The final score read 51-9. But Hamline's football team did more than enough to make the No. 3 team in the country wonder what they had gotten into. The Pipers intercepted five St. Thomas had a nifty halfback option pass for a first half TD before giving in to 31 unanswered second half points on what turned out to be a nice day at Klas Field.
HU trailed 7-0 at the end of the first quarter and gave up a last-second TD for a 20-9 halftime deficit. RD Austin Duncan got the Tommies' attention in the second quarter with a 31-yard sprint that set up a John Broback field goal that cut the early deficit to 7-3. It was 14-3 when the Pipers stunned the Tommies again -- this time with RB Ryan Ferkinhoff rolling right and throwing a 29-yard strike to Zach Deitchman (pictured), who rolled into the end zone to make it 14-9.
For a brief moment, it looked like HU might take the ;lead when Patrick Page, the best defensive player on the field all day (17 tackles, three for loss, a forced fumble and two interceptions) picked off a pass and ran it back to the UST 38. But Page got hit from behind and lost the ball. UST recovered and went up the field to score in the last minute of the half.
The Tommies took over from there, scoring three times in the final 11 minutes of play to widen the margin of victory. In addition to Page, Charlie Metcalf, Derek Wilson and Christian Willman all had interceptions. it was the best day of thievery by a HU defense since setting the school record with eight in a game against Carleton in 1997. The Pipers rushed for 65 yards (18 over the average allowed this year by UST), led by Duncan with 89 on19 carries. Broback didn't hurt his credentials as the league's top punter, booming eight kicks for a 44.1 average.
Hamline (1-6 overall, 0-6 MIAC) now heads to Bethel next Saturday, Oct. 27 for their final road game of the season.
St. Thomas boxscore