Football - Sat, Nov. 11, 2006
CHICAGO - Behind three catches, 52 receiving yards, and a touchdown by senior wide receiver Greg Gerritsen (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East), the No. 10 ranked Saint Xavier University football team cruised to a big 31-0 victory over Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League foe Trinity International University (Ill.) on "Senior Day" Saturday afternoon at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. With the win, the Cougars (8-2 overall/7-1 MSFA) complete the regular season and are guaranteed a berth in the 2006 NAIA Championship Series, which begins on Saturday, November 18. The NAIA national office will release seedings and pairings for the NAIA Championship Series on its website (naia.cstv.com) at 12 p.m. on Sunday, November 12.
Sophomore quarterback Billy Yeo (Matteson, Ill./Western Michigan University) was tough for SXU completing 16 of his 29 pass attempts for 161 yards and two touchdowns. He also rushed seven times for 11 yards. Junior running back Jason Banning (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) led the ground attack for Saint Xavier finishing with 80 rushing yards and a score on just nine carries. Freshman wideout Billy McKeon (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) was solid as well with two catches for 23 yards and a touchdown. Senior defensive back Tom Regnier (Manteno, Ill./Bishop McNamara) helped lead a huge defensive effort for the Cougars in his final regular-season game with five tackles, a tackle for a loss, an interception, and three passes broken up.
Gerritsen kicked off the game's scoring with a 22-yard touchdown reception from Yeo to end the first quarter and put SXU ahead, 7-0, following the successful extra-point attempt by junior kicker Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington). Midway through the second quarter, the SXU offense struck again when Yeo connected with McKeon from 16 yards out to put his team ahead, 14-0. Saint Xavier took a 14-0 advantage into the halftime break and wasted little time building on its lead when Banning ran in another touchdown from 27 yards out with 10:31 to play in the third quarter. Longest extended the lead, 24-0, with a 40-yard field goal as time expired in the quarter.
Senior running back Luke Schillo (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park) completed the scoring for the Cougars with a four-yard, fourth-quarter run with 12:25 to play in the game. The SXU defense notched its first shutout since the season opener on September 2 when they blanked Lambuth University (Tenn.), 48-0. The group finished with five tackles for losses, two sacks, a fumble recovery, an interception, a blocked kick, and seven passes broken up. Saint Xavier (8-2 overall/7-1 MSFA) now awaits its seeding and pairing for the 2006 NAIA Championship Series, which begins next Saturday. The Cougars have a chance of hosting a first-round playoff game at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field next Saturday, but will have to wait for the official pairings and sites to be released by the NAIA national office at 12 p.m. on Sunday, November 12.