St. Scholastica won its first overtime game in program history.
Mike Theismann drilled a 25-yard field in overtime to lift St. Scholastica past Presentation 20-17 at Swisher Field. Theismann missed a 28-yarder with 23 seconds left in regulation that forced overtime.
“That is the first time I have missed this year,” Theismann said about the field goal in regulation. “I would have to stay, yeah, I was rattled for a bit, but everyone came on the sideline and told me ‘You are a part of this team. We want you to make that kick.’ I got my confidence back and I was good to go.”
Presentation College got the ball first in overtime and failed to pick up a first down. PC kicker Gavin Voss lined up for a 34-yard field goal, but it missed wide left. Scholastica took over at the 25-yard line and got the ball down to the eight-yard line. Theismann then made the game-winning kick.
“We are just fortunate that at the end of the game we had a chance to kick a field goal to win it,” said Scholastica coach Greg Carlson, whose team is now 1-1 in OT games, “because they gave us everything and more that we could ever hope for on their field.
PC fell behind 14-3 at halftime, but scored two TDs in the third quarter to take a 17-14 lead into the fourth quarter. PC’s defense forced a three and out on Scholastica’s first offensive drive of third quarter. Jalanni James hauled in a 14-yard TD reception from Stephen Braswell to make it 14-10 with 10:56 left in the third. PC took its first lead when Will Vealy caught a six yard TD reception from Braswell on a slant route to make the score 17-14 in the third quarter.
“Our guys just came out and played hard,” PC coach Andy Carr said about the third quarter. “They knew they would be playing a great defense. Where we are going to have to earn what we get. We want opportunities to make plays and when we get a one-on-one opportunity we have to beat their man and we did that.”
Theismann added a 23-yarder at the beginning of the fourth quarter to knot the score up 17-all. The game remained scoreless until Theismann’s game-winner.
“Overtime was huge,” Scholastica running back Chris Gassert said. “Our defense came up big and our offense performed well. We ran hard, held onto the ball and we knew Theismann wasn’t going to miss another one.”
The game was night and day compared to last year when Scholastica exploded for a school record 700 total yards of offense and defeated PC 70-20 at the Metrodome in Minneapolis, Minn.
“They believed all week they left something on the field last year,” Carr said. “That they had something to prove. They knew the team they were going to play was a great team and a great challenge. We knew it all week.”
Scholastica leads the Upper Midwest Athletic Conference in total defense. Scholastica is sixth in NCAA Division III in scoring defense, seventh in pass efficiency defense and eighth in total defense. Scholastica looked as if it was going to put up another high scoring effort against PC early. Scholastica got up 14-3 after a Jake Jensen TD run and a Tyler Gebhard TD reception from Tyler Harper. Presentation’s defense buckled down in the third quarter.
“In the third quarter, their defense was just mugging us up front and we did not have good field position,” Carlson said. “They hit some plays offensively.”
Carlson, who like Carr started his program from scratch, commented Carr and his staff after the game. Carlson, who has been the Scholastica head coach since the program’s inception in 2008, has been instrumental in sharing advice with Carr about starting a football program from scratch.
“He is on the right trail,” Carlson said about Carr. “I hope everybody is patient and gives him some time to get it done, because he will.”
Presentation College (1-8) will host Trinity Bible College on Saturday at 5 p.m. in its last game of the regular season. It will also be the last game for PC’s three seniors Jalanni James, Sean Haderlie and Cullen O’Brien.
“We want to send our seniors out right,” Carr said.
St. Scholastica (7-2)…7…7…0…3…3—20