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Football makes plays in clutch, moves to 8-0

Photo by Chico La Barbera
Photo by Chico La Barbera

Senior QB Alex Fenske passed for 313 yards and two touchdowns as No. 4-ranked St. Thomas Football picked off three passes and ended a two-game losing streak at Bethel with Saturday's 27-6 road victory.

The Tommies (8-0 overall, 6-0 MIAC) led just 7-0 at halftime against the Royals (3-5, 3-3). St. Thomas overcame two lost fumbles in the fourth quarter, one near the Bethel goal line after a short run that gained a first down.

With under 5:00 to play, St. Thomas led just 20-6 and the Royals had a first-and-goal at the UST 3-yard line. But the Tommie defense held on four downs to turn the ball over and keep the double-digit lead. Two plays later, Tucker Trettel raced 90 yards for a clinching rushing TD.

Trettel finished with 132 yards on 17 carries, helping UST roll up 519 yards of offense. Bethel also had a big day moving the chains with 413 yards of offense.

Bethel came in averaging 37 points per game but had its lowest scoring output of the season.

Joe Reed had a 74-yard TD catch in the third quarter and finished with four catches for 104 yards. Nick Waldvogel had a 44-yard D catch in the first quarter. Tight end Jackson Hull had two catches for 84 yards. Fenske completed 16-of-31, and his lone interception came on the final play of the first half on a Hail Mary heave from deep on the UST side of the field.

Michael Alada had his seventh pickoff the season, and teammates Mark Dowdle and Michael Franzese also had interceptions.

On a day where steady light rain affected both teams, the Royals had two touchdown passes called back by penalties; dropped a sure TD in the final 2:00; and had a receiver fall down after a catch in the second quarter on what would have been another touchdown.

The Tommies were unlucky at times, too. UST's lost fumble near the Bethel goal line appeared close to being down by contact with the ball out late. UST also appeared to have an interception with a foot inbounds in the late stages but it was ruled out of bounds.

Adam Brant had 10 solo tackles, one tackle for loss and oen pass break up to lead the UST defense.

St. Thomas has won 21 in a row in the regular season; 18 in a row against MIAC opponents; 22 in a row on Saturdays; and nine in a row on the road.