Quincy, Ill. - Behind a flurry of big defensive plays, including a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown by senior defensive tackle Colin Luczynski (Frankfort, Ill./Eastern Illinois University/Lincoln-Way East), the No. 4 ranked Saint Xavier University football team pulled away for a 45-14 victory over Quincy University (Ill.) in Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) crossover action Saturday at QU Stadium in Quincy, Ill. Junior defensive end Michael Prosser (Rockton, Ill./Rockton-Hononegah) posted a SXU record-tying four sacks on the day, all in the first half, to aid the defensive effort for the Cougars. The game was close in the first quarter with the Hawks trailing 10-7 before SXU rattled off 35 unanswered points, most coming in the second and third quarters, to pull away for good. SXU is now a perfect 5-0 this season, while QU falls to 0-4.
Senior quarterback Anthony Kropp (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) finished the day completing 21 of his 41 pass attempts for 227 yards, five touchdowns and an interception. The receiving corps was again led by senior Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) with 12 catches for 141 yards and two touchdowns. Maher entered the game as college football's leading scorer with 78 points this season and added 12 more points to that total Saturday. Sophomore wide receiver Shane Zackery (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) also had a nice day finishing with five receptions for 93 yards and a pair of scores. Senior running back Donnie Selby (Alsip, Ill./Shepard) was tough running the ball for SXU with 13 carries for 82 yards and a receiving touchdown. The SXU defense was impressive as a unit posting seven sacks, a blocked punt, a fumble recovery and an interception for a touchdown.
Junior kicker Tom Lynch (Frankfort, Ill./Southern Illinois University/Joliet Junior College/Lincoln-Way East) got the Cougars on the scoreboard early with a 38-yard field goal just 28 seconds into play. Luczynski would score the big defensive touchdown with 8:04 left in the first quarter after busting through the offensive line and snagging the pass right out of the air in front of Quincy junior quarterback Bobby Brenneisen. Trailing 10-0 midway through the opening frame, the Hawks would cut into the deficit on a 19-yard touchdown pass by Brenneisen to freshman wide-out Justin Dickens. However, Saint Xavier would take over from there with Kropp connecting with Maher for a 23-yard strike with 2:49 to play in the quarter to go ahead, 17-7. On the first play of the second quarter, Kropp hit Zackery from 30 yards out to make it, 24-7. The Cougars would close out the half with another passing touchdown, this one to Selby from seven yards out to make the halftime score, 31-7.
The early part of the second half was more of the same as Kropp found Maher open again for another touchdown reception to push the lead to 31, 38-7. Zackery would also hook up with Kropp again at the 6:23 mark of the third quarter to cap the scoring for the Cougars. With 6:07 remaining in regulation, Quincy would find the end zone for the second time on a two-yard run by junior running back Lyndsey Diggs. SXU racked up 426 yards of total offense, while the Cougar defense held the Hawks to just 69 yards on the ground, most coming in the second half.
Saint Xavier (5-0 overall/2-0 MSFA) returns home for its annual Homecoming game on Saturday, October 2, against Taylor University (Ind.). The MSFA Mideast League game will kick off at 6 p.m. at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.