CHICAGO – Behind a record-setting day for senior kicker Tom Lynch (Frankfort, Ill./Southern Illinois University/Joliet JC/Lincoln-Way East), the No. 1 ranked Saint Xavier University football team improved to 8-0 overall this season with a 75-33 Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League victory over Taylor University (Ind.) Saturday afternoon at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. Lynch connected on all four of his field goal attempts and tallied nine extra-points to score 21 points, which not only broke both the school's and MSFA's previous single-game scoring record for a kicker, but the NAIA's as well. The NAIA's previous best mark was 20 points hit twice, once in 1982 and again in 1986. SXU jumped out to a 48-20 lead in the first half after scoring 24 points in each of the first two quarters. The 75-point output for the Cougars was the second most points scored in a game in program history after scoring 79 points against Concordia University (Ill.) in 2002. Lynch also became Saint Xavier's all-time leading scorer with 322 points surpassing former kicker Shane Longest, who finished his career with 317 points.
Senior quarterback Jimmy Coy (Park Ridge, Ill./Valdosta State University/El Camino College/Maine South) had another big day for the Saint Xavier offense completing 33 of his 49 pass attempts for 366 yards and five touchdowns with two interceptions. Junior wide receivers Shane Zackery (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) and Corey Wennmacher (Belvidere, Ill./Belvidere North) both had nice outings for the Cougars Saturday. Zackery had a team-best 11 receptions for 89 yards and two touchdowns, while Wennmacher posted seven grabs for 131 yards and two scores. Sophomore running back Nick Pesek (Oak Lawn, Ill./Oak Lawn Community) was tough on the ground for SXU with 18 carries for 59 yards and two touchdowns. Freshman defensive back Clayton Fejedelem (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) had a stellar game with a team-best nine total tackles, including a tackle for a loss, as well as an interception and pass break-up.
Saint Xavier wasted no time building a lead scoring on its first four drives of the game to go ahead, 24-0, just seven-and-a-half minutes into the game. A one-yard touchdown run by senior defensive tackle Patrick Appino (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) capped the early scoring surge. With just over a minute to play in the opening quarter, the Trojans answered with a three-yard touchdown pass by junior quarterback Nick Freeman to sophomore Jared Perkins. SXU would put up another 24 points, including a pair of touchdown receptions for Zackery, to go up 48-7, to open the second quarter. With just under three minutes left in the half, a fumble by the Cougars recovered in the end zone led to a defensive touchdown for Taylor and made the score, 48-13, after the failed extra-point attempt. With just seconds to play in the half, Freeman would hit senior wide-out Matt Orvis on a 12-yard strike to make the halftime score, 48-20.
Pesek would find the end zone from nine yards out early in the third quarter to put Saint Xavier ahead, 55-20, and then Coy would hit freshman running back Cole Midgett (Lowell, Ind./Lowell) for a one-yard touchdown grab to make it, 62-20. Following the Midgett score, sophomore Chris Stutzman returned the ensuing kickoff 98 yards for a Taylor touchdown, but missed the point-after attempt again to make the score, 62-26. Lynch would hit field goals from 48 and 42 yards out, respectively, to close out the third quarter with the Cougars leading, 68-26. Senior running back Sean Bryce (Oak Forest, Ill./Oak Forest) would haul in a pass from sophomore quarterback Joe Gill (Munster, Ind./Western Illinois University/Munster) and take it 49 yards to pay dirt midway through the fourth quarter to complete SXU's scoring on the day.
Saint Xavier (8-0 overall/3-0 MSFA) heads to Ann Arbor, Mich., next Saturday for a match-up against MSFA Mideast League match-up against Concordia University (Mich.). The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. (eastern) kickoff at River Rat Stadium in Ann Arbor.