Special play is successful for Tommies yet again

  • Article by: CHRISTIAN MOODY , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 15, 2012 - 2:25 AM
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St. Thomas head coach Glenn Caruso, center, watches his team during the second half of the NCAA Division III football championship against Mount Union in Salem, Va., Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Daniel Lin) LOCAL TV OUT; LOCAL INTERNET OUT; LOCAL PRINT OUT

Photo: Daniel Lin, Associated Press

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SALEM, VA. - The lone St. Thomas touchdown in Friday night's 28-10 Stagg Bowl loss to Mount Union came on a fake field goal that shouldn't have surprised anyone who saw the Tommies on film, as it came on a play that was a favorite of coach Glenn Caruso this season.

The fake came in the second quarter. Holder Dan Ferrazzo took the snap, faked placing the ball, stood and ran 10 yards to the right pylon.

The Tommies ran the play six times prior to Friday, three times on extra points and three times to gain a first down. As it turned out, Ferrazzo's 10-yard touchdown run was the longest run of the night for St. Thomas.

More special notes

• St. Thomas' other score was set up by a special teams play, too. Ryan Deitz ripped the ball away from Purple Raiders punt returner Chris Denton in the third quarter and long snapper Zach Novaczyk recovered at the Mount Union 28-yard line, setting up a field goal.

• Ferrazzo was the man for the gadget play. He had a 28-yard kickoff return that came when he took a pitch from Sean Hamlin, who caught the kickoff and drew the Raiders' coverage team. Ferrazo finished with 98 total yards.

• The Raiders scored on a blocked punt for their second touchdown, Mount Union's fourth punt block and third return for a score in the past three games. Linebacker Charles Dieuseul blocked Garrett Maloney's kick and returned it for a score.

Tough first time out

Caruso sat in the stands at the Stagg Bowl last year, aspiring to be on the sidelines some day. When Wisconsin-Whitewater beat Mount Union for the third year in a row, Caruso watched the celebration and empathized with each coach.

Friday night, he learned what it felt like to be Mount Union coach Larry Kehres a year ago. Caruso led the Tommies to the championship game, but each school that has made its Stagg Bowl debut against Mount Union has lost: Rowan, Lycoming, St. John's, Bridgewater, Trinity and UW-Whitewater.

Etc.

• While the Tommies defense gave up 344 yards, all but 97 of those came on three drives. The Purple Raiders scored on drives of 82, 81 and 81 yards. Their other six possessions netted 100 yards.

• Center Curtis James was named first team All-America by three different services.

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