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Home » Johnnies turn mistakes into points for 24-10 win against playoff rival Whitewater – SC Times

Johnnies turn mistakes into points for 24-10 win against playoff rival Whitewater – SC Times

COLLEGEVILLE — The special teams weren’t for UW-Whitewater as the Johnnies capitalized on several key mistakes for a 24-10 win Saturday afternoon at Clemens Stadium.
The fifth-ranked Johnnies scored 14 points off turnovers and two safeties as they faced No. 4 Whitewater in front of 12,462 fans to open their season.
The defense also preformed well, especially in the second half, allowing one first down on Whitewater’s last seven possessions.
“We talked about that all week. We told our guys to win a game like this you have to play great defense. And I couldn’t have been happier about the way our guys played. Especially our guys up front – Wozniak and Metoriah and the rest of the defensive line. They did such a great job,” said head coach Gary Fasching.
Fasching remains perfect on season openers for the Johnnies at 9-0.
St. John’s scored first on a safety after a bad snap to Whitewater quarterback Evan Lewandowski in the first quarter.
The Johnnies scored next in the second quarter on a 5-yard pass to wide receiver Alex Larson on the left side of the end zone from junior quarterback Aaron Syverson for a 9-3 lead.
Saturday was Syverson’s first start after he was injured with a broken leg last year against Gustavus. He passed for 267 yards and three touchdowns Saturday.
“It felt great. I thought I might get a little nervous beforehand because it’s been awhile. But I was just excited. Getting back out here and playing with the guys was definitely a great feeling,” Syverson said.
After a pass interference call gave Whitewater the ball with first and ten on the two yard line near the end of the first half, the Johnnie defense made two stops to force a field goal attempt on third down. The kick went wide right sending teams to the locker room at 9-3.
Hayden Sanders of St. John’s recovered a fumbled punt in the third quarter which led to a 7-yard passing touchdown from Syverson to tight end Zach Jungels giving St. John’s the 17-10 lead. They made the extra point to make it 18-10.
Syverson found tight end Alex Larson in the right-hand corner of the end zone to take the Johnnies to a 24-10 lead and the game final.
“It’s huge. They’re not only just a good team. They’re a great team, and they’ve been a great team and a great program for a long time. We knew coming into this game that how we performed against a national power would help determine our level of confidence going into the rest of the year. Winning this game was huge. But playing our brand of football, limiting mistakes and capitalizing on theirs, was even bigger. Not just for today, but in establishing what we can do going forward,” said standout defensive tackle Michael Wozniak.
Things won’t get much easier for St. John’s as they face 18th-ranked UW-River Falls next Saturday at home and travel to face 13th-ranked Bethel Sept. 24.

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