Johnnies roll to NCAA Football Quarterfinals with 55-26 win

Jackson Erdmann became the all-time leading passer in both SJU and MIAC history on Saturday.
Jackson Erdmann became the all-time leading passer in both SJU and MIAC history on Saturday.

Saint John's University Sports Information

ORANGE, Calif. - No. 8 Saint John's football rolled to 646 yards of offense in a 55-26 win over No. 12 Chapman (Calif.) in the second round of the NCAA Division III Playoffs on Saturday, Nov. 30, in Orange, Calif.

The Johnnies (11-1, 7-1 MIAC) travel to face No. 3 Wheaton (Ill.) in the NCAA quarterfinals at noon next Saturday, Dec. 7. The Thunder (12-0, 9-0 CCIW) won its second-round game over No. 23 Central (Iowa) Saturday, 49-13.

Senior quarterback Jackson Erdmann (Rosemount, Minn.) finished 24 of 41 passing for 458 yards and five touchdowns. He became the SJU and MIAC all-time leading passer in the third quarter by breaking the previous record of 10,737 held by Alex Kofoed (2004-07). 

400 Passing Yards
The 400-yard passing performance was the fourth of the season and second consecutive for Erdmann, who now has 10,890 career passing yards. He has now passed for 300 yards or more nine times this season and 13 times in his career.

Rough Start
The Johnnies overcame a slow start with turnovers on their first two possessions. The third drive, which covered 70 yards on eight plays, ended on a blocked field goal that Chapman (10-1, 7-0 SCIAC) returned to SJU's 36-yard line.

Two With 1,000
For the second time in school history (first time since 1994), SJU has two receivers with 1,000 yards on the season. Sophomore wide receiver T.J. Hodge (Miami, Fla./Doral Academy) led three Johnnies with 100+ yards by tying his career high with nine catches for 164 yards and two touchdowns. He now has 68 receptions for 1,016 yards and eight touchdowns this fall. Sophomore Ravi Alston (Lake Elsinore, Calif./Vista Murrieta) eclipsed 1,000 yards last Saturday and snagged seven passes for 104 yards and a touchdown against Chapman. His season ledger reads 71 catches for 1,210 yards and 10 touchdowns.

Three TD's for Trost
Sophomore running back Henry Trost (Lindstrom, Minn./Chisago Lakes) caught three passes for 103 yards and a touchdown, and rushed for 51 yards and two more scores on five carries. He gave SJU a 7-3 lead with a 13-yard touchdown run 4:34 into the second quarter and made it 28-6 with 9:08 left in the third quarter. The speedster broke the game open with a 70-yard sprint, on a screen pass, for a score with 4:39 left in the third.

Stand-Up D
The Johnnies' defense came up with a pair of big stops on the afternoon. Erdmann was sacked on SJU's second offensive play and fumbled on the Johnnies' 16-yard line. SJU's defense held strong, however, and the Panthers had to settle for a 26-yard field goal. A 42-yard gain gave Chapman a first-and-goal on the 6-yard line late in the first half, but SJU came through once again and held the home team to a 22-yard field goal. The Johnnies registered five sacks and recovered three fumbles in the win.