Football - Sat, Oct. 3, 2009
UPLAND, IND. - Logging the first 6-0 start in the program's 17-year history, the No. 9 ranked Saint Xavier University football team rang up over 50 points for the fifth straight game defeating Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League foe Taylor University (Ind.), 51-35, Saturday afternoon at Jim Wheeler Stadium in Upland, Ind. In addition to the victory, the Cougars also set a new school mark for total offense yards in a single game racking up 656 yards in Saturday's road win. The previous mark was set on September 20, 2008, when SXU put up 654 yards of total offense against Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.).
Junior quarterback Anthony Kropp (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) finished 32-for-47 for 409 yards and five touchdowns (one rushing). He also threw two interceptions in the game. Sophomore running back KJ Franklin (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) had 113 rushing yards on 14 carries, while junior running back Donnie Selby (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) had 23 carries for 97 yards and a score. Junior wide-out Xavier Torres (Chicago, Ill./Central Michigan University/Lane Tech) posted nine catches for 130 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while senior Bill McKeon (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) recorded six grabs for 102 yards and two touchdowns (one rushing). Defensively, senior linebacker Mike Lally (Oak Lawn, Ill./St. Rita) had 10 total tackles (four solos), including three tackles for losses totaling eight yards.
Saint Xavier did not waste any time getting on the scoreboard with Selby scoring the game's first touchdown on a 12-yard run less than two minutes into the game. Later in the first quarter, the Cougars would add to their lead on a 30-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Tom Lynch (Frankfort, Ill./Southern Illinois/Lincoln-Way East) to put SXU up 10-0 at the end of the first quarter. Torres got in on the scoring action early in the second quarter when he added a 40-yard touchdown on a screen pass from Kropp. He would add another touchdown midway through the quarter on a 21-yard strike to junior wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic).
Taylor would get on the board with just over five minutes remaining in the second quarter on a four-yard touchdown pass from junior Shaun Addison to sophomore tight end Taylor Tomaszewski, but Saint Xavier would block the PAT attempt to make the score, 23-6. The Trojans would add an 81-yard bomb from Addison to junior Trenton Schmale with just under two minutes remaining in the first half to cut further into the SXU lead. Senior wide receiver Trevor Terrel would add a two-point conversion reception to cut the lead to nine points, 23-14. However, Saint Xavier added a touchdown right before the end of the half on an 11-yard run by Kropp to give the Cougars a 30-14 halftime lead.
The Trojans would open second-half scoring with a 70-yard touchdown pass from Addison to Schmale for the second time, cutting again into the Cougars' lead, 30-21. Taylor would strike again on a 34-yard touchdown scamper by junior Cory Anderson with 6:53 left in the third quarter to pull within three points, 30-27. The Cougars pushed the lead back up to 10, when Kropp connected with Torres on a 16-yard touchdown pass, making the score, 37-27. McKeon would then further extend Saint Xavier's lead, 44-27, on a one-yard touchdown run with 33 seconds to play in the third frame. McKeon caught a seven-yard strike from Kropp early in the fourth quarter to give the Cougars a 51-27 lead, but Taylor would not go down quietly adding another touchdown on a 58-yard interception return by junior Bryan Onuselogu and a two-point conversion to close to within 16 points, 51-35, with 8:16 to play in the game.
Saint Xavier (6-0 overall/3-0 MSFA) heads to Indianapolis, Ind., on Saturday, October 10, to take on MSFA Mideast League opponent Marian University (Ind.). Kickoff is scheduled for 11 a.m. central time.