COLLEGEVILLE, Minn. - At the Tommie-Johnnie game in Collegeville, much of the attention was focused not on who was there - but who wasn't.
The game began with a moment of silence to honor legendary St. John's coach John Gagliardi, who passed away less than a week ago.
The rivalry always brings a big crowd, but it was especially packed on Saturday with alumni who came to pay their respects to Gagliardi.
"I can't do anything but smile when I think about John, man," said Charlie Carr, who played for Gagliardi 2002-2003. "I thought about him a lot this week and a lot of lessons learned, a lot of lessons learned off the field. So a lot of lessons learned on the field, too. I mean the wins, and the football was secondary with John."
Jeff Bretheron was on Gagliardi's team from 1989-92.
"So many of his former players have said, what happened out here was important, but what happened off these fields and what he did for all of us personally was just without comparison," he said.
Many of those former players will also be attending the late great coach's funeral on Monday.
St. John's took home the win for Gagliardi, defeating St. Thomas 40-20. They snapped a four-game losing streak to the Tommies.
Saturday was also a Tackle Cancer game, and more than $10,000 was raised before the game even started.