Football - Sat, Oct. 24, 2009
CHICAGO - Led by a huge defensive effort by sophomore defensive tackle Patrick Appino (Rockford, Ill./Boylan), the No. 7 Saint Xavier University football team racked up a school-record eight sacks and cruised to a 66-6 victory over Iowa Wesleyan College (Iowa) in Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) crossover action Saturday afternoon at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. Appino finished Saturday's game with 6.5 tackles, including five tackles for losses and 3.5 sacks, to help keep the Cougars perfect this year at 9-0 overall and 5-0 in league play. With the loss, the Tigers drop to 2-7 on the season.
The single-game sacks record was not the only school record to fall Saturday for SXU. With the 66 points scored Saturday, Saint Xavier shattered its single-season scoring record, which was 432 points in 2007. The Cougars now sit at 463 with two regular-season games left to play. On the offensive side of the ball, junior quarterback Anthony Kropp (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) went 18-for-27 for 267 yards and five touchdowns making him the new single-season passing touchdown record holder with 34 on the year. Former SXU standout John Perryman owned the previous mark when he threw 29 touchdown passes during the 2005 season. In addition, junior wide receiver Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) took over the single-season mark for touchdown receptions Saturday as well when he hauled in his 12th TD catch in 2009. The old record was 11 set by Ed Bryant during the 1998 campaign. Maher finished the day with three catches for 29 yards and the touchdown.
Maher got the scoring started for the Cougars with a 14-yard grab at the 11:31 mark of the first quarter to go ahead, 7-0. A 49-yard run by junior Donnie Selby (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) gave Saint Xavier their second touchdown of the day and a 14-point lead with 5:06 remaining in the opening frame. Senior Bill McKeon (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) got open for a 40-yard touchdown reception from Kropp with 2:18 to play in the first quarter to push the lead to 21-0. The second quarter was more of the same as freshman Corey Wennmacher (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North) broke free for a 35-yard touchdown catch to make it 28 unanswered points. A 25-yard field goal by sophomore kicker Tom Lynch (Frankfort, Ill./Southern Illinois University/Joliet Junior College/Lincoln-Way East) extended the lead to 31 with 11:23 remaining before halftime. Junior Xavier Torres (Chicago, Ill./Central Michigan University/Lane Tech) got in on the scoring with a two-yard touchdown reception on a slant to put SXU up, 38-0, later in the second quarter.
With 2:15 to play in the first half, McKeon scored on a 12-yard run to extend the lead to 45-0. Wennmacher then struck again just 13 seconds later for the Cougars when he took advantage of a tipped pass and went in for a 28-yard touchdown reception after Iowa Wesleyan fumbled the ensuing kickoff return. Leading 52-0 at the half, Saint Xavier benched its starters for the second half, but got a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown by redshirt freshman Justin Johnson (Rochelle, Ill./Northern Illinois University/Rochelle) at the 9:14 mark of the third quarter. Wennmacher capped the scoring for the Cougars on a seven-yard keeper with 6:23 remaining in the third quarter after coming in to replace Kropp at quarterback for the second half. Iowa Wesleyan would score its lone touchdown of the day on a 30-yard fumble return by freshman defensive end Eduardo Garcia with 8:12 left to play in the game. The Tigers failed in their attempt to go for the two-point conversion.
Saint Xavier (9-0 overall/5-0 MSFA) finishes up its 2009 regular season with back-to-back road games against ranked opponents. On Thursday, October 29, the Cougars head to Canton, Ohio, to take on No. 20 Walsh University (Ohio) at 6 p.m. eastern. The regular-season finale takes place on Saturday, November 7, in Fort Wayne, Ind., with SXU matching up against No. 4 ranked University of Saint Francis (Ind.).