Football - Sat, Oct. 30, 2004
CHICAGO - Despite a two-touchdown day for junior tight end Nick Michelin (Crown Point, Ind./Merrillville), the No. 21 ranked Saint Xavier University football team could not complete its 14-point deficit rally attempt falling 28-21 to No. 17 Trinity International on a windy Saturday at SXU stadium. After falling behind 14-0 to start the game, the Cougars were able to tie the game 21-21 in the fourth quarter, but a one-yard rushing touchdown by TIU's junior running back Masaki Matsumot with under five minutes to play sealed the Saint Xavier loss. SXU is currently 5-4 overall and 3-2 in the Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League, while Trinity International improves to 7-1 overall and 4-1 in league play.
TIU went up 7-0 with 7:22 left in the first quarter when senior quarterback Kevin Oberlander found junior wideout Nathan Endmano for a 42-yard touchdown strike. With just under two minutes remaining in the first quarter, SXU junior quarterback John Perryman (Oak Lawn, Ill./Richards) was hit hard on a third down play as he was rushing toward the sideline. Perryman missed the remainder of the game following the tackle.
The Trojans struck again with 9:28 left in the first half, when defensive back Carte Zimbalist intercepted a pass by senior quarterback Tom Raczka (Calumet City, Ill./Marian Catholic) and returned it 40 yards for the touchdown. Down 14-0 with 3:18 remaining in the half, sophomore running back Luke Schillo (Evergreen Park, Ill./Evergreen Park) answered the call for the Cougars pounding it into the endzone from three yards out to narrow TIU's lead to seven, 14-7.
Following a bad snap on the punt by TIU, the SXU offense was able to get the ball back in Trojan territory early in the third quarter. The Cougars capitalized on the miscue with a 10-play, 38-yard drive capped by a four-yard touchdown pass to Michelin from Raczka to tie the game, 14-14. However, Trinity International marched down the field on its very next possession going 80 yards in 14 plays to take back the lead, 21-14, on a nine-yard run by sophomore running back Alan Stokes with 21 seconds remaining in the third quarter.
SXU was able to move the ball down inside the Trinity 10-yard line on its next drive, but was unable to punch the ball into the endzone in four plays and turned the ball over on downs at the TIU six-yard line. The Cougar defense stepped up, however, with freshman defensive back Mike Wilkinson (Chicago, Ill./St. Rita) intercepting a Oberlander pass near midfield and returning it 18 yards to the Trojans' 26-yard line. Saint Xavier capitalized on the turnover just three plays later with a nine-yard Raczka pass to Michelin for the game-tying touchdown.
Led by Matsumot, the Trinity International offense moved down the field again and got inside the Cougar 10-yard line. The SXU defense was able to force a fourth-and-goal situation from the one-yard line, however, Matsumot was able to punch it in for the go-ahead touchdown, 28-21, with 4:52 remaining in the game. On its next drive, the Cougars were able to get to the SXU 38-yard line, but back-to-back incomplete passes on third and fourth down, respectively, sealed the loss.
The Cougars head to Mount Pleasant, Iowa, to face Iowa Wesleyan University for a MSFA Midwest League road match-up. Game time is set for 1 p.m at the Mapleleaf Athletic Complex.