(CINCINNATI, Ohio) - The 19th-ranked Thomas More College football team rallied to defeat across-the-river rival, the College of Mount St. Joseph, 33-28, today (Saturday, November 12, 2011) in Bridge Bowl XVI at Schueler Field in Cincinnati, Ohio.
With the win the Saints improve to 9-1 and with the loss, the Lions end the season at 6-4.
Thomas More took a 7-0 lead with 10:59 to play in the second quarter when freshman quarterback Luke Magness (Pleasureville, Ky./Henry County) scored on a 13-yard run and sophomore place kicker Tim Gormly, Jr. (Cincinnati, Ohio/McNicholas) added the point-after-attempt.
The Lions tied the game at 7-7 when James Clay scored on a 44-yard run and Tyler Calvert added the PAT with 10:35 to play in the second quarter.
The Saints retook the lead when Gormly made a 25-yard field goal to make the score 10-7 with 8:05 to play in the opening half.
In the third quarter, the Saints cut the lead to 14-13 when Gormly made a 33-yard field goal with 7:55 to play in the quarter.
MSJ extended the lead to 21-13 when Clay scored on a 63-yard touchdown run and Calvert added the PAT with 7:38 to play in the third quarter.
MSJ took a 14-10 lead at halftime when Brian Pitzer connected on a 29-yard touchdown pass to Nick Kaminsky and Calvert added the PAT with 1:30 to play in the second stanza.
The Saints took a 33-28 lead when junior wide receiver Tony Bell (Cincinnati, Ohio/McNicholas) scored on a 45-yard pass from Magness on a fourth down play with 4:36 to play in the game and the two-point conversion failed.
Thomas More tied the game at 21-21 with 4:54 to play in the third quarter when sophomore running back Domonique Hayden (Lexington, Ky./Lexington Christian Academy) scored on a one-yard run and Magness ran in the two-pointer conversion.
The Lions took a 28-21 lead with 55-seconds to play in the third quarter when Clay scored on a one-yard run and Calvert added the PAT.
Thomas More cut the lead to 28-27 with 9:17 to play in the game when Hayden scored on a 56-yard run and Gormly's PAT was blocked.
Thomas More held the Lions' offense on two possessions to seal the 33-28 victory.
Magness led the Saints offense as he was six-of-11 for 118 yards and one touchdown and had 20 rushes for 124 yards and one touchdown. Hayden finished the day with 18 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns and had five catches for 68 yards.
Defensively, the Saints were led in tackles by sophomore defensive back Alex Taylor (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder), junior linebacker Nick Gramke (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder), junior defensive back Zach Autenrieb (Cincinnati, Ohio/Elder) and freshman defensive back Shaquille Jinks (Cincinnati, Ohio/Moeller) with seven tackles each. Taylor added an interception and Gramke had a tackle for a loss.
The Saints will find out their NCAA Division III Championship first round opponent and the site of next Saturday's game tomorrow (Sunday, November 13, 2011) when the NCAA Division III Football Committee releases the NCAA Division III Football Championship brackets at 6 p.m. with a selection webcast on the NCAA's Championship website (www.ncaa.com). The brackets will also be released on the NCAA's Championship website and the College's athletic website (www.thomasmore.edu/athletics) when they become available.