Football - Sun, Oct. 30, 2005
Deerfield, Ill. - Behind seven catches, 103 receiving yards and two touchdowns (one rushing) by junior wide receiver Andy Ricca (LaPorte, Ind./Michigan City), the No. 9 ranked Saint Xavier University football team scored 41 unanswered, first-half points to cruise to a 55-21 victory over Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League rival Trinity International University (Ill.) Saturday at Leslie A. Frazier Stadium in Deerfield, Ill. With the win, the Cougars improve to 7-2 overall and sit in a three-way tie atop the MSFA standings with a 4-1 mark, while the Trojans falls to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the league standings.
Ricca also finished Saturday's game with one rush for 26 yards and a touchdown and had both of his scores come in the first quarter to help SXU build a 24-0 lead. In addition to Ricca, senior quarterback John Perryman (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) also had an impressive outing for the Cougars finishing with 19 completions for 278 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wideout Greg Gerritsen (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) played tough as well with five catches for 70 yards and a score. Freshman running back Matt Briggs (Omaha, Neb./Skutt Catholic) paced the Saint Xavier rushing attack with 37 yards on the ground and a touchdown.
The Cougars came out on fire scoring less than six minutes into the game when Perryman hooked up with Ricca for a 70-yard TD pass to jump ahead, 7-0, with 9:15 left in the first quarter. A career-long 52-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) just under three minutes later put SXU up, 10-0. Ricca scored his second touchdown of the game on a 26-yard run with 58 seconds remaining in the quarter to extend the Saint Xavier advantage, 17-0, and, just seven seconds later on Trinity International's first play from scrimmage on the ensuing possession, sophomore linebacker Sean Kenney (Palos Hills, Ill./Stagg) returned an interception 25 yards to make the score, 24-0.
A six-yard touchdown reception by Gerritsen, a one-yard run by freshman running back Juaquin Rodriguez (Merrillville, Ind./Andrean), and a 42-yard field goal by Longest in the second quarter helped Saint Xavier take a 41-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. Early in the third quarter, the Cougar defense came up big again blocking a punt in the endzone and recovering for another touchdown.
TIU scored its first touchdown of the game with 2:42 left in the third quarter when junior running back Perry Wilson found the endzone from two yards out to make the score, 48-7. Wilson recorded two more rushing touchdowns in the fourth quarter and Briggs tacked on a one-yard rushing TD to finish out the game, 55-7. Freshman defensive back Casey Weidenbacher (Naperville, Ill./Naperville North) led the Saint Xavier defense with 13 total tackles (12 solos). Saint Xavier (7-2 overall/4-1 MSFA) returns home on Saturday, November 5, to face MSFA foe Iowa Wesleyan College (Iowa) at SXU Stadium in Chicago. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.