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Thomas More football builds big lead, cruises to 38-14 victory over St. Thomas (Fla.) on Saturday

NKyTribune staff

MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. — The inaugural “Battle of Thomas” between Thomas More and St. Thomas turned into a blowout on Saturday afternoon as the visitors from Kentucky jumped out to a 24-0 lead and cruised to a 38-14 win.

With St. Thomas president David Armstrong — who previously served in that same position at Thomas More — having led the efforts to begin a football program this fall, there were plenty of interesting angles for the Bobcats’ first-ever game. Armstrong relentlessly promoted Saturday’s inaugural game to the Miami market, and the contest drew plenty of media interest in South Florida.

St. Thomas, however, made a couple of early mistakes and never recovered in the football program’s debut.

St. Thomas running back Robert Armes (2) uses blockers to evade Thomas More defender Brandon Bohn (50) on Saturday. Thomas More won, 38-14. (Photo by Kathy Hitchcock)

Thomas More (1-1) jumped out to a 7-0 lead at the 7:30 mark of the first quarter when Dillon Powell rushed for a 6-yard touchdown. Then, with less than a minute remaining in the opening quarter, Thomas More’s Ky Jones intercepted a Jordan Sepulveda pass and returned it 91 yards for a touchdown, giving the visitors a 14-0 advantage.

The Saints extended their lead to 21-0 midway through the second quarter when quarterback Justin Post found receiver Mitchell Hogue for a 4-yard scoring pass. Thomas More capped the first half with a field goal from kicker Alexander Haley as time expired to take a 24-0 advantage.

St. Thomas (0-1) scored its first touchdown at the 10:12 mark of the third quarter on Robert Armes’ 12-yard run, cutting the Thomas More lead to 24-7. The Saints responded with a 64-yard drive, capped by Monalo Caldwell’s 4-yard touchdown dash that gave Thomas More a 31-7 cushion.

After St. Thomas cut the deficit to 31-14 with 6:14 left in the game, Caldwell finished off a 76-yard drive for Thomas More by powering in for a 1-yard touchdown run. Caldwell rushed for 138 yards on 23 carries with two scores.

Hogue caught six passes for a team-leading 73 yards. Post completed 10 passes in 21 attempts for 109 yards and a touchdown.

Thomas More finished with 295 total yards, while St. Thomas compiled 282 total yards. Ryan Stofko paced the Thomas More defense with nine tackles, while teammate Peyton Van Horn added eight tackles.

The Saints limited St. Thomas to just 81 yards on the ground and recorded their first victory as a member of the NAIA. A week ago, Thomas More dropped a 54-49 decision to Kentucky Christian at BB&T Field.

Thomas More returns home and plays host to Mid-South Conference Bluegrass Division foe Cumberland (Tenn.) next Saturday at 1:30 p.m. at BB&T Field.

Score by quarter…..1- 2- 3- 4- F
Thomas More…….. 14 10 7 7 38
St. Thomas….……..…0 0 7 7 14

Scoring Summary:
TM-Dillon Powell 6 yd run (Alexander Haley kick)
TM-Ky Jones 91 yd interception return (Alexander Haley kick)
TM-Mitchell Hogue 4 yd pass from Justin Post (Alexander Haley kick)
TM-Alexander Haley 19 yd field goal
STU-Armes 12 yd run (McConnell kick)
TM-Monalo Caldwell 4 yd run (Alexander Haley kick)
STU-Oliver 5 yd pass from Sepulveda (McConnell kick)
TM-Monalo Caldwell 1 yd run (Alexander Haley kick)
RECORDS: Thomas More 1-1, St. Thomas 0-1

St. Thomas president David Armstrong (left) poses with Thomas More president Joseph Chillo (center) and Saints athletic director Terry Connor (right) in Miami Gardens, Fla. (Photo provided by St. Thomas)

(Information compiled from Thomas More, St. Thomas and staff reports)

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