Football - Sat, Sep. 24, 2005
CHICAGO - Junior wide receiver Andy Ricca (LaPorte, Ind./Michigan City) caught two first-quarter touchdown passes of 75 and 67 yards, respectively, to help propel the No. 10 ranked Saint Xavier University football team to a 35-20 homecoming victory over No. 11 Geneva College (Pa.) Saturday at SXU Stadium in Chicago. The Cougars scored 28 points in the first quarter led by Ricca's two scores to improve their overall record to 3-1, while the Golden Tornadoes suffered their first loss of the season at 3-1.

Ricca finished with seven catches for 209 yards and two touchdowns, while senior wideout Jarrod Nowman (Manteno, Ill./Bishop McNamara) picked up the other TD reception to go with his three catches for 39 yards. Senior quarterback John Perryman (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) also had a monster performance in Saturday's win completing 19 of his 30 passes for 323 yards and three touchdowns in addition to rushing for 11 yards and a score. Sophomore running back Steve Strimel (New Lenox, Ill./Joliet Junior College/Lincoln-Way Central) led the ground attack for Saint Xavier with 10 carries for 34 yards, while junior Luke Schillo (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park) turned in 23 yards and a touchdown.

SXU wasted little time putting points on the scoreboard with Perryman and Ricca connecting for a 75-yard scoring strike on the Cougars' first play from scrimmage at the 13:20 mark of the first quarter. After the Saint Xavier defense forced a punt, Perryman needed just three plays to find Ricca open again for his second TD of the quarter with 9:15 remaining to go ahead, 14-0. A fumble by Geneva on the ensuing kickoff gave the Cougars back the ball and Nowman capitalized with a 30-yard TD reception on the third play of the drive to put SXU up, 21-0, just over seven minutes into the game.

Geneva came back on their next possession and used five plays to march 60 yards down the field scoring on a five-yard pass from junior quarterback Justin Sciarro to junior wideout Michael Lehman with 5:51 still left in the first quarter. With the score 21-7, Perryman led his fourth successful first-quarter drive capping the march with a five-yard rush down the right sideline to put SXU ahead, 28-7, with 2:23 remaining.

The scoring slowed down in the second quarter with Geneva connecting on a 26-yard field goal with 51 seconds left in the half to go into the locker room staring a 28-10 deficit in the face. The third quarter was more of the same as Geneva narrowed the Cougar lead to 15, 28-13, on a 45-yard field goal with 4:13 remaining in the third. However, the SXU defense kept the Golden Tornadoes at bay until late in the fourth quarter and, with 1:43 left in the game, Schillo found the endzone from one yard out to seal the victory. Geneva scored its final touchdown with six seconds remaining on a three-yard pass from Sciarro to Lehman to make the score, 35-20.

Saint Xavier (3-1 overall) heads to Oskaloosa, Iowa, on Saturday, October 1, to open its Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) slate against William Penn University (Iowa). Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.