Football - Sun, Oct. 22, 2006
Quincy, Ill. - Led by a career-high 166 rushing yards on 21 carries by sophomore running back Jason Banning (Wilmington, Ill./Northern Illinois University), the No. 11 ranked Saint Xavier University football team picked up a 24-12 road win over Quincy University (Ill.) in Mid-States Football Association (MSFA) Midwest League action Saturday at QU Stadium in Quincy, Ill. The Cougars (6-2 overall/5-1 MSFA) finished the game with 266 yards on the ground and averaged an impressive 7.4 yards per carry as a team.

Sophomore quarterback Billy Yeo (Matteson, Ill./Western Michigan University) had another solid outing for SXU completing 20 of his 30 pass attempts for 132 yards, a touchdown, and an interception. He also rushed six times for 44 yards and a score. Senior wide receiver Greg Gerritsen (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) led the Saint Xavier receiving corps with eight catches for 48 yards. Junior kicker Shane Longest (Wilmington, Ill./Wilmington) also had a solid outing for the Cougars Saturday hitting all three of his extra-point attempts and connecting on a 41-yard field goal attempt.

Quincy jumped out to a 3-0 lead when Eric Broughton connected on a 42-yard field goal with 4:32 left in the first quarter. SXU answered with 14:08 on the clock in the second when Longest capped a 12-play, 61-yard drive with his 41-yard field goal to even the score, 3-3. After a QU punt, the Cougars mounted a drive that began at their own 14-yard line. SXU drove to the Quincy three-yard line before the Hawk defense forced a fumble. However, a big turning point in the game occurred on the next play when a fumble by the Hawks went into the endzone and sophomore defensive lineman Andrew Kolodziej (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) recovered it for a score to help give the Cougars a 10-3 lead with 7:07 to play in the first half.

Quincy threatened again late in the first half when Broughton lined up for a 25-yard field goal attempt, but the kick was blocked by freshman Joe Leccessi (Waukegan, Ill./Waukegan) keeping the score at 10-3 at the end of the first half. The Hawks settled for a new career-long 43-yard field goal from Broughton early in the third quarter to make the score, 10-6. Saint Xavier once again answered with a score of its own, this time when sophomore tight end Andy Lietz (Blue Island, Ill./Marian Catholic) was on the receiving end of a seven-yard touchdown pass from Yeo. The score capped a five-play, 46-yard drive by the Cougars giving them a 17-6 lead at 6:26 in the third. Quincy was forced to punt on their ensuing possession, but recovered a fumble on the return at the SXU 18-yard line. QU wasted little time going 23 yards on five plays with Matt Wehrle hitting Mike James for a six-yard touchdown pass. A failed two-point conversion left the score, 17-12, with 2:28 left in the quarter.

The Hawk defense held the Cougars on their first drive of the fourth quarter, but on the next Hawk possession senior defensive back Tom Regnier (Manteno, Ill./Bishop McNamara) came up with an interception at their 39-yard line. Saint Xavier pulled away on their next possession when Yeo and Banning led the charge on a six-play, 61-yard drive that culminated in a 12-yard touchdown run by Yeo. Banning also had 45 yards rushing on just three carries on the drive. Trailing 24-12 with 5:51 remaining, the Hawks took control of the ball at their own 35-yard line. A sack, two incomplete passes, and an interception by the Cougar defense ended all hopes of a Quincy rally. Saint Xavier (6-2 overall/5-1 MSFA) heads to Mapleleaf Community Field in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, on Saturday, October 28, to face MSFA Midwest League foe Iowa Wesleyan College. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m.