Football - Sat, Oct. 8, 2005
CHICAGO - Two touchdown passes in the third quarter by senior quarterback John Perryman (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) helped lift the No. 6 ranked Saint Xavier University football team to a 21-14 Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League win over No. 5 McKendree College (Ill.) Saturday at SXU Stadium in Chicago. The two third-quarter scores by SXU (5-1 overall/2-0 MSFA) provided the only points of the second half for both teams as the Cougar defense shut down the McKendree (3-2 overall/1-1 MSFA) rushing attack in the second half.

Perryman completed 27 of his 40 pass attempts for 247 yards, three touchdowns, and two interceptions. Junior wide receiver Andy Ricca (LaPorte, Ind./Michigan City) was Perryman's favorite target on the day recording 14 catches for 100 yards, while senior wideout Jarrod Nowman (Manteno, Ill./Bishop McNamara) tallied five catches for 50 yards and a touchdown. Freshman running back Juaquin Rodriguez (Merrillville, Ind./Andrean) led Saint Xavier on the ground with seven carries for 45 yards.

"This is about as satisfying a win as I have ever had in my coaching career," said Saint Xavier University head football coach Mike Feminis. "We played well on both sides of the ball and on special teams. I couldn't be more proud of our guys than I am right now. I told the team at halftime that it was going to be a heavyweight fight and that we would be standing in the end."

After forcing a three and out for the Bearcats on the opening possession of the game, Saint Xavier marched 70 yards in seven plays to go ahead, 7-0, on a 16-yard pass from Perryman to junior wide receiver Greg Gerritsen (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East). With 6:23 remaining in the first half, McKendree tied the game, 7-7, when senior fullback Lamont Benn found the endzone from four yards out. The Bearcats capitalized on a Nowman fumble on a punt return late in the second quarter and needed just six plays and 17 yards to score the go-ahead touchdown, 14-7, on a five-yard run by freshman running back Antonio Smith.

Staring a 14-7 halftime deficit in the face, the Cougars came out of the locker room on fire going 60 yards on their first drive to tie the game, 14-14, on a 29-yard TD pass from Perryman to sophomore wide receiver Matt Detloff (Hammond, Ind./Clark). After forcing a Bearcat punt, Saint Xavier continued to pour on the offense driving 48 yards in five plays to score the game-winning touchdown on a nine-yard reception by Nowman from Perryman. The SXU defense played tough the rest of the way keeping McKendree out of the endzone and off the scoreboard by blocking a field goal in the fourth quarter. A big 25-yard reception by Ricca in the final minute of the game kept McKendree from getting the ball back. Saint Xavier (5-1 overall/2-0 MSFA) returns home on Saturday, October 8, to face No. 5 McKendree College (Ill.) for a MSFA Midwest League showdown at SXU Stadium. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.