Football - Wed, Jan. 19, 2005
CHICAGO - Matthew Derry (Rockford, Ill./Boylan), a standout senior strong safety on the Saint Xavier University football team, was recently named both a honorable mention defensive back on the 2004 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Football All-American Team, as well as a second team defensive back on NAIAFOOTBALL.NET's United States Sports Academy 2004 All-American Team. In addition, junior wide receiver Jarrod Nowman (Manteno, Ill./Bishop McNamara) was named to the NAIAFOOTBALL.NET All-American Team as a honorable mention at wide receiver.

"Matt's very deserving of all his accolades and he will go down as one of the best defensive players to ever wear a Cougar uniform," said Saint Xavier University head football coach Mike Feminis. "What makes him so special is that he excelled at two different positions (strong safety and linebacker). I'm not sure if we'll ever have another player with so much versatility."

In the Cougars' 11 games last fall, Derry recorded a team-leading 73 total tackles, including 62 solos, in addition to 7.5 tackles for losses totaling 46 yards. He also had 2.5 sacks, two interceptions, two pass break-ups and a forced fumble en route to being named to the 2004 All-MSFA (Mid-States Football Association) Midwest First Team as a defensive back. Nowman, who was limited by injuries allowing him to play in eight games, finished with a team-high 685 receiving yards for an average of 85.6 yards per game. He also finished with 34 receptions and four receiving touchdowns, while making an impact on special teams as well with 100 punt-return yards on 12 returns and 66 kick-return yards on four returns.

Saint Xavier finished the 2004 campaign with an overall record of 7-4 for its fifth straight winning season. The Cougars finished in a tie for second place with Trinity International University (Ill.) in the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League with a 5-2 mark. SXU also ended the 2004 season rated No. 23 nationally in the final 2004 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Football Ratings. It is the fourth straight year the Cougars have finished the season rated in the NAIA's top 25.