RIVER FALLS - Saint John's took down the Wisconsin River Falls Falcons with a final score of 17-14 for their season debut today.

Jake Essler scored a touchdown run to tie the game at 14 with just over two minutes to play. Alexi Johnson then hit a 40 yard field goal with six seconds left to give the Johnnies the victory.

For its first time since 1952, Saint John's was not led by Coach John Gagliardi. Saint John's started a new era with new head coach Gary Fasching tonight-earning a win in his debut. Fasching enters the season as the 16th head coach in the 102 year history of Saint John's football.

Saint John's entered the season with NCAA Division III's all-time best winning percentage (.705). Last years 5-5 finish continued the streak of 45 consecutive seasons without a losing record for the Johnnies.

Saint John's will take on Wisconsin-Eau Claire at home next week. Kickoff is scheduled for 1 p.m.

For additional information, you can visit the Saint John's football website.