HOUGHTON, MICH. (AP) – Louis Hyde kicked a 39-yard field goal with 59 seconds to play and St. Thomas rallied for a historic 12-9 win over Michigan Tech in its FCS debut on Saturday.
Tight end Aiden Carlson pulled the Tommies into a 9-9 tie when he recovered quarterback Tommy Dolan’s fumble on 1st and goal in the end zone with 5:43 to play but the extra point was blocked.
St. Thomas forced a three-and-out before putting together the winning drive, getting 24 yards.
The Division II Huskies quickly picked up 40 yards before Johnson Fallah picked of Will Ark’s pass with 14 seconds to play to seal the win.
St. Thomas, which had received NCAA approval to jump from Division III to D-I in the summer of 2020, was the only FCS or FBS team not to play a game last fall or spring. Then the 2021 season opener was one of three games canceled because of COVID-19, meaning the Tommies went 95 weeks between games.
It is the first time in 28 years a school has jumped two divisions, the last being Buffalo and Dayton in 1993. Those schools only moved up in football that year but St. Thomas joined the Pioneer League for football and the Summit League for 18 other sports.
The Huskies (1-1) took a 6-0 lead when Fred Kemp returned a blocked punt 38 yards in the first quarter, but that extra point was blocked. The teams traded field goals in the second quarter.
St. Thomas, which plays at FCS Northern Iowa next week, played D-III for 115 years.