by Bruce Strand, Sports editor
Jack Gavin and Josh Carey were among the defensive stalwarts as unbeaten St. Thomas fended off Bethel 23-13 in a duel of nationally-ranked MIAC teams Saturday at Bethel.
Gavin, junior cornerback from Elk River, made a spectacular end-zone interception with 3:30 left with Bethel, down by 10, threatening at the Tommies 25. Gavin leapt to tip the pass away from the receiver, then dived to catch the ball a few inches off the turf.
“I knew they had to take a deep shot,” Gavin said about his second pick of the season, “and I just got position o him. I had one hand free, and was able to top the ball up and come down with it.”
Gavin gave up a touchdown pass in the second quarter but led the team with six solo tackles (plus one assist) along with the clinching interception. Carey junior safety from Rogers, made seven tackles (four solo) and intercepted a pass on the game’s final play.
Another Rogers athlete, freshman Derek Vidor, made two solos and one assist on special teams.
St. Thomas, ranked No. 3, is 6-0 in the MIAC and 8-0 overall. Bethel, ranked No. 10, is 3-2 and 5-2. Last year, Bethel upset St. Thomas 12-7 in the third round of playoffs last year, the Tommies’ lone loss in 13 games.
Other college athletes
Amber Paul, freshman from Rogers on the DePaul soccer team (Division I) of Chicago, has three goals and an assist in 18 games. The Blue Devils are 3-14-1.
Matt Gandrud, Bemidj State football junior receiver from Elk River, has caught 20 passes for 253 yards and two touchdowns. The Beavers are 6-2.
Rhaya Ballon, North Dakota soccer junior forward from Rogers, is the team’s second-leading scorer with seven goals and one assist. The Sioux are 4-7-3.
Josh Burrs, junior from Elk River, is a linebacker for Northwestern College of St. Paul, and Albin Sterneman, freshman from Zimmerman is a defensive lineman. Sterneman has made nine tackles (four solo) and Burrs six tackles (one solo). The Eagles are 5-3.
Kelsey Daulton, Elk River’s girls career soccer scoring leader, has seen action in eight games for Wisconsin-Oshkosh as a freshman, with one goal and one assist. The Titans are 10-6.