Football - Sat, Oct. 18, 2008
Urbana, Ohio - Scoring touchdowns on its first two possessions to take an early 14-0 lead, the No. 16 ranked Saint Xavier University football team rolled to a 35-7 road victory over former Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League foe Urbana University (Ohio) Saturday afternoon at Ellis Field in Urbana, Ohio. The Cougars have now won five straight games after starting the season with a 0-2 mark and sit with No. 4 University of Saint Francis (Ind.) and No. 22 Malone University (Ohio) atop the Mideast League standings with a perfect 2-0 record.
Senior quarterback Jeremy Zientek (Oak Lawn, Ill./Marist) had another big game for SXU completing 20 of his 27 pass attempts for 172 yards and three touchdowns, while also rushing four times for two yards and a score. His main target was sophomore wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic), who finished with seven grabs for 19 yards and a touchdown. Senior running back Juaquin Rodriguez (Merrillville, Ind./Andrean) led the ground attack for the Cougars with six carries for 32 yards and a score. Defensively, Saint Xavier got another huge outing from junior linebacker Mike Lally, who finished the day with 14 total tackles (seven solos), including 2.5 sacks for 22 yards.
On the game's opening drive, the Cougars used seven plays to march 59 yards down the field and scored on a five-yard pass to Maher from Zientek at the 12:03 mark of the first quarter. The SXU defense then stopped Urbana on a fourth down attempt and gave the offense back the ball at the Blue Knights' 45-yard line. With the short field, it took Saint Xavier just five plays to reach the endzone again, this time on a 30-yard pass from Zientek to Rodriguez with 8:34 to play in the first quarter. The Cougars would get their next crack at a touchdown at the 7:28 mark of the second quarter when Zientek used his feet to scramble 12 yards for a score giving his team a 21-0 advantage, which it took to the locker room at halftime.
On its second drive of the second half, Urbana mounted a six-play, 60-yard drive to cut the lead to 14 points, 21-7, on a nine-yard pass play from freshman quarterback Evan Gehlert to junior tight end Tariq Kalimullah. However, it proved to be the lone score on the day for the Blue Knights as Saint Xavier tacked on two more touchdowns in the second half to pull out the 35-7 win. The first of the two touchdowns came on a 23-yard run by Rodriguez with 6:52 remaining in the third quarter. The second was a six-yard completion by Zientek to senior tight end Andy Lietz (Blue Island, Ill./Marian Catholic) at the 13:32 mark of the fourth quarter.
Saint Xavier (5-2 overall/2-0 MSFA) returns home and continues its MSFA Mideast League slate on Saturday, October 25, with a night game against Marian College (Ind.). The game is scheduled for a 6 p.m. start at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.