Monday, September 23, 2019

First Victory


BARBOURVILLE, KY. (September 14, 2019) – As the game clock wound down to zero, a pair of Bobcats offensive lineman (Captain Joey Saurez and Jayce Collins) lifted Gatorade coolers and doused Head Coach, Bill Rychel in a victorious shower. Once again, St. Thomas University football made history, this week, celebrating the first win in the program's history. In the program's first road-trip, the Bobcats played the Bulldogs of Union College (0-3), emerging victorious with a dominant 45-20 victory.

St. Thomas was in control of the game from the opening kick-off, starting the game on the offensive side of the ball for the second straight week. Following a quick three-and-out, the Bobcat defense forced their first turnover of the contest on Unions first play from scrimmage.

Quarterback, Jordan Sepulveda (8/18 169 yards, 3 TDs), led a scoring drive on the Bobcats second possession, capping the series with a 14-yard score to John Israel-Cooper (first collegiate score) as STU was up 7-0 in less than three minutes.

Two drives later, the ground game of the Bobcats led to a touchdown. Robert Armes (26/195, TD) took four straight carries for a combined 38 yards before UC called a timeout. James Micionifollowed the timeout with a 33-yard strike to Israel-Cooper to put STU in the red zone. A seven-yard scamper from Cedric Tucker (first collegiate touchdown) extended the lead to 14-0 in favor of the Bobcats.

Union began the second quarter of play with the ball and looked to gain some offensive momentum, the Bulldogs cut the STU lead in half, 14-7, with a 12-yard touchdown pass. UC once again added a touchdown, scoring with less than two minutes in the first half, but rather than tying the game at 14-14, STU Defensive back, David Crawford blocked the point after attempt to preserve the Bobcat lead at 14-13.

The St. Thomas defense began the second half on the field, clinging to a slim one-point advantage. A three-and-out brought Bulldog punter, Seth Burke onto the field, Kobe Panierblocked the punt and Keiondre Gaulden "scooped and scored", returning the blocked punt 20-yards for the first defensive touchdown in STU history and giving St. Thomas a 21-13 lead.

Midway through the third quarter, the Bobcats began their drive deep within their territory on the 11-yard line. On third-and-eight, Sepulveda found Israel-Cooper once again and Israel-Cooper's speed took care of the rest, burning the Bulldogs defense with an 87-yard touchdown for his second TD reception of the afternoon.

Billy McConnell added his first career collegiate field goal, from 33-yards, to push the Bobcat lead to 31-13 as the final quarter approached.

A 14-yard Bulldog touchdown put the game at a two-score contest, early in the fourth quarter with STU leading 31-20.

The St. Thomas defense sensed their first victory and stepped up to make an important play once again. Jhaqwori Austin intercepted a pass to get the STU offense possession at midfield with an opportunity to seal the victory. Sepulveda connected with D'amaunte Oliver from 12-yards, for his third touchdown of the game and put STU ahead 38-20.

Armes, the man responsible for the programs first touchdown, found pay dirt once again to officially record the programs first win, as the running back finished his day with a 36-yard rushing touchdown to give the Bobcats a 45-20 lead with less than five minutes remaining.

Darian Hernandez and the STU defense, put the proverbial "icing on the cake" ending any Union hopes of a drastic comeback with yet another interception, the fourth of the game.

Jordan Sepulveda: 8/18, 169 yards, three touchdowns
Robert Armes: 26 carries 195 yards, touchdown
John Israel-Cooper: three catches, 134 yards, two touchdowns
Dametrius Love/Shariff Rodriguez: 10 tackles, each
Michael Torrence: three sacks

St. Thomas (1-1) returns home to play Point University (Ga.) on Saturday, September 21 at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Ft. Lauderdale as part of "Broward County Appreciation Day" with kick-off scheduled for 12:00 p.m.

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