Football - Sat, Oct. 10, 2009
Indianapolis, Ind. - Junior wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) finished with 13 catches for 152 yards and two touchdowns to help lead No. 9 Saint Xavier University to a commanding 42-7 road victory over Marian University (Ind.) in Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League action Saturday afternoon at St. Vincent Health Field in Indianapolis, Ind. The Cougars outscored the Knights, 28-0, in the first half en route to the first 7-0 start in the program's 17-year history. SXU also improved its league record to 4-0 with the win, while Marian falls to 3-3 overall and 1-2 in the MSFA.

Junior quarterback Anthony Kropp (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) had another big game statistically for Saint Xavier going 27-for-47 for 351 yards and four touchdowns. He also added a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. In addition to Maher, fellow junior receiver Xavier Torres (Chicago, Ill./Central Michigan University/Lane Tech) had a nice day as well recording five receptions for 101 yards and two touchdowns. Junior running back Donnie Selby (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) led the SXU ground attack posting 78 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries, while redshirt freshman cornerback Jeremy Rhodes (Alsip, Ill./Drake University/Brother Rice) had a solid game defensively with three tackles, two pass break-ups and an interception. Senior linebacker Mike Lally (Oak Lawn, Ill./St. Rita) and sophomore defensive end Michael Prosser (Rockton, Ill./Rockton-Hononegah) each finished with 11 total tackles to lead the Saint Xavier defensive effort. Despite having two of their first three offensive drives stalled by a missed field goal and a blocked field goal attempt, the Cougars did put seven points on the board early in the game when Selby broke free for a 16-yard touchdown run with 9:51 to play in the first quarter. SXU continued to move the ball effectively and was rewarded again with 2:59 remaining in the quarter when Kropp hooked up with Maher for a 25-yard scoring strike to build the lead to 14-0. With 13:12 to play in the second quarter, Kropp struck again with a 14-yard pass down the middle to Torres for a touchdown to put the Cougars ahead, 21-0. The good fortune continued for Saint Xavier as Prosser recovered a Marian fumble and Torres capped the resulting drive with another touchdown catch of 15 yards after the pass was tipped up in the air by intended freshman receiver Corey Wennmacher (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North). Leading 28-0, the Cougar defense did its job to close out the first half stopping three straight Marian drives in the final nine minutes of the second quarter with the third drive halted by an interception by junior defensive back Drew Rogowski (Griffith, Ind./Griffith). Kropp found Maher streaking across the field for a 32-yard touchdown reception with 8:01 remaining in the third quarter to kick off the second-half scoring and put SXU ahead, 35-0. Marian capitalized on a Cougar fumble late in the third quarter and mounted its first scoring drive of the game capped by a 17-yard touchdown pass by senior quarterback Matt Rogers to junior wideout JaQuan Patilla to make the score, 35-7. A five-yard keeper by Kropp with 9:34 remaining in the game wrapped up the scoring. Saint Xavier (7-0 overall/4-0 MSFA) returns to Chicago for a two-game home stand that begins on Saturday, October 17, against Malone University (Ohio). Kickoff for the next game is 1 p.m. at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.