Chase Ferger
Chase Ferger
Lindenwood University-Belleville
(RV)St. Ambrose
Football - Sat, Sep. 9, 2017

Big plays from the offense, defense and special teams helped St. Ambrose run past Lindenwood-Belleville 52-14 Saturday afternoon at Brady Street Stadium.

The win moves the Bees to 2-0 on the year and sets up a showdown next week when SAU hosts defending National Champion and No. 1-ranked Saint Francis (Ind.).

St. Ambrose scored 36 straight points bridging the second and third quarters in Saturday's big win over the Lynx.

Chase Ferger started the run by taking the ensuing kickoff following Lindenwood's touchdown that trimmed the lead to 16-7 92 yards for a score. It was the first kickoff return for a touchdown by a Bee since John Michaletti returned one 85 yards against Waldorf late in the 2011 season.

Kobe Easley had a big interception late in the half, one of his two picks on the afternoon, setting up a 38-yard Kenny Rowe field goal in the closing seconds to give SAU a 26-7 halftime lead.

The onslaught continued into the third quarter.

Ferger hauled in a 64-yard touchdown pass from Jake Romani two minutes into the second half. Ninety seconds later, Dominic Dal Santo blocked a punt that Taylor O'Donnell fell on in the end zone for a 39-7 lead.

Romani threw a 51-yard touchdown pass to Vince Vignali and Tanner Champley broke free around the edge for a 33-yard scoring run as the Bees scored 26 points in a six-and-a-half minute stretch of the third to build a 52-7 lead.

The SAU reserves took over from there to finish out the win.

St. Ambrose rushed for 256 yards as a team as six different Bees ran for at least 20 yards, including Rowe, who scrambled for 23 yards on a fake punt on a 4th-and-9 play. Justice O'Conner rushed for a team-leading 65 yards on six carries. Baylee Hopps finished with 57 yards, Champley had 56, Jake Osterberger ran for 34 and Melvin Pettis added 25 yards.

With the ground game working, Romani threw the ball just nine times, completing seven of them for 154 yards and four touchdowns. Dino Borrelli came on in relief and complete both of his pass attempts in the second half.

Vignali turned both of his catches into touchdowns, starting the scoring with a 25-yard TD reception midway through the opening quarter, to go along with his 51-yard reception later in the game. Ferger had two catches for 71 yards. Lucas Boraas brought in a 14-yard touchdown toss from Romani early in the second quarter for a 16-7 lead.

The big plays from the offense and special teams overshadowed another tremendous effort by the SAU defense, led by a record-setting performance from Chris Overton. Overton came up with four of the Bees' six sacks, matching Steve Laski (at Olivet Nazarene in 2014) and Matt Hoffmiller (vs. Trinity International in 1998) by the most sacks by a Bee in a game dating back to records starting in 1997.

The Lynx finished with just 26 yards on the ground and 222 yards of total offense. 

Travis Warden led SAU with nine total tackles. Easley, O'Donnell and Jake Platt each came up with five stops.

SAU will now look ahead to next Saturday and the matchup with Saint Francis. The two teams have not faced off since the 2014 season. Kickoff at Brady Street Stadium is scheduled for 1 p.m.