommies struck back with 20.3 seconds left in the first quarter when Braddock found the end zone from 1-yard out, cutting the Tommie deficit to 14-7.

With 11:16 left in the second quarter, quarterback Matt O’Connell connected with Misiewicz for an 88-yard touchdown, tying the score at 14. The pass was the longest play from scrimmage for St. Thomas this season.

The Tommie defense put points on the board when Idowu scooped up a Furco fumble and rumbled 88-yards into the end zone, giving the Tommies a 21-14 lead at halftime.

Ross Schreck can be reached at