More of the Latest St. Lawrence Saints Football Stories
September 2: The St. Lawrence University football team's defense intercepted three passes, returned one for a touchdown and broke up another eight passes to lead the Saints to a convincing 28-0 victory over SUNY Morrisville Friday night in the first night game in program history at home on Weeks Field at Leckonby Stadium in Canton. All of the scoring came in the second quarter as St. Lawrence (1-0) scored four touchdowns with a pair of short runs, a 36-yard interception return by Jayson Leigh and a 32-yard pass play from Sean Richardson to Vincenzo Ferraro as time expired in the first half. The Saints defense held Morrisville (0-1) to 142 yards rushing and 194 yards passing and kept the Mustangs off the scoreboard, including stops on two fourth-quarter drives that ended inside the St. Lawrence 20-yard line. The victory was the first for head coach Dan Puckhaber, who became the first head football coach at St. Lawrence since Ted Stratford to win his first game. Stratford led the Saints to a 21-14 win over Colby in 1969 for his first win as head coach of the Saints. Puckhaber and Stratford are the only two coaches to win their first game coaching the Saints. The Saints' defense was dominant; Skyler Williamson finished with 14 tackles and Austen Lauricella added 11 stops, while Leigh, Alec Dietsch and Chris Ryan all intercepted passes. The St. Lawrence offense was productive as well with Richardson completing 20-of-31 passes for 297 yards and Ferraro finishing with eight receptions for 151 yards. The teams traded punts early in the game before St. Lawrence started its first scoring drive in the final minute of the first quarter. The drive was highlighted by a Richardson pass to Ferraro for 39 yards before Richardson ran 18 yards to the Morrisville 6-yard line to set up the first score of the game as Rodrick Payne plowed into the end zone from two yards out. Ryan intercepted a pass on the ensuing drive deep in St. Lawrence territory and Richardson engineered another long drive that featured a 44-yard pass play to Travis Marnell. Nick Frenger capped the drive with a 5-yard run to give St. Lawrence a 14-0 lead. On the third play of the next Morrisville drive, Leigh picked off a pass and returned it 36 yards for the TD and the Saints charged ahead 21-0. After a Morrisville drive ended with a failed fourth down attempt, the Saints took over possession with 2:08 left in the half. Richardson completed a pass to Ferraro for 23 yards but the drive nearly stalled before St. Lawrence called time out with seven seconds left. The Mustangs called a time out immediately after before both teams lined up for the final play of the half. Richardson scrambled and threw a high ball into the end zone that was tipped by two players before falling into the hands of Ferraro in the back on the end zone for a TD as time expired. Morrisville had a drive end early in the third quarter on a failed fourth-and-one play as Williamson came up with the tackle for no gain on the play and Dietsch intercepted a pass to stop the next Mustang drive. In the fourth quarter, Morrisville drove all the way to the St. Lawrence 7-yard line but a pass toward the end zone on a fourth down play was swatted away by James Holley-Grisham to end the scoring threat. Morrisville had one more chance to score on its next possession. Facing a fourth-and-eight situation, the Saints defense flushed the quarterback out of the pocket and Scott Arens and Tyler Mirabile combined for the stop after a gain of only three yards to end the final Mustang drive. The Saints ran out the clock for the season-opening victory. St. Lawrence returns to action next weekend with another home contest facing Norwich at 1 pm, Saturday, September 10 in Canton.