Tommies lead Johnnies 22-14 at halftime

<p>Sophomore running back Ryan Toney receives help from Tommie blockers as he rushes in for a touchdown. St. Thomas went 2-for-2 in the red-zone during the first half. (Rosie Murphy/TommieMedia)</p>
Sophomore running back Ryan Toney receives help from Tommie blockers as he rushes in for a touchdown. St. Thomas scored every time it was in the red-zone during the first half. (Rosie Murphy/TommieMedia)

COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. — Three first-half touchdowns orchestrated by Tommie sophomore quarterback Matt O’Connell propelled sixth-ranked St. Thomas to a 22-14 halftime lead.

O’Connell hit junior wide receiver Dan Noehring for a 33-yard touchdown in the left corner of the end zone on the Tommies’ first offensive play. O’Connell’s pump-fake right off the snap froze Johnnie senior safety Max Forester, allowing Noehring to find space in the St. John’s secondary.

At the 5:29 mark of the 1st quarter, St. John’s quarterback Connor Bruns hit senior wide receiver Max Forester for a 31-yard touchdown, notching the score at 7-7.

Forester, a two-way player, intercepted O’Connell on the Tommies third possession of the half, giving St. John’s possession at its own 18 yard line.

The Johnnies saw a 12-play, 82-yard drive capped off by Bruns one-yard scamper off right tackle, putting St. John’s ahead 14-7 at the beginning of the second quarter.

The Tommies next possession saw O’Connell intercepted by senior cornerback Bobby Fischer, giving St. John’s the ball at the Tommie 48 yard line.

The St. Thomas defense, led by senior cornerback Ryan Dietz held the Johnnies to three and out.

St. Thomas capped off an 11-play, 80-yard scoring drive on sophomore running back Ryan Toney’s 1-yard run into the end zone, leaving the score at 13-14 St. John’s. O’Connell hit freshman wide receiver Matt Misiewicz for 43 yards to set up the score. Sophomore wide receiver Dan Ferrazzo took the snap and ran in for the successful 2-point conversion, giving the Tommies a 15-14 lead.

After a St. John’s stalled possession, the Tommies ran a no-huddle drive with 2:02 remaining in the 2nd quarter capped off by a 8-yard touchdown pass from O’Connell to senior tight end Logan Marks with 1.7 seconds remaining in the half, giving St. Thomas a 22-14 St. Thomas lead into the break.

The Tommies received the kickoff to begin the second half.

Ross Schreck can be reached at

Check back later for full coverage of the game. Follow our live tweets @TommieMedia and Facebook updates.