Football - Sat, Oct. 13, 2007
CHICAGO - Behind 498 yards passing and four touchdowns by junior quarterback Billy Yeo (Matteson, Ill./Western Michigan/Rich South), the No. 6 ranked Saint Xavier University football team scored 21 unanswered points in the second half to pick up a 41-13 Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Mideast League win over No. 19 Urbana University (Ohio) Saturday afternoon at Bruce R. Deaton Memorial Field in Chicago. In addition, senior wide receiver Jim Doherty (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park) and freshman wideout Mike Maher (Plainfield, Ill./Providence Catholic) combined for 369 receiving yards and three touchdowns in Saturday's victory. With the win, the Cougars improve to 6-1 overall and 2-1 in MSFA play, while the Blue Knights fall to 5-2 overall and 2-1 in league action.
Yeo completed 39 of his 54 pass attempts in the game for his big totals, while also running six times for nine yards. Maher led the SXU receiving corps with 10 catches for 195 yards and a TD, while Doherty racked up eight grabs for 174 yards and two trips to the endzone. Sophomore wide receiver Bill McKeon (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) did a little of everything offensively rushing four times for a team-high 43 yards, catching six balls for 35 yards, and even completing a six-yard pass. Senior kicker Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) connected on two of his three field goals in the game, hitting from 23 and 52 yards out, but missing on a 49-yarder. Longest also averaged 43.3 yards a punt on his three attempts in the game. Defensively, the Cougars were led by sophomore strong safety Joe Nee (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick) with nine tackles, including 1.5 tackles for a loss. SXU finished the game with a season-best 586 yards of total offense compared to 317 yards by the Blue Knights.
SXU never trailed Saturday as senior defensive end Brett Farmer (Wilmington, Ill./Joliet Junior College/Wilmington) put his team ahead just 50 seconds into the game when he batted an Urbana pass attempt into the air behind the line of scrimmage and then ran in the resulting interception from 12 yards out. Trailing 7-0 early, Urbana answered on its next drive going 72 yards in 10 plays to tie the game on a 19-yard touchdown reception by senior wide receiver Barry Quinn. Later in the first quarter, the Cougars took back the lead, 14-7, on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Yeo to junior tight end Andy Lietz (Blue Island, Ill./Marian Catholic).
A 23-yard field goal by Longest with 3:23 to play in the first half put Saint Xavier ahead, 17-7, but Urbana sophomore running back Rodney Holmes took the ensuing kickoff return 95 yards to paydirt to narrow the Cougar lead to four, 17-13, after a failed extra-point attempt. With three minutes remaining in the half, SXU mounted one last first-half scoring drive getting down to the Urbana 35-yardline with two seconds remaining to set up Longest for a 52-yard field goal and end the half, 20-13.
The second half was all Saint Xavier as the offense rolled on two big pass plays, the first was a 70-yard touchdown catch by Maher less than a minute into the third quarter and the second was a 83-yard TD grab by Doherty at the 10:03 mark of the third. Leading 34-13, Doherty tacked on his second touchdown reception of the day, a 22-yarder, with 5:54 to play in regulation. The Cougar defense came up big as well after halftime keeping Urbana scoreless, forcing five punts, and posting a fumble and a turnover on downs.
Saint Xavier (6-1 overall/2-1 MSFA) heads to Indianapolis next Saturday (October 20) to take on MSFA Mideast League foe Marian College (Ind.). The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. eastern time start at the Pike High School football field in Indianapolis.