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Cougar football falls to Saints

The University of Minnesota, Morris football team dropped their first conference game of the season Saturday, falling 44-19 on the road to St. Scholastica.

The Saints stay unbeaten and in first place with a 2-0 Upper Midwest Athletic Conference (UMAC) record, as well as a 3-0 overall mark on the season. The Cougars fall for the second straight week and sit at 2-2 overall, but lose their first in UMAC play and fall out of the top spot at 2-1.

The host Saints used a 21-point second quarter to propel them to the win, while scoring at least once in each period. After opening up a 9-0 first quarter lead, the Saints ran out to a 16-0 advantage early in the second before the Cougars got on the board.

Morris finally broke through on a one-yard run from Derrick Foss at the 9:37 mark of the second, when the Cougar quarterback capped off an 11-play, 57-yard drive to bring the score to 16-6.

The two teams traded blows for the rest of the first half, as the Saints scored to go up 23-6, before the Cougars answered back. At the 3:42 mark, brothers Derrick and Brendon Foss connected for a seven-yard scoring strike to bring the Cougars back within 10 at 23-13.

Before the half closed though, CSS scored once more to take a 30-13 lead into halftime.

St. Scholastica then added touchdowns in each the third and fourth quarters to put the game away, before the Cougars closed the scoring with a Danny Kernan 34-yard touchdown reception from Dan Garrigan for the final 44-19 margin.

Brendon Foss had a career day, catching 12 passes for 144 yards and one touchdown, part of a season-high 22 pass completions for the Cougar offense. UMM passed for 257 yards, with Derrick Foss throwing for 155 yards, and Garrigan finishing with 102 yards through the air.

The Saints outgained the Cougars 444 to 350 in the game, including 236 to 93 on the ground. The Cougars' leading rusher, Todd Gramenz, was held to just 15 yards on 11 carries, while Leandro Dower led the way with just 65 yards in 15 attempts.

Despite putting the ball on the ground three times, the Saints finished without a turnover, while the Cougars gave the football away twice, leading to seven CSS points.

The Saints were led by Jake Jensen with 132 yards on the ground and four scores, with quarterback Alex Thiry adding 208 yards on 15-of-18 passing and two touchdowns.

Morris will return to UMAC action this weekend at home. It will be homecoming at UMM, as they host Northwestern on Oct. 1, at 1 p.m. in Big Cat Stadium.