Canton, Ohio – Behind 256 yards through the air and five touchdown passes by senior quarterback Jimmy Coy (Park Ridge, Ill./Valdosta State University/El Camino College/Maine South), it was business as usual for the No. 1 ranked Saint Xavier University football team improving to 6-0 overall with a 52-10 non-conference victory over Malone University (Ohio) Saturday afternoon at Fawcett Stadium in Canton, Ohio. The Cougars exploded for 31 unanswered points in the second quarter alone to build a 45-0 halftime lead en route to Saturday's big road win. Junior wide receiver Shane Zackery (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) also had an impressive outing for SXU Saturday recording five catches for 100 yards and three touchdown receptions.
It took a little while for the Cougars to get warmed up, but once they got in a rhythm they were impossible to slow down. With three minutes remaining in the first quarter, sophomore linebacker Zach Dolph (Crest Hill, Ill./Joliet Catholic) recovered a fumble by the Pioneers in the end zone to give his team a 7-0 advantage. Coy then got the SXU offense clicking with just 17 seconds remaining in the opening quarter when he hooked up with junior Corey Wennmacher (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North) for a 32-yard touchdown strike to make it, 14-0. Coy continued to spread the wealth in the second quarter hitting Zackery three times and junior Wes Gastel (Freeport, Ill./Freeport) for another score as Saint Xavier scored on four straight possessions to build a 42-0 lead. Senior kicker Tom Lynch (Frankfort, Ill./Southern Illinois University/Joliet Junior College/Lincoln-Way East) was able to help the Cougars capitalize on a big interception by freshman defensive back Clayton Fejedelem (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) when he hit a 31-yard field goal as time expired in the first half.
Due to the large lead, SXU was able to give its starters a rest and the reserves took advantage of some extended time on the field. Following a scoreless third quarter, the Cougar defense kept the Pioneers out of the end zone and a 26-yard field goal by senior kicker Nick Allison made the score, 45-3, midway through the fourth quarter. The Cougars took advantage of a short field on their next possession due to a failed onside kick attempt by Malone and sophomore quarterback Joe Gill (Munster, Ind./Western Illinois University/Munster) found redshirt freshman wide receiver Patrick Kelso (Normal, Ill./University) open for a two-yard touchdown pass on the ensuing drive to make it, 52-3. With just under six minutes to play, the Pioneers completed the game's scoring when freshman Josh McLaughlin ran it in from seven yards deep. The SXU defense had a big day picking up seven Malone turnovers (four fumbles, three interceptions), including a fumble recovery for a touchdown for the game's first score.
Saint Xavier (6-0 overall) returns to its home field for a Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League game against Quincy University (Ill.) on Saturday, October 15. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago.