Football - Thu, Oct. 29, 2009
Canton, Ohio - Behind 21 first-quarter points, No. 6 ranked Saint Xavier University became the first college football team in the nation to reach the 10-win mark thanks to a rare Thursday evening match-up and a 34-17 victory over No. 18 Walsh University (Ohio) in Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League action at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio. In what has become the norm for the high-scoring offense, the Cougars (10-0 overall/6-0 MSFA) jumped out to a 21-3 lead in the first quarter and never looked back en route to the 17-point victory. The win sets up a huge regular-season finale for SXU with the team heading to Fort Wayne, Ind., next Saturday (Nov. 7) to take on No. 8 University of Saint Francis (Ind.) for the Mideast League championship.

Junior quarterback Anthony Kropp (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) went 27-for-54 Thursday for 347 yards and two touchdowns (one rushing), but also had two interceptions. Senior Bill McKeon (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) led the receiving corps with 14 catches for 144 yards and also had four rushes for minus three yards and a score. Freshman Corey Wennmacher (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North) had two grabs for 30 yards and a touchdown, while junior running back Donnie Selby (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) rushed 13 times for eight yards and a touchdown. Sophomore kicker Tom Lynch (Frankfort, Ill./Southern Illinois University/Joliet Junior College/Lincoln-Way East) made two of his three field-goal attempts for 43 and 36 yards, respectively.

A one-yard touchdown run by Selby got the scoring started for the Cougars with 7:41 left in the first quarter. An interception by junior defensive back Pat Geary (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) was returned to the Walsh four-yard line and set up a one-play drive that ended with a seven-yard completion by Kropp to Wennmacher in the endzone less than a minute later. The Cavaliers cut into the 14-0 lead with a 39-yard field goal by junior Eric Buchanan with 1:57 to play in the first frame. However, a one-yard run by McKeon with three seconds remaining in the first quarter gave Saint Xavier a 21-3 advantage. With 8:25 until halftime, a quarterback sneak by Kropp from one yard out extended the Cougars' lead to 25 points, 28-3. A one-yard keeper by Walsh sophomore quarterback Jim Shiplett at the 4:44 mark of the second quarter made the score, 28-10, going into the break. Lynch had the first of his two field goals with 10:50 to play in the third quarter and then added the second with 5:01 remaining in the game to put SXU ahead, 34-10. The Cavaliers would add a late touchdown with 1:40 left on a 10-yard completion by Shiplett to freshman wideout Robert Wigfall.

Saint Xavier (10-0 overall/6-0 MSFA) wraps up its regular season on Saturday, November 7, with a big MSFA Mideast League match-up against No. 8 University of Saint Francis (Ind.). The outcome of next Saturday's game will determine the Mideast League champion and also have significant influence on postseason seeding, which will be announced on Sunday, November 15. The game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. (eastern) kickoff in Fort Wayne, Ind. SXU will be gunning for its first win over USF after losing the previous six meetings.