Football - Sat, Oct. 28, 2006
Mount Pleasant, Iowa - Big plays from its special teams and defense carried the NAIA's 12th-ranked Saint Xavier University football team to a 45-7 victory over Iowa Wesleyan College in Mid-States Football Association Midwest League action Saturday afternoon at Mapleleaf Stadium in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. Sophomore quarterback Billy Yeo (Matteson, Ill./Western Michigan) finished the game 20-for-28 for 220 yards and three touchdowns (one rushing), while senior wide receiver Greg Gerritsen (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) finished with five catches for 43 yards and two scores.
Saint Xavier scored a touchdown on a 61-yard punt return from freshman defensive back Pat Geary (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) late in the second quarter and sophomore defensive back Chris Rodgers (Homewood, Ill./Homewood-Flossmoor) took an interception 35 yards for a score midway through the third quarter. The Cougars netted 226 yards in returns, 132 of those coming on seven punt returns by Geary. Senior wide receiver Andy Ricca (LaPorte, Ind./Michigan City) led the SXU receiving corps with 10 grabs for 143 yards.
The Tigers hung tough with the defending Midwest League co-champs for most of the first half, trailing 10-7 midway through the second quarter. IWC junior quarterback Aaron Rozanski engineered a 13-play, 93-yard scoring drive which he capped with a six-yard cut-back run into the end zone with 9:29 left in the second quarter.
The Tigers gained more momentum after holding SXU's high-powered offense to an apparent three-and-out on the ensuing possession. But the tide quickly shifted back to the Cougars when IWC was flagged for a roughing the punter penalty that resulted in an automatic first down. Saint Xavier capitalized with a touchdown, Yeo to Gerritsen for 11 yards, on the extended drive and tacked on Geary's punt return for a score just before halftime as the Cougars took a 24-7 lead into the break.
The Tigers were held to 28 yards and two first downs in the second half as Saint Xavier pulled away. The Cougars finished the game with 386 yards of total offense Saturday, including 251 yards through the air. The SXU defense finished the game with three sacks, two fumble recoveries, and an interception return for a touchdown.
Saint Xavier (7-2 overall/6-1 MSFA) takes a weekend off before wrapping up its regular-season slate on Saturday, November 11, with a MSFA Midwest League match-up against Trinity International University (Ill.) at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.