Football - Sat, Sep. 12, 2009
Deerfield, Ill. - Jumping out to a 20-0 lead in the first quarter of play, the No. 17 ranked Saint Xavier University football team had little trouble pulling away for a 51-3 victory over Trinity International University (Ill.) in both team's Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League opener Saturday afternoon at Leslie A. Frazier Field in Deerfield, Ill. The Cougars (3-0 overall/1-0 MSFA) were able to bench their starters in the second half after taking a commanding 41-3 lead into the halftime break. SXU showed off its versatility on offense with six different players finding the endzone for the team's six first-half touchdowns. The Cougars have out-scored their opponents, 129-37, in their first three games of the 2009 season.

Just 1:03 into the game, Saint Xavier capped a long drive with a short touchdown run by senior running back Donnie Selby (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) to take an early 7-0 lead. On SXU's next possession, the offense cruised again when sophomore tailback KJ Franklin (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) broke free for a 20-yard rush to put the Cougars up, 13-0, after the missed extra-point attempt. A reception by Coia in the endzone midway through the first quarter gave Saint Xavier a 20-0 lead to complete the first quarter scoring. At the 12:32 mark of the second quarter, TIU was able to get deep into SXU territory and capitalized with a 35-yard field goal to cut its deficit to 17 points, 20-3. However, the momentum would not last long as a one-yard rush by redshirt freshman Jimmy Sandling (Manteno, Ill./University of Indianapolis/Manteno) on the Cougars' ensuing drive pushed the lead to 24, 27-3, with 11:10 remaining in the first half.

A 42-yard screen pass from junior quarterback Anthony Kropp (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) to junior wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) put SXU ahead, 34-3, at the 8:24 mark of the second quarter. A reception by junior wideout Xavier Torres (Chicago, Ill./Central Michigan University/Lane Tech) on a fourth-and-goal play with just over a minute to play in the first half gave Saint Xavier its 41-3 advantage heading into the locker room. It was more of the same early in the third quarter as freshman wide receiver Shane Zachery (Rockford, Ill./Boylan) broke loose down the sideline for a 68-yard touchdown reception to make the score, 48-3. A 22-yard field goal by sophomore kicker A.J. Nichols (Tinley Park, Ill./Mount Carmel) with 1:50 to play in the third quarter extended SXU's lead to 48 points, 51-3, and wrapped up the game's scoring.

Saint Xavier (3-0 overall/1-0 MSFA) returns to action on Saturday, September 19, to host MSFA Mideast League foe Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. kickoff at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.