Moorhead Miracle? Diving TD catch saves FB

Moorhead Miracle? Diving TD catch saves FB

St. Thomas' 599th all-time football victory was one fans won't soon forget.

Senior Nick Waldvogel's diving 21-yard TD catch in the left corner of the end zone lifted No. 4-ranked St. Thomas to a wild 23-20 football win at Concordia in Saturday's MIAC play in Moorhead.

That came seconds after a textbook 89-yard hook-and-ladder play appeared to set up the host Cobbers for a Homecoming victory.

Waldvogel's pass completion from senior QB Alex Fenske capped a three-play drive, 56-yard drive aided by a Cobber pass interference penalty and a dropped interception.

UST's successful drive started with a 15-yard unsportmanlike-conduct penalty after a Concordia TD with 29 seconds left. That forced a kickoff from the 20-yard-line, and Waldvogel's return gave the Toms a final shot at the UST 44-yard-line with 29 seconds left.

Waldvogel made a 20-yard reception with 12 seconds left, and UST called its final time out. The next pass was almost picked off but dropped. With :08.3 seconds on the clock and UST facing second down, Fenske found Waldvogel for the 21-yard connection and the go-ahead score with :02 on the clock.

The Cobbers appeared to set themselves up for a stunning comeback win and end an eight-game losing streak to the Tommies when they executed a perfect hook-and-ladder play on 4th-and-23 with 44 seconds to go. QB Michael Herzog threw a 12-yard pass to Nick Anderson, who flipped back to a moving Jason Montonye, who dashed the last 77 yards, breaking a sideline tackle inside the 20-yard-line, to put Concordia ahead 20-16.

The Cobbers went for two but were stopped, but a penalty on the home team was a 15-yarder assessed on the next kickoff.

St. Thomas (6-0 overall, 4-0 MIAC) was unable to close out the Cobbers with a few chances on both sides of the ball over the last 8:00.

Waldvogel surpassed 4,000 career all-purpose yards on the day as he collected 205 yards on 20 touches, including 11 receptions for 154 yards. He also scored his 32nd career TD.

Fenske had no interceptions and completed 22-of-31 passes for 373 yards and two touchdowns. He hooked up with Joe Reed on a 56-yard score in the third quarter to erase a 7-3 halftime deficit.

UST outgained the Cobbers (3-2, 2-1) by a slight 460-368 total-offense margin. Michael Alada recorded a fourth-quarter interception -- his sixth pickoff the season -- and Bennett Celichowski had a third-quarter fumble recovery deep in Tommie territory.

Concordia's Chad Johnson, the reigning MIAC Offensive Player of the Week, rushed 14 times for 146 yards and two TDs. Herzog added 80 yards on the ground as the Cobbers rolled up 277 rushing yards.

The Tommies have won 26 of their last 28 conference road games. They had their streak of games scoring 30 or more points end at 24, but extended their regular-season win streak to 19, their victory string against MIAC schools to 16, and their run of Saturday victories to 20.

St. Thomas has a bye week next and plays at home Oct. 22 against Hamline.