Football - Sat, Sep. 2, 2006
CHICAGO - Behind 168 passing yards and three touchdowns (one rushing) by new sophomore transfer quarterback Billy Yeo (Matteson, Ill./Western Michigan University), the No. 8 ranked Saint Xavier University football team rolled to a 48-0 non-conference victory over No. 30 Lambuth University (Tenn.) Saturday night at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. It was the first night football game ever played at Saint Xavier University and the debut of the new field (switched from natural grass to FieldTurf this summer), which was dedicated and renamed in a pre-game ceremony.
In addition to Yeo, several other Cougars had standout performances in Saturday's big win. Senior wide receiver Andy Ricca (LaPorte, Ind./Michigan City) finished with three catches for 77 yards and a touchdown in addition to one rush for 34 yards and a score. Senior wideout Greg Gerritsen (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) also played well finishing with four grabs for 35 yards and a touchdown.
Sophomore running back Juaquin Rodriguez (Merrillville, Ind./Andrean) led the Cougars rushing attack with 52 yards on six carries. On the defensive side of the ball, junior linebacker Sean Kenney (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) led SXU with 10 total tackles (three solos), including a tackle for a loss of four yards.
Saint Xavier got its first score of the game at the 8:40 mark of the first quarter when sophomore running back Jason Banning (Wilmington, Ill./Northern Illinois University) punched it into the end zone from 15 yards out to cap a 12-play, 65-yard drive. The Cougars tacked on their second touchdown just over five minutes later when Yeo scrambled for an eight-yard score to put his team ahead, 14-0. With 10:22 left in the second quarter, Yeo found Gerritsen open for a 17-yard touchdown strike to give SXU a 21-0 advantage.
Yeo found Ricca wide open in the middle of the field for his next touchdown pass, which came from 35 yards out with 7:35 left before the halftime break. The second half proved to be more of the same as Ricca tacked on his touchdown of the game on a 34-yard rush with 6:53 left in the third quarter. Just over three minutes later, senior running back Luke Schillo (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park) punched in the team's final touchdown on a one-yard rush. Two fourth-quarter field goals, a 41-yards and 27-yards respectively, by junior kicker Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) wrapped up the scoring for Saint Xavier.
SXU (1-0 overall) opens its Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League slate next Saturday heading to Lebanon, Ill., to take on No. 5 ranked McKendree College (Ill.). Game time is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. It will be the Bearcats' season opener.