CHICAGO – Senior quarterback Jimmy Coy (Park Ridge, Ill./Valdosta State University/El Camino College/Maine South) had a nice debut as No. 2 ranked Saint Xavier University rolled to a 55-10 victory over Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) in Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) crossover action Saturday evening at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. Coy completed 13 of his 24 pass attempts for 295 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 34 yards and another score to help lead the Cougars offensively. SXU had nice balance on offense with over 300 yards of both rushing and passing and set a new single game record with 689 yards of total offense. The previous record was 656 yards set against Taylor University (Ind.) on Oct. 3, 2009.
Junior wide receiver Shane Zackery (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) also had a big game for the Cougars with six receptions for 188 yards and two touchdowns. Zackery tied the longest play in school history with a 99-yard touchdown reception early in the second quarter. Sophomore running back Nick Pesek (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) ran for 164 yards and two touchdowns on just nine carries, while junior tailback KJ Franklin (Crete, Ill./Crete-Monee) also scored a pair of rushing touchdowns and finished with 42 yards on 12 carries. Junior linebacker Mike Bushnell (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) led SXU defensively with seven total tackles, including six solos and an assisted tackle for a loss of one yard.
The Cougars got its offense going on their first possession of the game capping a 12-play drive with a three-yard run by Franklin to go ahead, 7-0, with 9:23 to play in the first quarter. Coy threw an interception on the next SXU possession, but a fumble on the interception return gave the Cougars back the ball at the Olivet 10-yard line. Coy would finish the ensuing drive himself by diving in on a one-yard keeper to put his team up, 14-0. Early in the second quarter, Zackery and Coy would hook up for the record-tying play to push the lead to 21-0. Pesek scored his first TD midway through the second quarter breaking loose for a 21-yard rushing touchdown. With 3:05 to play in the first half, Olivet Nazarene connected on a 30-yard field goal to make it, 28-3. Senior kicker Tom Lynch (Frankfort, Ill./Southern Illinois University/Joliet Junior College/Lincoln-Way East) got the points back though with 31 seconds left before halftime on a 32-yard attempt that pushed the lead back up to 28 points, 31-3.
On Saint Xavier's second play from scrimmage of the second half, Coy and Zachary connected again for a 60-yard strike that made it, 38-3. Following another Olivet punt, Franklin would end SXU's next drive with a four-yard rush for a touchdown with 10:37 to play in the third quarter. The Tigers would answer with an 11-play drive capped by a seven-yard pass by Rico Prestia to Joshua Howells. Leading 45-10, Pesek broke free again for another big scoring run this time for 66 yards. Lynch capped the game's scoring with 12:12 to play in regulation with a 31-yard field goal.
Saint Xavier heads to Joliet, Ill., next weekend to take on former MSFA Midwest League rival University of St. Francis (Ill.). The game is scheduled for a 4 p.m. start on Saturday, September 10, at Joliet Memorial Stadium.