Findlay, Ohio – Following a huge 42-31 road victory over No. 2 ranked University of Saint Francis (Ind.) Saturday, the No. 1 ranked Saint Xavier University football team swept all three Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League Player of the Week awards when they were announced by the league office Monday. Senior quarterback Jimmy Coy (Park Ridge, Ill./Valdosta State University/El Camino College/Maine South) was tabbed the MSFA Mideast League Offensive Player of the Week, while sophomore free safety Jacob Ghinazzi (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) earned the Defensive Player of the Week award. Senior kicker Tom Lynch (Frankfort, Ill./Southern Illinois University/Joliet Junior College/Lincoln-Way East) claimed the MSFA Mideast League Special Teams Player of the Week as well to complete the sweep.
Coy was efficient and mistake free in leading the SXU offense to the huge road win over No. 2 Saint Francis (Ind.). He was 29 for 43 in his pass attempts for 338 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed 14 times for 37 yards while not commiting a turnover. He had a touchdown pass in each of the final three quarters after SXU trailed 10-0 after the first quarter of play and also kicked two punts for the Cougars averaging 57.5 yards per attempt.
Ghinazzi had two huge interceptions, both in the second half, that helped lead to a field goal and a touchdown and put the game away. He got his second pick with less than nine minutes to play and returned it 46 yards to the USF 20-yard line. The touchdown scored by SXU following the interception put the Cougars ahead, 42-24, with 6:38 remaining in regulation.
Lynch proved why he is one of college football's top kickers by coming up big on the biggest of stages. He made five of his six field goal attempts, including 50- and 48-yard attempts, in a 42-31 road win over No. 2 Saint Francis (Ind.) Saturday. Lynch also kicked the momentum-shifting onside kick to start the second half that Saint Xavier recovered at the SXU 44-yard line and later scored a go-ahead touchdown on the ensuing drive to take its first lead of the game. He tied a school record for points in a game by a kicker with 18 Saturday.
"All three of these guys came up with big-time performances on a big-time stage," said Saint Xavier University football coach Mike Feminis. "Jimmy Coy is everything we thought he was going to be. He is so tough to defend, because he will hurt you with his legs as much as his arm. Jacob is just one heck of a football player. He is a ball hawk who came up with two huge interceptions Saturday, but is also a physical kid who plays the run from his safety position as well as any defensive back we have ever had here. And what can you say about Tom? I did not think we would ever have a kicker comparable to Shane Longest, but Tom might be better. The field goals he made from 48 and 50 yards out would have been good from 65 yards and his onside kick to start the second half was unbelievable. There are probably a lot of NFL kickers who can't make that kick."
In addition, Feminis would like to acknowledge the play of his players out of the NIC-9 conference. Along with Ghinazzi, the Cougars had senior defensive end Michael Prosser (Rockton, Ill./Rockton-Hononegah), senior defensive tackle Patrick Appino (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) and junior wide receivers Shane Zackery (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic), Corey Wennmacher (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North) and Wes Gastel (Freeport, Ill./Freeport) all either score a touchdown or make a key defensive play in Saturday's win.
"As a coaching staff, we decided to give the ‘Play of the Day' team award to our six guys from the same high school conference," said Feminis. "The coaches of the NIC-10 should be very proud of these kids. They are quality young men, both on and off the field, but they were instrumental in our victory Saturday. I have said for four years now that we should have Dan Appino (head football coach at Rockford Boylan) on our payroll. He knows first-hand how competitive our level of play is and he pushes his kids to take a good look at us if they don't get a Division I scholarship."