Football - Sat, Nov. 24, 2007
Sioux Falls, S.D. - Despite 11 catches for 118 yards and a touchdown by senior wide receiver Jim Doherty (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park), the No. 10 ranked Saint Xavier University football team had trouble keeping pace with the high-powered offense and defense of No. 1 University of Sioux Falls (S.D.) falling 49-7 in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Championship Series Saturday at Bob Young Field in Sioux Falls, S.D. USF scored 49 unanswered points before SXU scored its lone touchdown midway through the fourth quarter. The seven points scored by the Cougars Saturday was their lowest scoring output of the 2007 season. Sioux Falls improves to 12-0 this season and has won its last 26 straight games dating back to 2005.
The first half was all University of Sioux Falls taking advantage of four first-half turnovers by Saint Xavier to help rattle off 35 unanswered points. SXU had an interception, a fumble, and two turnovers on downs in first-half action with each leading to eventual USF touchdowns. The Cougars had chances to score in the first half, but had a pass intercepted in the endzone and also turned it over on downs inside the redzone. Junior running back Erik Cimpl led the offensive surge for Sioux Falls in the first two quarters rushing 10 times for 52 yards and two rushing touchdowns. USF finished the first half with 368 yards of total offense compared to just 176 yards by SXU.
The second half did not get much better for Saint Xavier, but the Cougars were able to put a touchdown on the board with junior quarterback Billy Yeo (Matteson, Ill./Western Michigan/Rich South) connecting with Doherty from 12 yards out with 7:54 left to play in regulation. USF scored two second-half touchdowns, one in each of the two quarters. Following the game, junior quarterback Chad Cavender and sophomore safety Trevor Holleman were named the NAIA Offensive and Defensive Players of the Game, respectively.
Saint Xavier ends its season with a 10-3 overall record. It is the third straight season the Cougars have qualified for the 16-team NAIA Championships Series and the second straight year it has made it to at least the quarterfinals.