ST. PAUL, Minn. – St. Thomas used a balanced attack and steady defense to soundly defeat Michigan Tech football 32-6 in non-conference play Saturday afternoon at O’Shaughnessy Stadium. The Tommies scored on the opening possession and capitalized on a blocked punt for a touchdown early in the game to squash Tech’s bid for an upset over their Division I foe on the road.
“First off all I want to tip my hat to St. Thomas for coming out and playing a fundamentally sound football game and executed well,” said head coach Steve Olson. “From the standpoint of what we need to do better, we’ll go back and look at the film but there were some plays that were jump ball situations that St. Thomas made plays on and we didn’t. We also had a blocked punt that just can’t happen. Then they had the fake field goal on us in the fourth quarter so we’ll move on from it and continue to work hard to improve.”
The Huskies fell to 1-1 after defeating Wisconsin-Platteville at home in week one. The team will fly to Midwestern State (Texas) next Saturday for an 8 p.m. EST kickoff. St. Thomas improved to 1-1 after falling on the road to Southern Utah last week.
St. Thomas frustrated Michigan Tech’s offense and the Huskies netted 97 total yards on the ground along with 53 yards passing utilizes a combination of Will Ark and Steele Fortress at quarterback. UST marked 16 quarterback hurries and 3.0 sacks.
By contrast, Shawn Shipman was effective at running back for St. Thomas, rushing 23 times for 211 yards and two touchdowns. Tommie tailbacks finished with 231 yards while veteran quarterback Cade Sexauer completed 8 of 17 passes for 91 yards, with one touchdown, and one interception.
The Huskies answered Shipman’s first touchdown of the afternoon with a 13 play, 57-yard drive resulting in a field goal by Drew Wyble at 12:29 of the opening quarter. Sam Ahern grabbed an interception to start the second quarter but when the ensuing drive stalled on the 36-yard line, Ryan Sever blocked Brenden Lach’s punt and Tommy Shares recovered it in the endzone for a 13-3 UST advantage.
The Tommies posted 20 second quarter points to take a 26-3 lead into the break, then tacked on six more when Kolby Gartner ambled in from 11 yards on a fake field goal to cap a 7-play, 40-yard drive, bringing the score to 32-3.
Drew Wyble connected on a pair of field goals for Michigan Tech, including a 40-yard try late in the fourth quarter. The Tommies improved to 2-0 all-time against MTU after edging the Huskies 12-9 in Houghton in the season opening contest last fall.
Marc Sippel posted a team-high 12 tackles for the second straight week with two quarterback hurries. Hunter Beuchel, Travis Ojala, and Benjamin Marion also pitched in seven tackles apiece.