Senior tight end Grant Slavik had three first-quarter touchdown receptions in his first three touches and running backs Josh Parks and Tom Loeffler combined for 203 rushing yards in two and a half quarters to lead No. 7-ranked St. Thomas to a 69-3 win over Trinity (Ill.) International in Saturday's non-conference football game at O'Shaughnessy Stadium.
The Tommies (1-0) were turnover free and improved to 12-0 in season openers under Coach Glenn Caruso. The Toms scored four TDs in a 7:28 span en route to a 35-0 first-quarter lead. The 35 points were one off the Caruso-era scoring high for any quarter of 36 recorded in two separate games.
The Purple defense had nine sacks, three interceptions, four forced fumbles and a blocked punt, and limited the Trojans (1-1) to minus-44 rushing yards. They forced eight punts and held TIU to 2-of-11 on third-down attempts. Senior Jack Foley, a starting fullback last season, had three sacks in his first career game on defense, and senior Luke Swenson had two sacks, two pass beak-ups, and a forced fumble.
The Purple received TDs from two freshmen in their first collegiate games: Malik Jackson of Pacoima, Claif., blocked a punt and returned it 10 yards for a score, Matthew Brodeur of Andover High converted a 13-yard interception return to the end zone.
St. Thomas junior QB Tommy Dolan, making his first collegiate start, played just beyond two quarters and completed 10-of-13 throws for 147 yards and no turnovers. He connected on TD passes of 29, 17 and 31 yards with Slavik.
Loeffler's mid-game 22- and 74-yard touchdown runs let him finish with 125 yards on seven carries. Parks rushed for 78 yards on 12 carries and scored his 40th and 41st career TDs in his 33th game.
St. Thomas has a bye next weekend and opens MIAC play Sept. 21 at Hamline.