Football - Sat, Sep. 30, 2006
Bourbonnais, Ill. - Behind 17 unanswered points in the second half, the No. 9 ranked Saint Xavier University football team picked up a big 30-7 conference road win over Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League rival Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) Saturday night at Ward Field in Bourbonnais, Ill. The Cougars improve to 4-1 overall this season with a perfect 3-0 mark in league play following Saturday's victory, while the Tigers fall to 0-5 overall for the first time since 1995 and 0-3 in the MSFA.
SXU got a number of stellar individual performances led by senior running back Luke Schillo (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park), who finished with two touchdowns and 18 rushing yards. Sophomore quarterback Billy Yeo (Matteson, Ill./Western Michigan) completed 23 of his 30 pass attempts in the game for 262 yards and a touchdown, while senior wide receiver Greg Gerritsen (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) claimed a large share of the passing yardage with four catches for 91 yards and a score. Junior kicker Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) booted three field goals (24, 30, and 42 yards) and three extra points for 12 points. The Cougar offense finished with 387 yards of total offense in the win, while holding the Tigers to 206 yards in the game.
Schillo kicked off the game's scoring with a one-yard touchdown rush midway through the first quarter to help give Saint Xavier a 7-0 lead. The Cougars were able to capitalize on ONU first half turnovers and used one of the miscues to tack on a 30-yard field goal by Longest with 32 seconds left in the first quarter for a 10-0 advantage. Another field goal (24 yards) by Longest just under four minutes into the second quarter extended the SXU lead to 13. However, Olivet was able to mount a late drive in the half and, with just 26 seconds remaining, made it a 13-7 game at halftime on a five-yard touchdown pass by junior quarterback Derek Diehl to sophomore wideout Austin Kizzee.
The second half was all Saint Xavier as Yeo mounted a big 90-yard drive midway through the third quarter that culminated in a five-yard touchdown reception for Gerritsen. Just a minute and a half into the fourth quarter, Longest connected on his longest field goal of the night (42 yards) to put SXU ahead, 23-7. The final second-half score for the Cougars came with 8:23 to play in the game on Schillo's second one-yard touchdown run of the game.
Saint Xavier continues its season on Saturday, October 7, with a huge MSFA match-up on the road against No. 8 St. Ambrose University (Iowa) in Davenport, Iowa. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.