Football - Sat, Oct. 23, 2004
Davenport, Iowa - Saint Xavier University junior quarterback John Perryman (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) refused to let the Cougars give up against No. 4 ranked and previously unbeaten St. Ambrose University (Iowa), despite staring a 16-0 deficit in the face, Saturday at Brady Street Stadium in Davenport, Iowa. His efforts paid off as SXU pulled off a dramatic come-from-behind victory, 27-23, with Perryman instrumental in each of the Cougars' four touchdowns. Saint Xavier improves to 5-3 overall and 3-1 in the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League, while St. Ambrose falls to 6-1 overall and now has a 3-1 league mark.

St. Ambrose running back Jeff Kietzman scored on a one-yard run with 5:46 remaining in the first quarter to give the Fighting Bees a 6-0 advantage before SAU scored twice early in the second quarter with a touchdown (nine-yard rush by running back Joe Schimmel) and a field goal (22-yard attempt by Matt Webster), respectively, to build the 16-0 advantage. Perryman answered with a one-yard rush on a quarterback sneak and also converted on the two-point conversion with a pass to sophomore wideout Eric Bryant (Rockford, Ill./Boylan) to put Saint Xavier on the scoreboard, 16-8.

In the third quarter, freshman running back Chris Rodriguez (Olympia Fields, Ill./Marian Catholic) caught a 22-yard touchdown pass from Perryman to cut the SAU lead to two, 16-14, following the failed two-point conversion attempt. The fourth quarter started with a one-yard touchdown rush by SAU's Larry Williams to put the Fighting Bees up by nine, 23-14, with 14:00 remaining in regulation. However, Perryman took over down the stretch rushing 11 yards for the score to close within three points, 23-20, after SAU blocked the extra-point attempt with 8:29 left. Then, after senior defensive end Chris Kooistra (Chicago, Ill./Marist) recovered a fumbled snap by St. Ambrose on their own 27-yardline with under a minute to play, Perryman completed a 27-yard pass to Rodriguez on the first play of the drive to give SXU the 27-23 victory.

Perryman finished the game 13-for-29 for 174 yards with two passing touchdowns, two rushing touchdowns and an interception. He also finished with 16 yards rushing in the game. Sophomore running back Luke Schillo (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park) led the Cougar rushing attack with 97 yards on 17 carries, while Rodriguez rushed for 29 yards on seven carries and caught three passes for 51 yards and two touchdowns. Junior wide receiver Jarrod Nowman (Manteno, Ill./Bishop McNamara) finished with three catches for 77 yards for Saint Xavier.

SXU returns home to face MSFA Midwest League foe Trinity International University (Ill.) on Saturday, October 30 at SXU stadium. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.